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BirdLife receives Royal visit

Princess Hisako Takamado of Japan, BirdLife's Honorary President

BirdLife's new Global Office in Cambridge, UK, has been officially opened today by Her Imperial Highness Princess Hisako Takamado of Japan, BirdLife's Honorary President. The Princess also took time to meet the organisation's staff members.

The new office offers expanded facilities for BirdLife's fifty Cambridge-based staff, as well as for those visiting from overseas.

HIH Princess Takamado became BirdLife International's Honorary President in 2004. She has a lifelong interest in birds and birdwatching and has worked closely with BirdLife staff in Tokyo and Cambridge since 2001 to raise awareness and interest in the actions needed to save the one in eight bird species facing extinction around the world. Her Imperial Highness has also overseen the establishment of an Asia Bird Fund which focuses conservation fundraising efforts in that region - including her favourite bird, the globally threatened Okinawa Rail Gallirallus okinawae.

As well as her links with BirdLife, Princess Takamado has other connections with Cambridge. Her Imperial Highness was educated at Girton College, Cambridge, where she gained a M.A. Hons in Chinese Studies, Archaeology and Anthropology."We are delighted to have Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado, our Honorary President, and Professor Alison Richard, Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University, here to open BirdLife's new offices." Said Dr Mike Rands, Director, BirdLife

The opening ceremony included short speeches from Princess Takamado, as well as the Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University, Professor Alison Richard, a worldwide authority on primates.

BirdLife's Director and Chief Executive, Dr Mike Rands, added: "BirdLife has been based in Cambridge since 1980. The city has proved an excellent centre from which to support our worldwide network of national and local conservation organisations, which act together to save the world’s birds and other wildlife. Cambridge is a hub for environmental and research organisations relevant to our work and with whom we work closely. It provides a wonderfully international working and social environment for our staff, who themselves come from all over the world."

4th July 2014