International meeting on wild bird conservation being hosted in Malta
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A joint meeting of the influential UNEP CMS Convention Mediterranean Task Force and the Bern Convention Network, is bing hosted in Malta today and tomorrow.
More than 80 delegates representing 28 countries are attending the meeting, including 17 EU member states, representatives of the European Commission, Convention Secretariats, as well as by the representatives of over 30 observer organisations including NGOs, international environmental institutions, and scientific organisations.
Local NGOs Birdlife (Malta), FKNK, and St Hubert Hunters are also participating in the meeting.
Parliamentary Secretary Clint Camilleri, got the meeting underway by welcoming the participants and also gave a recount of the major reforms undertaken by Malta over the past four years to “strengthen the protection afforded to wild birds, and to combat wildlife crime.”
The Parliamentary Secretary, also noting that challenges still lie ahead, both in Malta and internationally, to combat the phenomenon of wildlife crime, said that “we must win not only through legal deterrents and strong enforcement, but also through changes in mindset and culture that made this phenomenon possible in the first place.”
The participants, with regards to Malta’s initiative, are expected to reach an agreement on an “international scoreboard” that will be used over the coming years to assess countries’ progress on the eradication of illegal killing, taking, and trade in wild birds.
The Parliamentary Secretary explained that his tool will subsequently be recommended for formal adoption to the CMS Convention Conference of the Parties that will take place in October this year, and to Standing Committee of the Bern Convention in December.
Photograph: Chiffchaff – WBRU