Danelle

The motives behind these illicit activities are various and the toll that they are taking is incredible – millions of birds are being killed each year – numbers that are totally unsustainable and which alongside other pressures such as habitat loss and climate change are leading to many once common species being at risk of extinction.The theme of this year’s World Day is “…and when the skies fall silent? Stop the Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade!”Ahead of the Day, the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) announced the creation of the Intergovernmental Task Force on Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds in the Mediterranean composed of Governments and the European Commission.UN organizations such as the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), international environmental treaties, INTERPOL, law enforcement and judiciary organizations, hunting communities and nongovernmental organizations will also be part of the coalition.World Migratory Bird Day is co-organized by CMS and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), international treaties administered by UNEP.“I fully support the global campaign to raise awareness about the threats to migratory birds from habitat destruction, overexploitation, pollution and climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “I call for greater international efforts to restore and preserve migratory birds and the network of sites they need to survive as an important part of the environment on which we all depend.”Perhaps the simplest way to appreciate how important birds’ life is to us all, to the planet, to our ecosystem, and to nature is to step outside for a moment, close your eyes and just listen, or look up the skiesUNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said: “During their long journeys, migratory birds run afoul of any number of natural obstacles, from predators to weather. They shouldn’t also have to duck the grasping claws of the illegal wildlife trade. Illegal taking and killing of birds threaten not only the survival of bird species, but ecosystems, communities and livelihoods as well. So World Migratory Bird Day is not strictly for the birds; it’s to remind us of the part they play for planet and people alike.”Bird hunting has been traditionally practiced in the Mediterranean for centuries, but the recent surge in illegal activities, such as poaching and trapping, is endangering many threatened species that are already subject to other pressures, such as climate change and habitat loss. World Migratory Bird Day. White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) Sergey Dereliev (UNEP/AEWA), migratory birds Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of AEWA, said: “Migrating birds are facing increasing pressures along their journeys and habitat losses and degradation are the most difficult to tackle. But the birds are also exposed to illegal killing, taking and trade. We can no longer say that these practices are traditional as the equipment to capture birds has become more efficient. The nylon mist nets are now almost invisible to birds. As a result more birds are taken from declining populations. We must stop the illegal killing now, if we don’t want our skies to fall silent.”Each year, up to 6.2 million exhausted birds, migrating between their breeding and wintering grounds, are caught in illegally set nets stretching for hundreds of kilometres along the North African coastline. The less lucky ones suffer an agonizing death on lime stick traps – twigs covered with extremely sticky glue. It is estimated that up to 2 million Blackcaps die in such traps each year.The Intergovernmental Task Force will add new momentum to international efforts to tackle the illegal killing, taking and trade in birds by agreeing on new guidelines, recommendations and action plans to address the causes of poaching.The Task Force will work towards changing the hunting practices in the region to make them compliant with national and international laws. It will also aim to enhance the enforcement of these laws through training of local police and judiciary, information exchange, promoting deterrence and prevention policies to end the large-scale killings of migratory birds taking place today.The Task Force, which will hold its first meeting in Cairo from 12 to 15 July 2016, is expected to be replicated in other major flyways across the world. The socio-economic study on Hunting and Illegal Killing of Birds along the Mediterranean Coast of Egypt, which will be released by BirdLife International on World Migratory Bird Day, will give important input to this meeting.Tackling illegal killing and trade in wildlife, including birds, and mobilizing global action around the issue will also be the focus of the 2016 World Environment Day, which takes place on 5 June and is hosted by Angola, under the slogan ‘Go Wild for Life.’ A global UN campaign to garner support for stopping the trade in many species and their products will also be launched. read more

Hillary Clinton and Donald TrumpWASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – The Democratic Party sued Russia, President Donald Trump’s campaign and WikiLeaks today, charging that they conspired to disrupt the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a court filing showed.The party alleges in the federal lawsuit in Manhattan that top Trump campaign officials conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and tilt the election to Trump by hacking Democratic Party computers.The lawsuit also names Donald Trump Jr., Trump associate Roger Stone and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as defendants.The lawsuit alleges that Trump’s campaign “gleefully welcomed Russia’s help” in the 2016 election.The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Trump has repeatedly denied his campaign colluded with Russia. Russia has denied meddling in the election.The Republican National Committee, the Trump campaign, Trump campaign manager Michael Glassner, WikiLeaks, Stone and attorneys for Donald Trump Jr., former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Manafort associate Rick Gates and former campaign aide George Papadopoulous also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.The lawsuit, should it go forward, seems likely to help keep the spotlight on the issue of Russian election interference and possible collusion by the Trump campaign. Both are being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.Through the process of legal discovery, lawyers for the Democratic Party could force the defendants to produce documents bearing on the collusion issue. (Excerpt from Reuters) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedRussia ‘intervened to promote Trump’ – US intelligenceDecember 10, 2016In “latest news”Trump campaign sues in Nevada over Las Vegas polling placeNovember 8, 2016In “latest news”Trump claims millions voted illegally in U.S. presidential pollNovember 28, 2016In “World” read more