Over a month after launching a national action plan for conservation of migratory birds, India, which is all set to hold the 13th UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS)(COP 13) next year in Gujarat, on Friday announced Great Indian Bustard (GIB) as the mascot for the mega event.
Representatives from 129 countries and eminent conservationists and international NGOs working in the field of wildlife conservation are expected to attend the convention.
The mascot for the event was launched by Union Minister Harsh Vardhan, who also revealed that the bird has been fondly named by his Ministry as ‘Gibi’.
Speaking at the launch, the minister said that the issue of migratory birds is very important and must be taken care of.
“We have been taught since childhood to be compassionate towards birds and animals. Migratory birds are important and must be taken care of. I hope with time the efforts in wildlife conservation reach new heights,” he said. The minister also launched the logo for the convention.
The CMS COP-13, which has over 120 countries as participants, is a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats and brings together the states through which migratory species pass.
So far 12 COPs (conference of parties) have been convened. The COP-13 will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from February 15-22, 2020. The government also launched a website for the COP-13.
The ‘National Action Plan for conservation of migratory birds along the Central Asian Flyway’, which has been prepared for next five years emphasizes on coordinated efforts of all relevant stakeholders in conservation of migratory birds. The 20 species of migratory birds which have been prioritised under the Action Plan include the Eurasian Curlew, Crab Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit and the Red Knot, among others. India provides a critical stopover as well as a wintering habitat to more than 370 species of migratory birds.