Co-ordination needed to stamp out illegal trade in birds of prey, says Al Mansouri

ABU DHABI, The fight to eradicate the illegal capture of and trading in birds of prey “requires co-ordination at all levels national, regional and international”, Majid Al Mansouri, the President of the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey, IAF, said here today.

Al Mansouri, who is also secretary general of the Emirates Falconers Club, EFC, was speaking at the opening of a one-day workshop on the illegal trade in birds of prey, organised by the IAF, the EFC and the International Fund for Houbara Conservation as part of this week’s Abu Dhabi International Hunting Exhibition, ADIHEX.

The IAF, an international non-governmental organisation accredited by UNESCO, has nearly seventy member organisations in 48 countries worldwide.

Within the UAE, Al Mansouri said, the EFC has taken steps “to encourage the breeding of falcons in captivity in accordance with international scientific regulations.

At the level of the IAF, he added, there is a strategy “to fight the illegal trade through serious short-term, medium- term and long-term initiatives aimed at improving the means of controlling international trade, while developing the capacity to rehabilitate and release birds of prey, supporting countries’ efforts to strengthen awareness in local communities.”

“The organisation of falconry and the prohibition of trafficking in birds of prey requires coordination at all levels – national, regional and international,” he added.

“The EFC and the IAF,” he said, “will encourage falconers to participate in more initiatives, projects and contribute to various proposals for the enactment of laws and regulations with one common goal: to help conserve nature and wildlife.

Acknowledging the progress made by the United Arab Emirates, the Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, said in opening remarks to the workshop that the UAE had become “a hub for protecting birds of prey and falcons.”

Papers presented at the workshop examined the results of studies into illegal killing and trapping in the Middle East region as well as in Hungary, Russia, the Central Asian states and Mongolia.

Source: Emirates News Agency