“Agriculture and Conservation of Migratory Soaring Birds in the Rift Valley / the Red Sea Flyway”

Posted on Fri, 30/10/2020

The Regional Flyway Facility team at the Migratory Soaring Birds Project organized a webinar on “Agriculture and Conservation of Migratory Soaring Birds in the Rift Valley / the Red Sea Flyway “.

The webinar addressed how to minimize the risks in the agriculture sector to the birds. It was facilitated by Alex Ngari MSB Projec Africa Flyway Officer twith a panel of professional experts; Symone Krimowa, Dr.Stoyan Nikolov and Dr.Tadesse Amera .

Symone Krimowa an International Consultant from UK, started the webinar by talking about the MSB Guidance on agriculture and conservation of migratory soaring birds in the Rift Valley / Red Sea flyway. She clarified what are the main purposes of the guidance and how the materials could form part of useful tools applied by stakeholders. She also highlighted the ecological impacts of agricultural expansion and intensification on MSBs.

Tadesse Amera the Executive Director of “Pesticide Action Nexus Ethiopia – PAN Ethiopia” , spoke about the pesticides use in the Rift Valley, and how PAN Ethiopia is working to prevent the negative impacts of pesticides and other hazardous chemicals in Ethiopia on human health, and what are the ways to mitigate them. Tedeses elucidate that the birds are the best environmental indicators so there is an urgent need to protect birds by following best practices in the field.

Dr.Stoyan Nikolov the Project Manager at the “Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds/BirdLife Bulgaria” and the project manager of the EU Life Egyptian Vulture Project, concluded the webinar by expressing his concerns about the threats that vultures are facing in the agriculture sector. He ranked the main threats to vultures per region, like poisoning, the use of veterinary pharmaceuticals and insecticide spraying. Stoyan identified the needs to minimize these impacts, by the coordination between authorities in terms of pesticides use, banning the use the Diclofenac and other dangerous (NSAIDs) in vet practice. He presented case studies and lessons learnt from the Egyptian Vulture project in then Rift Valley/Red Sea countries and beyond.

The discussion in the Webinar highlighted that a number of countries within the Rift Valley/Red Sea flyway have enabling legislative framework that is supportive of uptake of recommendations proposed in the MSB Guidance. This is particularly the case as most of them are signatories to the international multilateral agreements that require party states to protect biodiversity.