Bird campaign for Fiji: Reddy
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’.