Celebration of the World Migratory Bird Day in Guinea Bissau (12-13 May 2017)

The celebration of the World Migratory Bird Day took on a special dimension in Guinea-Bissau, owing to the significance of the country’s coastline for waterbirds. Indeed, every year, it is about a million of small waders from the Arctic, migrating from Canada to Siberia, that fly into the mangroves and mudflats of this small country, where protected areas account for 26% of the territory.

 

The activities of this celebration were organised by the Organisation for Wetlands Defence and Development.

  • ODZH, Institute for Biodiversity and Protected Areas;
  • IBAP and the Coastal Planning Board;
  • GCP, with the support of their partners (BirdLife, Wetlands International, IUCN and Monte).

These activities came within the framework of a conference chaired by the Member of Parliament, Mario Sami, Chair of the National Assembly’s Special Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries, Natural Resources, Tourism and Environment, during which several presentations were made on migratory birds. On the following day, i.e. 13th May, a field visit was organised to the small island of Bandim.

The small island of Bandim is located in the immediate vicinity of Bissau and serves as a dormitory for 8,000 to 10,000 waterbirds, mainly waders, cormorants and pelicans. Participants, especially young school and university students, were able to witness the spectacular arrival of those birds at sunset. Henceforth sensitised to the importance of healthy ecosystems in their countries, both for citizens and migratory birds, they embraced the slogan of the 2017 celebration, i.e. “The future of migratory birds is our own future!”, and expressed the willingness to commit themselves as a group to the protection of the environment.