Conservation Without Borders

Conservation Without Borders

At a glance

Causes

  • Animals / wildlife
  • Environment

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
International

Objectives

The purpose of Conservation Without Borders is to conserve and protect multiple species of migratory birds and animals and we work in partnership with a variety of relevant agencies in order to do so. Our main method of delivering the purpose is through projects highlighting the plight of migratory birds and animals, and the threats and challenges they face. These projects will raise public awareness through media profile, assess and gather valuable data from critical wetland habitats, provide relevant educational programmes, help identify, train and support conservation leaders, engage relevant target audiences, improve resources for local conservation groups and wetland centres, and promote regional and national conservation efforts.

Migratory birds are some of the most threatened animals on the planet (as evidenced by migratory birds having their own UN agency – the Convention on Migratory Species), and the hardest to protect due to their reliance on multiple countries and many habitats. There are critical wetland habitats that are not protected and which are being degraded. We have a window of time to change that before the damage is irreversible. There needs to be urgent action taken to conserve and restore wetlands for wildlife and human health, and as a climate change adaptation strategy (wetlands store large quantities of carbon).

Other threats to the birds include illegal hunting and persecution, pollution, entanglement in nets, collision with powerlines, habitat degradation, fish barriers in waterways etc. These threats can be directly addressed through generating mass awareness, political support for change, and promoting both international collaboration and local action.

Pollutants like pesticides, pharmaceuticals and plastics are a growing threat, and their potential impacts on the osprey and their food chain are an important part of the puzzle.

Our first project was launched in August 2019 (see, for example, https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/1163361488117145600, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/08/15/human-swan-fly-6000-miles-following-migrating-ospreys-africa/, BBC Breakfast etc) – Flight of the Osprey, which will follow the migrating ospreys from Scotland to West Africa.

 

Activities

Flight of the Osprey is a three year project, which was launched in August 2019. The expedition itself will take place during the Autumn migration of 2020.

Why is this project urgently needed?

  • Migratory birds are some of the most threatened animals on the planet, and the hardest to protect due to their reliance on multiple countries and many habitats.
  • The trends of many of the waterbirds using this migratory flyway are in long-term decline, with a significant number globally threatened with extinction. Indeed, many are not monitored so we have no idea of their current status. This stresses the need for urgent conservation responses, at multiple levels.
  • Threats to the birds include illegal hunting and persecution, pollution, entanglement in nets, collision with powerlines, habitat degradation, fish barriers in waterways etc. These threats can be directly addressed through generating mass awareness, political support for change, and promoting international collaboration.
  • There are critical wetland habitats along this flyway that are not protected and which are being degraded. We have a window of time to change that before the damage is irreversible.
  • Governments need to take urgent action to conserve and restore wetlands for wildlife and human health, and as a climate change adaptation strategy (wetlands store large quantities of carbon).
  • Pollutants like pesticides, pharmaceuticals and plastics are a growing threat, and their potential impacts on the osprey and their food chain are an important part of the puzzle.
  • This is a tried and tested model for conservation and engagement. The UN Convention on Migratory Species and its agencies have identified public engagement across flyways as critical to the conservation of migratory birds, and yet most efforts to do so, across geographical and political boundaries, fail. No other projects have delivered the results of ‘Flight of the Swans’.
  • There are large stretches of this migration route where support is urgently needed for recruiting and training data collectors and observers, and influential champions for the natural world. These gaps must be filled if we are to achieve long term effective conservation for ospreys and other migrating birds.
  • Local conservationists need extra national and international support. Implementing international agreements can be very difficult without raising the issues, over an extended period, in a very public way. Working with partners in each country, ‘Flight of the Osprey’ will begin this role in August 2019 across the year preceding the expedition, during the expedition, and will continue after the project through the film and local activity.

By the end of this project we will have achieved the following tangible outcomes:

  • Engagement: we will have reached an audience of over 10 million people through building relations and sharing stories with local, national and international media (with a target of 2,000 media pieces).
  • Reported reduction in persecution and illegal hunting of ospreys and other migratory birds, over the subsequent 3 years, at least in part through hunter-led initiatives.
  • Greater protected status for wetlands: we will have helped to bring about increased protection of at least 3 important wetland stopover sites along the way, and have given local groups greater agency to continue this work at other sites.
  • Data on the impacts of pollutants and plastics on wetland sites and migrating birds: we will have analysed the results of a wide range of plastic and pollutant sampling of the critical wetlands on the migratory route, which will benefit national and regional governments and conservationists (we will provide the results on an open access basis). Scientific results from the expedition will be published in international journals to make new findings available to the wider science and conservation communities.
  • Increased landowner and public interest and support for greater wild areas in the UK, which would support ospreys and other wildlife, as well as contributing more generally to water and air quality, as well as human health.
  • Data gaps in our wetland and waterbird censuses are able to be filled by newly identified and trained observers, for the first time providing a full picture of their population status.
  • Resourcing wetland centres from Scotland to West Africa: better resourced centres will engage more people and attract more support. The Wetland Link International (WLI) network will have attracted at least 3 new wetland centres as members, and will have energised and engaged with existing WLI member centres.
  • Schools and environmental centres: we will have conducted a programme available to all schools along the flyway, including the development of a digital ‘flyway’ for use in education, live following and interaction with the expedition.
  • Leave a lasting legacy: by ensuring local conservation partners are fully involved in steering the project in their countries, we will have provided media assets, a film, and ongoing support for the year following the expedition.
  • Share the messages globally: presentations will be given to governments and conservationists around the world, working on different flyways, in the following year to ensure the lessons learnt are broadly shared with the public and decision makers.

Current opportunities

Seeking a passionate individual to join our team to manage regular and specific crowdfunding campaigns. You will play a crucial role in the...

Are you passionate about conservation, environmental protection, and making a tangible impact on our planet? As a charity dedicated to inspiring...

Previous placements

  • Grant Writer for Conservation Without Borders