BirdLife Europe e-news, Vol XII, Issue 8, September 2015
In this issue
Life and violence

Ariel could watch his beloved swifts for hours. Irene is happy to sleep in a car, in freezing Iceland, to see the Aurora Borealis and arctic foxes trotting around at dawn. Isabel probably thinks that nothing compares to her walks in the forest with Dima, her dog. Boris, during a birdwatching trip, explained to me for a good 10 minutes the wonders of tiny life-forms blossoming from… well, dung. And the list continues.

On planet BirdLife, nothing is too small or ugly (or smelly) to be admired, observed and celebrated. 
Everyone feels horror when confronted with the atrocity of the deliberate destruction of human life. At BirdLife, tragedies like the ones that within a month happened in the Sinai, Beirut, Paris and Yola produce astonishment, silence, sorrow and give us more reasons to keep dedicating our energy to protect nature and people everywhere. The act of destroying lives is too much to handle.
This edition of our newsletter was supposed to deal with 'Paris' in a totally different fashion. Our science people in the UK and the US have spent months assembling reports that offer, yet again, evidence of how destructive climate change will be for life, starting from birds, who are powerful indicators of the quality of ecosystems, and ending with our own species (especially the most vulnerable among us). Hence, the loud call for urgent action at the UN Conference of Parties that will be held in December. 
Both reports, the one compiled by our UK Partner, the RSPB, and the one produced by BirdLife and Audubon, featured in this issue of Birdseye, are heavy on “solutions”. Not so much the ones you usually hear about: solar panels, wind turbines, sci-fi technologies. These are very important, but are not the whole story. You will rather find extensive coverage of “nature-based” solutions.  
Healthy ecosystems remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in biomass, but if they are degraded or destroyed this carbon is released into the atmosphere. We believe, we know, that the protection and restoration of natural ecosystems provides an immediate and cost-effective strategy that helps reduce climate change and delivers benefits for people and nature. Healthy ecosystems can also better withstand the impact of climate change and protect people from the floods, droughts, storms and pests that climate change will unleash on us.

A biodiversity-rich world is the best insurance policy against climate disruption.
Back to Paris.

Recently, the Pew Research Institute has released the results of the largest survey ever on the perception of climate change: over 45,000 were interviewed across 40 countries. The results were startling: over 70% of the respondents believe climate change is a serious threat. For those who have spent years (decades) trying to convey “the message” it is somewhat reassuring. When it comes to the solutions though… we clearly still have some work to do.

Hopefully our two reports will succeed in conveying at least this one message: nature is the solution, not the problem.
When under attack, a community shows its true nature. As Patricia and David write in their foreword to our report, the COP gathering “is a unique opportunity to emphasize our message: we cherish, nurture and protect life. Because this is our nature.”

Let’s hope world leaders feel the same.
Special features

'We cherish, nurture and protect life... because this is our nature' 
Patricia Zurita (CEO of BirdLife International) and David Yarnold (president and CEO of the National Audubon Society/BirdLife in the US) present 'The Messengers', BirdLife International's climate change report.
By Patricia Zurita and David Yarnold
A review of the threats and solutions for nature and people through a report by Birdlife International and Audubon. 
By Sanya Khetani-Shah
Research shows how birds in the UK are struggling (and often failing) to adapt to climate change.
Policy news

Climate change's double whammy: We should be more worried about oceans

Tsunamis and rising sea levels are only the tip of the iceberg. Read more about the other marine threats we should be concerned about, and whether it's too late to save our oceans and seas.
By Bruna Campos
Anywhere from 14-50% of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, but its decarbonisation is not on the EU agenda. Here's why and what needs to be done about it.
By Trees Robijns
Read why it's being called the "accounting error" causing global warming by experts, and how using biofuels could be more harmful to the planet than burning fossil fuels.
By Sini Erajaa
It all depends on sufficient investment in the right technology, clear and detailed planning, and the political and industrial will to do the right thing. The climate clock is ticking.
By Ivan Scrase
Saving nature's clean-up crew: BirdLife's campaign to conserve African Vultures
Saving Nature's Clean Up Crew - BirdLife's Campaign to conserve African Vultures
Other news from Europe and Central Asia

Italy is creating a 'nature network' against urbanisation and climate change

Lipu (BirdLife in Italy) is part of the LIFE TIB project to connect various habitat and create new ones for species escaping rising temperatures and man-made sprawls. s.k.s.

Battling global warming with Belarussian bogs

Swamps are associated with more than just scary films. BirdLife in Belarus is working with the government to restore 51.000 ha of wetlands to combat climate change. Read how and why here. By Catherine Evsukova & Annett Thiele
BirdLife in the Netherlands and the Dutch government are connecting the country's various natural habitats to prevent species extinctions as global temperatures rise. By Harm Schoten
PEGASUS - Sustainable land management from a different perspective
The PEGASUS project, of which BirdLife is a partner, will be working over 3 years to help change the way we manage farms and forests to better deliver goods and ecosystem services. Check out their website, their LinkedIn page and profile, or follow them on Twitter,  to stay updated on the project. t.r. 
11 November: Third Ocean of Tomorrow Conference, Brussels.

12 November: 'Bioenergy: Potentials and Pitfalls', European Parliament, Brussels. (Click here to register)

17 November: Policy seminar by European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism, BirdLife Europe and Pogany Havanas 'Europe’s wood pastures: condemned to a slow death by the CAP? A test case for EU agriculture and biodiversity policy', European Parliament, Brussels. 

23-25 November: Protecting Seabirds in the Mediterranean: Advancing the Marine Protected Area NetworkMalta.

30 November-6 December: International Conference on the Waterfowl of Northern Eurasia, Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenetskiy Autonomous Okrug, Russia. 

7 December: 5th Conference on Maritime Spatial Planning and the Marine Environment, Brussels.

5-7 April, 2016: British Ornithologists' Union 2016 Annual Conference 'Urban Birds: pressures, processes and consequences', Leicester, UK. Bookings open 1 November, 2015.

11-13 May, 2016: The European Association for Zoos and Aquaria Conservation Forum, BioParc Fuengirola, Spain. The forum is now accepting abstracts for oral presentations, workshops, round table topics, posters, short movies and documentaries.

5-10 September, 2016: 20th International Conference of the European Bird Census Council 'Birds in a changing world', University of Halle (Saale), Germany. Abstract submissions open from 15 November, 2015.

1-10 September, 2016: IUCN World Conservation Congress, Hawaii, USA. The Congress is now accepting submissions for hosting a workshop, Knowledge Café session or training course at the Congress.

Capacity Development Officer, West Africa: The main responsibility will be to support the strategic development and growth (as appropriate) of the BirdLife Africa Partnership and network and co-ordinate the implementation of the Network Development Plan in  West Africa. The position is based in Accra, Ghana.
Closing date: 27 November 2015    

Capacity Development Programme CoordinatorWe are driven by our belief that local people working for nature but connected nationally and internationally are the key to sustaining life. We are looking to recruit a Capacity Development Programme Coordinator to lead strategic programme development and fundraising, ensure delivery of the Global Capacity Development Programme Plan and promote collaboration, communications and sharing of experience and resources amongst BirdLife organisations.
Closing date: 27 November 2015

Marine Technical Officer: We are looking for an expert in GIS (with a familiarity of R) to assist with managing the seabird tracking database, analyse data for regional projects, and provide technical inputs to submissions to a range of international agreements. You will work as part of the BirdLife Science team (based in Cambridge).
Closing date: 7 December 2015.

International Migrants Programme Manager (RSPB): We are looking for a dynamic and motivated facilitator to develop and lead the international part of the RSPB's Birds without Borders Programme and to work with Partners in Europe and Africa to coordinate BirdLife International's East Atlantic Flyway Initiative.
Closing date: 12 November 2015.

Head of Partner Development (RSPB): Support the development of strong civil society organisations working to conserve nature across the world! For over thirty years, the RSPB has supported BirdLife Partners across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Closing date: 12 November 2015.
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Responsible editor: Angelo Caserta
   This publication receives its support from the European Commission and the RSPB