Launched in 2006, World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is an annually celebrated awareness-raising campaign aiming to inspire the worldwide conservation of both migratory birds and their environments. The global campaign is organized by two international wildlife treaties administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). On the 10 May, people around the world take action and organise public events such as bird festival, education programmes and birdwatching excursions to celebrate WMBD.
On the occasion of its 10th anniversary in 2005, the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (UNEP/AEWA) – a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) administered environmental treaty – initiated the Migratory Waterbird Days (MWD) which were held in Africa, Europe and parts of Asia. As this event was well received in the African-Eurasian region, the idea arose to broaden the scope into a commemorative day which celebrates the phenomenon of migration and all migrating birds, including waterbirds on a global scale.
Hence, the very first World Migratory Bird Day was launched by AEWA and CMS on the weekend of 8-9 April 2006 on Ms. Kuki Gallmann’s famous wildlife reserve ‘Ole Ari Nyiro’ in Laikipia, Kenya. The central launching event called WINGS was inspired by the phenomenon of bird migration and was attended by a number of international personalities from the worlds of art, business and conservation.