Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are killed accidentally every year in commercial marine fisheries. This includes globally threatened species, such as an estimated 100,000 albatrosses. This bycatch of non-target species is a common side-effect of the fishing industry. The Albatross Task Force (ATF) is the world’s first international team of seabird bycatch mitigation instructors. Since 2006, it has successfully reduced the incidental bycatch of albatrosses, petrels and other seabirds in targeted fisheries, by introducing simple and practical fishing techniques and mitigation measures.
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Catastrophic declines in the Indian populations of three vulture species led to the discovery that they were being poisoned by the veterinary drug diclofenac, which they ingested when feeding on cattle carcasses. Despite a ban by the Indian Government in 2006, illegal use continued to kill vultures.
In Europe, as in the rest of the world, human activities are causing rapid biodiversity loss. Over the last two decades, the EU has been trying to tackle this in various ways, including through the Natura 2000 Network of protected areas. This includes over 27 000 protected areas, covering over million km2, making it the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. The Natura 2000 Network creates a framework for mainstreaming conservation into a range of sectors. The European Commission led the development of the Natura 2000 Network.
European countries are planning massive investments in renewable energy, which will mean that many more transmission lines will be needed to transport the energy produced. This is essential for reducing carbon emissions, but without careful planning, transmission lines can create a range of risks for biodiversity. The Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) was launched in 2009 as a neutral platform, enabling Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and NGOs from across Europe to come together as equal partners.
It is clear that the balance between private sector interest, societal interest and conservation interest within Protected Areas is different from that outside of these Protected Areas. Within the Protected Area’s the conservation interest should have extra weight. In order to arrive at a strengthened Protected Area system (state, private or community managed) the following actions are urgently needed:
We’re on a mission to create 20% more green space in Australia’s urban areas by 2020.
In Bhutan, synergy and coherence among existing biodiversity policies and acts was identified as a serious gap in the implementation of previous NBSAPs. Therefore, the National Task Force was established to develop the new NBSAP, to oversee liaison with National Focal Points of the other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), including the biodiversity-related conventions. In particular, a mapping exercise was undertaken to show the relevance of national targets across the MEAs.
Conservation of protected areas more than often invite conflicts particularly when resources for protected areas are also sources for livelihood. It becomes difficult for park officials to communicate conservation with local communities.
While borne out of a highly participatory process involving national and local governments, civil society, academe, and the private sector, the implementation of PBSAP and especially the allocation of funds, depend on a clear policy formulation, sustained awareness raising, and integration in related planning process.
At the end of the European summer, two million soaring birds head south towards Africa. Their route, along the Red Sea/Rift Valley flyway, is the second most important flyway for soaring birds in the world. However, just as these areas are essential to the birds’ survival, so too are they vital for human populations, and host a growing concentration of development and energy infrastructure. If power lines and wind turbines are poorly sited along the flyway, the cumulative impacts can add up to threaten entire bird populations.