by LIPU President, Fulvio Mamone Capria
In this edition of Ali, among many items of interest we present data from Birds in Europe 3, the latest study from BirdLife International on the conservation status of European birds. The presentation of the report, which came in advance of its European launch in the setting of the splendid General Assembly of LIPU members at Parma on May 20, offered us a chiaroscuro canvas: on one hand, there was an improvement in the situation for a number of species, thanks partly to our exhaustive work for their protection; on the other, there was the increased number of globally threatened species (the so-called SPEC 1 category) from 40 to 68 in only ten years. A worrying statistic that applies not least to Italy, especially given that in our country five of these species (Rock Partridge, Lapwing, Redwing, Pochard and Turtle Dove) may still be hunted. It was for this reason that LIPU immediately requested that the Government and the Regions halt the hunting of these species and put more effort into enforcing the directives, giving greater protection to the continent’s biodiversity.
So, to biodiversity: at the recent G7 meeting at Taormina, no progress whatsoever was made regarding climate change; but what is happening at the global level with regard to the politics of nature protection, 25 years on from the Rio Convention? Our CEO Danilo Selvaggi looks into this question in his column, ‘From the First Floor’.
It is with great pride too that subsequent to the General Meeting, I can announce LIPU’s financial results – final results for 2016 and provisional for 2017. A balanced budget, with investment in the protection of new areas, the support of recovery centres and oases under pressure, national and international projects of great significance, effective management strategies, increased membership and reach, and the prospect of having a ‘LIPU House’ at Parma, at which to welcome our supporters and talk to people about nature: all this is the result of the great efforts we have made in recent years thanks to your undying support.
We have received so many letters, e-mails and telephone calls, thanking us for our work, for the unfailing efforts of our volunteers and for the commitment with which we address the issues that face us. Allow me then to convey to you in turn, in the name of the national council, the executive committee, the chief executive, the staff and all the delegates, our profound gratitude for the faith that you display in continuing your allegiance to this body of people, volunteers, special workers in the field. Yes, special, because we never forget the need to defend the passage of migrating birds from poachers, to generate knowledge and plans for the future, to look after small birds and mammals in trouble, to guide the public on the protected paths of our oases and reserves, to protect endangered species and instil in the young a respect for nature. A winning team of volunteers, enthusiasts who – without counting the cost – give up their own time to defend birds and some of the most beautiful sites for biodiversity in Europe.
As our own Danilo Mainardi has said, ‘I truly believe that the time has come when the centrality of nature in our culture can at last be perceived. A centrality that is necessary for us to know ourselves better, and as a result make a more positive calibration of our relationship with nature, with those like us, with ourselves’. Have a good summer, dear friends, and Forza LIPU!
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