Thousands Gear up for World Migratory Bird Day’s Second Peak Celebration on 12 October

Bonn, 10 October 2019 – The second peak day celebration of World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) 2019 is taking place on Saturday, 12 October, and an astonishing number of events have been registered around the globe.  

“We celebrate World Migratory Bird Day twice a year – in May and October - to follow the seasonal migrations of birds, which peak in those months.  Migratory birds touch people wherever they are, and we use this day to raise awareness for their conservation.”

Amy Fraenkel, Acting Executive Secretary, CMS

This year’s theme is “Protect Birds: be the Solution to Plastic Pollution”.  With an annual production of more than 300m tons, plastic is one of the most widely used materials in the world.  While a single-use plastic item might be disposed of after just a few minutes, it can linger in the environment for years. Lightweight and designed to last, the discarded pieces find their way into the habitats of migratory birds, causing injury and even death.  The Waterbirds and Plastics report, released last year by  the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), showed that of the 254 species covered by the Agreement, 40 per cent came into contact with plastics; 22 per cent ingested plastic; 31 per cent were entangled in plastic debris; and 8 per cent used plastic items in their nests.


To mark the campaign this year, the United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC) has published a special UN in Action video dedicated to World Migratory Bird Day.  It describes the important role of birds in their ecosystems, changes to their habitats and the often arduous journeys that they undertake as part of their annual migrations.  It also features AEWA Executive Secretary, Jacques Trouvilliez, who highlights the importance of international cooperation in efforts to conserve migratory birds around the world.

“Migratory birds connect not only ecosystems but also people and nations.  With better governance and greater sustainable use of natural resources, we will create favourable conditions for the conservation of migratory birds,”

Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary, AEWA

WMBD is a biannual awareness-raising event celebrated on two peak days in the year – the second Saturday of May and October.  Nearly 700 events have been registered so far this year in 70 countries with activities including bird watching, lectures and clean-up campaigns. A selection of these events has been nicely captured in a film produced by the Joint CMS and AEWA Communications team. All of the events held help to highlight the natural phenomenon of bird migration and the need to act to ensure birds’ survival.

Started in 2006 in response to the unwarranted negative publicity surrounding migratory birds as a result of the Avian Influenza outbreak – the secretariats of the Convention on Migratory Species and the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement launched WMBD.  In 2017 the non-governmental organization, Environment for the Americas, became a partner of the campaign, greatly extending its reach in the western hemisphere.

For more information about WMBD, visit the dedicated World Migratory Bird Day website, where you can also see some of the global highlights of this year’s campaign so far.

Last updated on 10 December 2019

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