UN COP15 designates Eilat Birdwatching Center project as of global importance

The 15th United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity designated a project of the Eilat International Bird Research and Observation Center as one of the most important conservation initiatives in the world.

Out of 258 different initiatives, the “Bird Observatory – A Community Based Biodiversity Conservation of the Migratory Bird Flyway in Eilat” was selected by the conference as one of the 19 most “featured” conservation projects.

The center focuses on protecting birds from dangers such as antennas, power lines and wind turbines and marking certain sites as safe for migration and feeding.

The location of the research center, Eilat, serves as an important geographic area for migratory birds, as it connects Eurasia and Africa, as well as the Sahara desert.

The organization noted that since many natural habitats have been destroyed due to human activities, many birds have settled in fields, orchards, gardens, and wastewater treatment infrastructure. The initiative noted that it requires public support to better protect the birds. One way the organization reaches out to the public is by convincing farmers to turn to birds as a natural means of pest control.

Eilat. (credit: RONY BALAHSAN)

“To improve these man-made stopover sites for birds, we need public support and participation and creative collaborations,” said research center director Noam Weiss. “To convince a farmer that birds can control pests as well or even better than pesticides and therefore birds need to feel safe and invited to the farms, or to collaborate with the local water company” In Netafim “to make the treated water reservoir a better and safer place for the birds, we need deep roots in our communities, research that involves farmers and tons of goodwill.”

Eilat Mayor Eli Lankry praised the center, saying: “Eilat is exceptionally proud to be such an important stopover site on the flyway of so many birds. It is time to thank and acknowledge the staff of the Bird Sanctuary, who are busy day and night to develop and improve the sanctuary for birds and people. “

The International Bird Watching and Research Center is a partnership between the Eilat Municipality, the Eilot Regional Council, the Parks and Nature Authority, the Society for Nature Protection, KKL and the Ministry of Tourism.


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