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Keep Birds Free

…the trade in wild-caught birds must be stopped… Proact now!

Proact ? originally a European, but now a world-wide initiative to co-ordinate the conservation of birds, has just launched its initiative Keep Birds Free in order to tackle the environmental running sore of callous exploitation of countries that are rich in bird and wildlife, but otherwise economically weak and underdeveloped. This calculated and cynical exploitation of natural resources is an established and widespread form of eco-colonialism; so the countries affected earn very little from it. Moreover, their expectations of much higher earnings from future eco-tourism is going to be adversly effected by the wild bird trade, whether it be legal or not. Ian Hinze, project manager on behalf of Proact, said:

Keep Birds Free, will set out to tackle this problem at its source, in the still flourishing market as well as with the end user ? those who buy such birds as pets.

Ian is a respected and knowledgeable aviculturist who champions the complete non-reliance on wild-caught birds as an effective instrument in ending the trade. He believes that bird lovers like him who want to keep captive birds must breed them and should never buy wild caught birds. This brings a new breadth of knowledge and experience to the Proact team who are, largely, birdwatchers and ornithologists.
The question of where to start was solved when a communication was received from the Bird Guides Association of Uganda. The efforts of these local experts and conservationists to establish an eco-tourist infrastructure in Uganda (and elsewhere in Africa) has suffered a bitter blow from the Uganda Wildlife Authority`s plan to permit massive and unrealistic wildlife export quotas.Proact is going to put its full international weight behind their cause as they are convinced that the mid and long-term benefits for people and wildlife in developing countries, will be so much better served by Green Tourism. They are sure that the trade in wild-caught birds must be stopped, or many people will be put off travelling to countries that are prepared to see their wildlife resources plundered.

The wild bird trade brings such paltry sums to the people of the country concerned that they can not even be justified as a poverty relief measure. Furthermore, the long-term impoverishment of nature, and the loss of future economic and environmental prospects are several orders of magnitude higher. Proact says that trade in birds will ONLY be stopped when the demand from end users changes, and when laws [and their strict implementation] eradicate the profit motive of the traders and their middlemen. Proact believe that the key, as is often the case in planetary exploitation, is to be found in the industrialised and rich First World so they will also be taking the fight there.The immediate requirement is to ensure that the Ugandan Wildlife Authority`s (UWA) planned resumption of wildlife exports for 2002 is stopped before any long-lasting damage is done. It is on a massive and incredible scale. The export quotas, which have been discussed in various African internet forums, represent a totally unsustainable drain on bird and animal populations - not only in Uganda, but, through illegal capture and cross-border transport, in neighbouring East African countries as well. The quota for many species is far higher than the known populations in Uganda so it is clear that Uganda will become a conduit for the whole of the region!The people and conservationists of East Africa are relying on your support - so, as their slogan says, [Pro]act NOW!

For background information see: http://keepbirdsfree.tripod.com/ugandadevelopments/ - if you want to join in and help see the initial draft campaign emails that you can copy and send, they are provided at http://keepbirdsfree.tripod.com/ugandacampaign/

4th July 2014