BirdLife Botswana will mark the 2016 World Migratory Bird Day on May 14 from 0845hrs to 1300hrs in Sowa Town. World Migratory Bird Day is a global awareness-raising campaign day, highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats.
Initiation of this day was influenced by migratory birds receiving negative media coverage as a result of the false belief that they were the main cause for the spread of bird flu. It is celebrated at the end of summer (April to May) every year when birds start to migrate to Europe as well as Central and North Africa.
Historically, people have hunted wildlife for a variety of reasons – food and sport. In the past, such activities were conducted at such a scale that was sustainable. In many cases, however, this is no longer true. This year’s theme is on the illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory birds and in Botswana, we will relate this theme to our United Nations Development Programme/Global Environment Facility (UNDP/GEF) – funded project, so-called Sustainable Land Management – Makgadikgadi (SLM Makgadikgadi), as this project is tackling many of the issues raised by the theme. There is a wide range of reasons for the illegal killing, taking and trade of birds – subsistence uses, recreational activities, organised crime, traditional practices and so on.
They vary from one country to another, from one region of the world to another, according to what has been defined as legal or illegal – if at all. On the day, school children will be spreading the conservation message by showcasing Botswana’s diverse culture through songs, dances and drama.
The main objectives of the celebration are to:
Raise awareness and celebrate migratory birds in Botswana students who stay in rural areas to promote the link to birds, which should enhance the conservation of biodiversity at the grassroots level Provide school children in the rural areas opportunities to share knowledge and experience with other school children through the celebration
Build up a sense of fellowship among school children in the rural areas with other school children b participating in the celebration together. We expect about 500 children fromt eh following villages and schools to participate: Nata, Sowa, Dukwi, Mosetse, Sepako, Manxotae, Maposa, Gweta, Zoroga and Tsokaatshaa. Each school will be requested to bring 13 students and two teachers.This year the Sowa Town requested us to hose the event in their town. Previously the event has been held in Bokaa, Mogobane, Otse – all these at the village kgotlas. Government departments and non-governmental organisations mandated to manage Botswana’s environment are invited to the Day each year.