(Oct. 29, 2008) Twenty-eight nations have signed a United Nations-backed memorandum of understanding to protect migratory birds of prey in Africa, Europe, and Asia. The agreement, signed in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, will come into force on November 1, 2008. The pact covers 130 countries and over 70 species of the birds, including falcons, ospreys, eagles, and owls; more than half of these types of birds are considered to be in poor conservation status, have suffered due to loss of habitat, collisions with power lines, hunting, and trapping for falconry.
The parties have agreed to work to restore the species to positive conservation status and to protect migratory bird species from illegal killing, including poisoning, shooting, and unsustainable exploitation. In addition, there will be collective research projects on species ecology and migration patterns and routes.
The agreement was reached under the leadership of the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates and is based on the U.N. Environment Program's (UNEP) Convention on Migratory Species. UNEP will establish a special coordinating unit to promote and monitor the new agreement; the unit will have a staff of six and be established in Abu Dhabi. (Migratory Birds of Prey to Be Protected by UN-Backed Agreement, UN NEWS CENTRE, Oct. 23, 2008, available at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=28694&Cr=unep&Cr1.)