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.
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.
In the last couple of decades, the development of practices and use of tools for managing the interaction of oil and gas developments with the surrounding natural environment have been steadily improving; these are now being incorporated into decision-making processes throughout the oil and gas project lifecycle.
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.
Growing energy demands, together with the urgent need to transition to renewable energy, have led to plans to put up more than five million kilometres of new power lines across Africa over the next five years. Egypt plans to generate 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Although well-intentioned, these plans need to be implemented in ways that mitigate risks to migratory soaring birds, which are threatened by collisions with wind turbines and electrocution on power lines.
As the guidance on biodiversity offset implementation continues to evolve, there is the potential for offsets to benefit existing protected area networks through improving connectivity between sites and across landscapes, promoting biodiversity and ecosystem service representation, contributing to national biodiversity targets and supporting sustainable development objectives.
The East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership brings together 33 national government agencies, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations to conserve migratory waterbirds and their habitats for biodiversity and people throughout the 22 countries of the Flyway. A major objective of EAAFP is to identify a critical network of sites (the Flyway Site Network) that, if conserved and effectively managed, can support the continued migration of all waterbird species and groups into the future.
The Makuleke Contractual Park is 26,500 hectares in size and lies at the northern extremity of the Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa. It is bounded by the Limpopo River in the north, Luvuvhu River in the south and Mutale River in the west. The Limpopo River is also the boundary between South Africa and Zimbabwe, while the meeting point of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers is where South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique meet. The Makuleke Contractual Park is a unique and special place.
Coastal communities in southwest Madagascar depend on marine resources for income and food. Community-based aquaculture is showing promise as a way to diversify livelihoods for this region. A partnership developed in 2009 between conservation NGOs and a private sector seafood export company led to the creation of a mariculture project focusing on sea cucumbers (sandfish: Holothuria scabra) and red seaweed (cottonii: Kappaphycus alvarezii).