Bird cam­paign for Fiji: Reddy

Fiji Sun - - NATION - SHREEYA VERMA

A bird count cam­paign is ex­pected to be launched in Oc­to­ber to to step up Gov­ern­ment and its part­ners ef­forts on the im­por­tance of wet­lands and birds in our bio­di­ver­sity. In com­mem­o­rat­ing the World Mi­gra­tory Bird Day on May 9, Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment and Wa­ter­ways Ma­hen­dra Reddy an­nounced plans to launch the cam­paign.

In col­lab­o­ra­tion key NGOs in par­tic­u­lar Birdlife In­ter­na­tional and Na­ture Fi­jiMare­qeti Viti, would launch a Na­tional Mi­gra­tory Bird Count Cam­paign in Oc­to­ber to step up pub­lic and com­mu­nity aware­ness on the im­por­tance of wet­lands, he said.

“We will also work to­wards nom­i­nat­ing two or more wet­land sites as an obli­ga­tion un­der the Ram­sar Con­ven­tion on Wet­lands of In­ter­na­tional Im­por­tance,” Mr Reddy said. He said birds have an im­por­tant role in en­hanc­ing agri­cul­tural growth and pro­duc­tion. “They are a nat­u­ral means of pest con­trol. Var­i­ous stud­ies note that close to 400 mil­lion tons of in­sects are con­sumed by birds in a year,” Mr Reddy said.

He also said birds have for long con­trib­uted to the spread­ing of seeds over the for­est lands thus en­hanced the food se­cu­rity of house­holds who de­rive food from these for­est lands.

“In Fiji, sev­eral food plant species are avail­able in the wild such as chilies, paw­paw, bit­ter gourd, curry leaves, pas­sion fruit, and berries, the ex­is­tence of which is at­trib­uted to birds,” he said.

More than 100 coun­tries around the world, Gov­ern­ments and their NGO part­ners cel­e­brate the event each year. The theme for the day’s event was ‘Birds con­nect our World’.

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