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
On 26 October 2017 in the margins of the CMS COP12 in Manila, Environment for the Americas (EFTA), the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), announced an innovative partnership to increase awareness of the plight of migratory birds around the world. The new partnership formally unites two of the world’s largest bird education campaigns, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) and World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) in a bid to strengthen global recognition and appreciation of migratory birds and highlight the urgent need for their conservation. Starting in 2018, the new joint campaign adopts the single name of “World Migratory Bird Day” and major events to celebrate the day will be organized twice a year, on the second Saturday in May and in October.
World Migratory Bird Day Partner Organisations
The following are the main World Migratory Bird Day Official Partners. These are just a few of the many amazing networks comprised of governments, conservation organisations and dedicated people that work together in support of international migratory bird conservation. World Migratory Bird Day is a joint campaign of these main partners aiming to inspire, promote and help support migratory bird conservation efforts worldwide.
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)
- African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA)
- Environment for the Americas based in Boulder, Colorado (EFTA)