Editorial


Dear Readers,

Winter is about to be over and we can all begin enjoying lighter days. Mother Earth prepared in the darkness of her womb the seed that is now starting to sprout. In a few weeks we will already appreciate a lighter green landscape, invoking feelings of hope and renaissance. Will this announce a green light for the environment as well?

The BirdLife Europe and Central Asia “green team” believes it will and is working hard to prepare for the coming environmental battles. 2014 will be a challenging year. At the Policy level we will engage with our Partners in the EU elections to ensure that the next European Parliament and Commission will have the environment and biodiversity higher on their agenda. In the second half of the year BirdLife Europe will chair the Green 10, a coalition composed of ten of the largest environmental organisations and networks active at the European level and representing more than 20 million people in the EU.

The reform of the Common Agriculture Policy ended in 2013, and unfortunately the outcome was incompatible with our environmental aspirations and goals. In the coming year we will engage in a deep reflection of our future agriculture (and forest) work, together with our Partners and allies, and develop a new ambitious vision.

Among the priorities for this year we also have the re-launch of the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) Programme in Europe and Central Asia. The IBA Programme is the backbone and unique added value of the BirdLife Partnership, central to our Conservation work, and facilitates actions on the ground to inform policy decisions at national, EU and international levels.

We will also devote resources to the consolidation of the BirdLife European and Central Asian network in key biodiversity-rich regions, such as the Caucasus and the Balkans, while continuing to help all the BirdLife Partners in our region to achieve our joint strategic objectives in their own countries.

You may have also heard that our CEO, Marco Lambertini, will be leaving BirdLife International in May to take up the post of Director General of the WWF. We are all saddened by the loss of Marco, who has been an outstanding leader of BirdLife and passionate conservationist, but I am sure that in his new role there will be opportunities to further strengthen the collaboration between the two organisations, particularly at the EU level.

As you can imagine, this will again be a very busy year but we are ready for it. In the darkness of the winter we have planted the seeds of a renewed hope and we invite you all, dear readers, to hope and work together with us to continue protecting our birds and biodiversity.

Sincerely,
Angelo Caserta, Regional Director at BirdLife Europe


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BirdLife Europe e-news
Volume VIII, Issue 1, January-February 2014

Featured in this Issue

EU torch is passed on to the Greeks
by Jan Skriver
As Greece takes over the Presidency of the EU, we are amidst critical debates for the future of Europe's environment and climate policy. The Greek government will notably have the last chance to conclude vital political agreements before the current European Commission and Parliament reach the end of the term. Read BirdLife Europe's recommendations to the Greek EU Presidency.
News From the EU

ILUC decision postponed, biofuel battle continues
On 12 December 2013 energy ministers vetoed the legislative proposal to tackle the problem of Indirect Land Use Change and limit the use of food for biofuels. This postpone the decision making process of this crucial dossier and therefore the implementation of measures that will allow mitigate the damages to the environment.
 

New 2030 climate and energy goals fail in thwarting climate change In January, the European Commission presented its proposal for the future of the EU climate and energy policies. It contains a target cut in greenhouse gas emissions of only 40%, and an EU target for renewable energy of less than 30% - both far too low to prevent climate change.
 


Legislation to address Invasive Alien Species turning into an empty shell The members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee want to allow derogations to the EU regulation. If it goes through the legislative decision making process, the derogation measure could render the regulation useless.

News from the Partnership
 
Action for flyways - international counts and conferences working for conservation Early in January and February events have been taking place to protect the Wadden Sea and migration routes along the East Atlantic.
 

Champions of the Flyway Bird Race BirdLife’s Israeli Partner SPNI has teamed up with BirdLife International to create a bird race for international bird conservation. Teams of birders from all over the world will race to log as many species as possible in a 24 hour period at the peak of the spring migration in Eilat, Israel.
Natura 2000 project contest

Commission celebrates nature conservation and launches the European Natura 2000 Award
The European Natura 2000 Award showcases the success of the Natura 2000 networks and highlights the importance of protecting biodiversity across Europe. For more information on eligibility and deadlines visit the award website.

Other News

by BirdLife Cyprus
Wood pellet industry cheats on sustainability  Bioenergy use is soaring in Europe due to the launch of the EU target requiring 20% of the energy used in Europe to come from renewable sources. BirdLife Europe and other American NGO's organized meetings with decision makers in November 2013 to present the damaging effects of lack of forestry regulation in the Southeastern US.
 
BirdLife experts interviewed on public support for renewable energy Dr. Scrase and Mr. Jreissati highlighted BirdLife International’s favorable position towards properly planned renewable energy development, that fully takes into consideration biodiversity and more specifically birds’ conservation.

Corporates

The LBV (Bavarian partner of NABU), working in partnership with HeidelbergCement, has spent the past year monitoring and mapping birds and other target species in HeidelbergCement quarry sites. In January they revealed the first results of their work in Lengfurt.
 
Electricity grid plans take a step forward for nature Grid development, energy efficiency and renewables are known as the ‘no regrets’ options in European debates on climate and energy futures. Whichever paths we go down, these three options make sense for society and for the protection of wildlife.
 

Quarry doors opened for the 2014 Quarry Life Award
HeidelbergCement and it's global affiliates are opening their quarry doors from March to September to selected project proposals for the Quarry Life Award. Through The Quarry Life Award and the participating projects they aim to raise the knowledge about the biological value of mining sites and thereby contribute to further enhancing it. BirdLife's own, Richard Grimmett will sit on the international jury as a conservation expert to help decide on the winning project.
Job Opportunities

BirdLife International Research Officer

• Location: Cambridge, UK
• Full time: 35 hours per week
• Duration: One-year fixed-term contract

BirdLife International is looking for someone to implement the research component of a project aiming to: (a) assess the scope and scale of illegal killing and hunting of birds in the Mediterranean; and (b) develop best-practice protocols for systematic monitoring of illegal killing and hunting of birds.

Closing date: 25 February 2014
Salary:  £21,000 - £24,000 per annum dependent on experience.  Competitive pension benefits.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Interviews will be held on 6 March 2014.

BirdLife International Admin/Event Intern
• Location: Brussels, Belgium
• 6 month paid internship

The intern will assist the administration and event departments in the BirdLife Europe secretariat office. If interested please contact Jessica Redaelli for application information.

Fundraising Opportunities

January-April: Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas (MCFA) - Funding for Conservation and Environment (Canada, USA, Latin America)
February/April: Horizon 2020 Grant
12 February: Japan Fund for Global Environment - Conservation grants
15 February: Fondation Nature & Decouvertes - Grants for Nature Protection in France and Africa
28 February: Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund
28 February: King Baudouin Foundation - African Development Prize 2014
End of February: African Bird Club Conservation Funds
1 March: Visegrad Fund - Small grants
3 March: Non-State Actors in Development (NSA), Russia
7 March: Australia and Pacific Science Foundation - Research Grants
15 March: Visegrad Fund - Standard grants
17 March: Erasmus+: Education, Training, Youth, Sport
17 March: Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation
21 March: Forestry Actions in Lebanon
25 March: CBC Programme: Montenegro-Kosovo-Environment Protection
31 March: Gadfly Project - Geo-Based Web Applications
31 March: Oriental Bird Club - Grants for Bird Conservation in Asia
31 March: Pacific Development and Conservation Trust - Community Projects


For more information please contact Liz Auton,Grant Writing and Donor Management Maternity Leave Replacement at BirdLife Europe.


Events

January - June, EU: Greek presidency of the EU. Learn more about BirdLife Europe's recommendations for a successful presidency on our website.

27 January, Biebrza Valley, Poland: The LIFE + Project Greater Spotted Eagle - a bird like no other held a final international conference to conclude the project as well as determine further actions in the conservation of Greater Spotted Eagles. The conference focused on establishing international cooperation in order to secure safe routes and create cross-border alliance for migratory birds of prey.

5 February Tønder: 12th Trilateral Governmental Conference on the Protection of the Wadden Sea. 

21 May, Europe: Natura 200 Day. An initiative of the LIFE+ project, ‘Conéctate a la Red Natura - Natura 2000: connecting people with biodiversity.’ Project beneficiary SEO/BirdLife invites all Europeans to take a picture of their hands in the shape of a butterfly and upload it online to show their support of the Natura 2000 Network. 

24 & 25 May: European Parliamentary Elections

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Responsible editor: Angelo Caserta
This publication receives its support by the European Commission and the RSPB