UNEP Current Affairs - 2020

May 9: World Migratory Bird Day

Every year, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) marks the World Migratory Day on May 9. It is an annual campaign that creates awareness about the need to conserve migratory birds and their habitats. This year the day is being celebrated under the theme

Theme: Birds Connect our World

The theme mainly focuses on ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystem. The theme also focuses on the tracking technologies that are used to explore the routes of migratory birds in the world.

Highlights

The World Migratory Day was first introduced in 2006 at the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild animals.

Significance of the theme

Connectivity has become essential for migratory species. This is because, currently 1 million species are facing risks of extinction due to loss of connectivity. Migratory birds connect different countries and cooperation among them is essential to conserve these species.

When the birds migrate, they rely upon certain habitats along their pathways. In some countries, the pathways are lost due to lack of conservation steps, urbanization, pollution, global warming, etc.

Thus, year the theme focuses on these connectivity areas.

Key Issues

On the World Migratory Bird Day, the UNEP identifies the following as the key issues. The man-made structures pose great threats to more than 350 species of migratory birds, especially at night. The structures that are made of reflective materials such as glass cause death of several migratory birds.

Apart from the buildings, the wind turbines also pose great threat to these birds.

UNEP: Actress Dia Mirza’s term as Goodwill Ambassador extended

On May 7, 2020, the United Nations Environment Programme extended the term of actress Dia Mirza as the Goodwill ambassador of India till 2022. The actress is also United Nations Sustainability Development Goal Advocate.

About Goodwill Ambassadors

A Goodwill Ambassador in general is a person who supports global issue or specific cause. The United Nations appoints goodwill ambassadors for its missions FAO, UNDP, UNAIDS, UNEP, UNODC, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNIDO, WHO, WEP, UNWOMEN, IMO, UN-Habitat, OHCR. Under the programme, UNICEF has the largest number of ambassadors which is 300.

Payments

The Goodwill ambassadors are not paid under the UNEP. However, they will be provided with a symbolic payment of 1 USD per year. They will also be provided travel allowances.

Role of a Good will Ambassador

Good will Ambassadors on the request of the United Nations will raise funds, engage in public advocacy (like creating awareness, etc.). Their term of service is for 2 years.

Dia Mirza Contribution

Dia Mirza had taken active part in the campaign “Beat the Pollution”. She had also made significant contributions towards World Environment Day celebrations, Circular fashions and other UNEP campaigns.

Under Beat the Pollution Campaign India works to become completely free from single use plastics by 2022.