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RSCN launches workshop to address illegal killing, trading of birds

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Oct 25,2021 - Last updated at Oct 31,2021

RSCN representative Sameer Bandak speaks during a regional workshop at the Dead Sea on Monday (Photo courtesy of RSCN Facebook page)

DEAD SEA — The Royal Society for Conservation of Nature (RSCN) on Monday launched a regional workshop titled "A Road Map to tackle Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Birds (IKB) in the Middle East".

The workshop was organised by the RSCN in cooperation with the BirdLife International organisation.

Representatives from Lebanon, Syria, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq, the UAE, Yemen, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, along with representatives from media outlets and other organisations attended the workshop.

“Illegal bird hunting has increasing dramatically during recent years. Over 25 million birds are killed annually through illegal bird hunting,” said regional manager of the BirdLife International Middle East office Ibrahim Khader during the opening speech. 

Khader added that illegal bird hunting has negative economic and social impacts. However, in order to tackle illegal bird hunting, “we need to understand the motives of the hunters and address the problem, raise peoples’ awareness, educate people and employ technology to be able to track illegal hunters,” he added.

“Data shows low numbers of illegal bird hunting in the Kingdom, and this is due to the harsh penalties that have been imposed since the 1960s,” Khader noted. 

RSCN representative Sameer Bandak said: “Reducing insecticide spraying, insulating power lines, in addition to raising awareness on the dangers of illegal bird hunting are among the top challenges the RSCN is facing.”

Environment Ministry delegate Bilal Qutaishat said that currently, “there are 12 natural reserves in the Kingdom, including a marine nature reserve located in Aqaba”. 

Qutaishat noted that there are 27 different locations for migratory birds across the Kingdom, and migratory birds pass through the MENA region twice a year on their journey between their breeding grounds and winter site.

He added that the ministry is aiming to provide a safe flight route for migratory birds that pass through the Kingdom.

“On this special occasion we have to remind ourselves of the importance of being united and firm towards illegal hunting and killing of birds,” said Randa Abu Hassan, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Jordan office director.

Abu Hassan noted that the government, civil society organisations and NGOs play a vital role in preserving all types of natural life in the Kingdom.

“Conserving our bird populations ensures that our environment remains beautiful and rich with natural diversity, and our ecosystem remains balanced,” she added.

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