Protect Birds : Be The Solution To Plastic Pollution May 11, 2019

The World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is celebrated around the world every year during the second week of May. The citizens around the globe actively participate and celebrate this day by way of organizing bird festivals, education programs, exhibitions and bird watching excursions to attract the world's attention towards the need to protect the migratory birds and their habitats. Though, the event is not considered a public holiday but it is significantly backed by the United Nations thus having a global outreach and making it an effective tool to help raise global awareness of the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance and the need for international cooperation in order to conserve them.

This year the WMBD is scheduled to be held on 9 May 2020 and the theme for this year's world migratory bird day is "PROTECT BIRDS : BE THE SOLUTION TO PLASTIC POLLUTION".

Plastic pollution has become a common day menace in the world today with an average production of 300 million tonnes of plastic annually, even though the use of plastic has been banned throughout the world it still continues to be in the ecological cycle one way or the other, the problem with high rate of plastic consumption is its life cycle, the plastic has a lifeline of about 20-500 years which entails that a plastic bottle used and littered today might take another 500 years to decompose during which time it might come into contact with a no of naive birds and animals who oblivious to its true nature might consume it mistaking it for food, the effect of this consumption is not merely harmful but life threatening, birds with stomachs full of plastic entangled and smothered by plastic rings and nets are all too real consequences of the toll that plastic takes on wildlife.

To add to this is the steep increase in tourism which on one hand has contributed significantly to the national exchequer of the countries but has also caused irreversible damages to world heritage sites due to fathomless littering of plastics by the tourists, the migratory birds fail to avoid or fly away from this menace of plastic pollution, and the cases of ingestion and entanglement leading to suffering and immorality among the migratory birds have come to become a common day phenomenon.  

To raise awareness about health of migratory birds and to curb plastic pollution several measures have been taken recently, such as iSimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa) where regular cleanup and awareness drives are arranged to manage trash cleanup, removal of alien vegetation and a systematic check on bird health care.

The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), launched at UNESCO in Paris on Monday 6 May also addressed this alarming issue and suggested for a transformative change to our consumption and production patterns in order to safeguard the planet’s life support system.

On the same lines the CMS RESOLUTION 12.20 on the management of marine debris adopted at CMS COP 12 in Manila in October 2017 has suggested at securing a significant reduction in marine pollution and a more sustainable management marine ecosystems for the well being of the marine wildlife.

In light of the awareness towards increasing need for global sustainability development and protection of marine and migratory birds the youth around the world has come together and this year for world migratory bird day over 750 events such as bird watching hikes, festivals, movie screenings, talks and presentations will be organized in close to 80 countries across the globe to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day, including the first events registered from Bermuda, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada and Togo. 

But to make our wildlife truly prosper we as citizens need to take an appropriate action, clean up drives might work at local level but it is primarily just a start towards the long road of wildlife conservation we need to successfully apply the 3 R's of sustainable ecological conservation - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle of plastic in our day to day lives to end this loop of plastic pollution, only then will we be in a situation to truly cherish and preserve the other life on this planet Earth fondly called the Flora and Fauna. 


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