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Sheep & Wolf to join forces?

BirdLife and hunters pledge to work together

BirdLife International and FACE (the Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the EU) have signed a historic agreement recognising that the conservation of bird species and their habitats is a common objective. Both organisations agree that the Birds Directive is the appropriate instrument for bird conservation in the European Union, and undertake not to attempt to change it. Both recognise the importance of the Natura 2000 network, which includes all the Special Protection Areas for birds required under the Birds Directive. They also agree to cooperate in promoting strategic conservation priorities, such as halting biodiversity decline by 2010, protecting sites, and reforming the Common Agricultural Policy.The Agreement, signed on 12 October by Mike Rands, Director and Chief Executive of BirdLife International and Gilbert de Turckheim, President of FACE, was welcomed and countersigned by Mrs Margot Wallstr?m, Commissioner for the Environment. Progress towards this agreement began in 2001, when the European Commission launched the Sustainable Hunting Initiative (SHI) to create a constructive dialogue between conservationists and hunters, represented by BirdLife International and FACE.

The SHI was started at a time when the two organisations could be considered arch-enemies, and constant confrontations on hunting issues seemed to be leading nowhere, said Dr Clairie Papazoglou, BirdLife`s Head of EU Policy. This Agreement proves that reasonable hunters and reasonable conservationists can work together for the benefit of birds and people. It represents an important step forward in the relations of the two organisations, which on the basis of this text can chart a list of common actions, to be carried out in the years to come. It can also be the basis on which BirdLife`s Partners can promote similar initiatives at the national level.

4th July 2014