MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region
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Birdlife Publication
State of the world’s birds 2004
indicators for our changing world
Friday 19 March 2004, by Web Team

There is a growing realisation that genuinely sustainable development depends on conserving the Earth’s biodiversity. Biodiversity underpins our lives, providing many vital goods and services to people. There are also strong ethical and aesthetic arguments why we should care for it well. Given the fundamental importance of biodiversity, we know surprisingly little about it. We are sure that it is disappearing fast, yet at present we cannot even measure progress (or otherwise) towards the 2010 target set by world leaders for slowing this loss. This BirdLife assessment examines what the best-known group of living things, birds, can tell us about the state of biodiversity (see box 1), the pressures upon it (box 2) and the solutions that are being, or should be, put in place (box 3). It is a synthesis of our knowledge in 2004 and provides a benchmark against which we can assess our efforts to conserve biodiversity in future. Why birds? They have a special place as environmental indicators for many reasons, not least because of their enormous public appeal. A global network of birdwatchers and ornithologists continues to provide a huge amount of information about birds-information largely lacking for other species.

Birds are sending us some important messages that should not be ignored. They show that our global environment is under serious strain, with a massive and still increasing haemorrhage of biodiversity. They show that these losses are caused directly or indirectly by our expanding demands on the biosphere, driven by deeper problems that include widespread social inequities and distorted value systems. They show that there are solutions to both the immediate threats and their deeper causes. They show also that there is no time to waste: our options for conserving biodiversity are narrowing fast.

The BirdLife Partnership is working to tackle these issues in more than 100 countries around the world. The companion publications to this document, Working together for birds and people and A strategy for birds and people, respectively set out the current actions of the BirdLife Partnership, and BirdLife’s strategy until 2015. Birds help to create positive change, through a public that understands and values biodiversity conservation. They thus play a vital part in bringing about the social and political solutions that we need for a more sustainable world.

Access to the Publication : State of the world’s birds 2004

Source : BirdLife Website

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