This press release also available in Spanish and French
NEW YORK (December 7, 2022) — A delegation from the National Audubon Society, the leading bird conservation organization in the Americas, will join world leaders as they reconvene for the second part of the UN Convention on Biodiversity COP15 in Montreal this month. Audubon CEO Elizabeth Gray, will head the delegation, which also includes Chief Conservation Officer Marshall Johnson, Board Director and acclaimed wildlife advocate Jane Alexander, Senior Vice President of Audubon Americas Aurelio Ramos, and Vice President for Boreal Conservation Jeff Wells, among others.
COP15’s theme, “Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth,” is in full alignment with Audubon’s mission and current ambitious agenda to protect birds and the places they need. Birds are the canaries in the coal mine of biodiversity loss. In 2019 Audubon scientists discovered that in North America alone, two-thirds of bird species are vulnerable to extinction due to climate change. But birds can also point the way to nature-based solutions that will deliver benefits for all life on Earth.
“Across the globe, the loss of bird populations has been a harbinger of biodiversity loss, but birds can also point the way forward,” says Audubon CEO Elizabeth Gray. “Ensuring that they have healthy habitats and flyways is critical not only for birds and their ecosystems, but for all life. It is essential that conservation organizations work together with Indigenous governments and communities, local groups, governments, and the private sector. At Audubon, we are taking urgent and ambitious collective action to safeguard the future for both people and wildlife.”
As Audubon scientists found in a 2021 study, critical bird habitats often overlap with key ecosystems like forests, wetlands, and peatlands, which also serve as natural carbon sinks and habitats for many species. Conserving and protecting these landscapes not only provides safe havens for birds and other wildlife, but helps mitigate the effects of climate change.
Founded in 1905, the National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization — with a wingspan of over 500 nationwide chapters and 1.6 million members — that protects birds and their ecosystems. From shutting down the plumage trade, to banning the pesticides that caused the “Silent Spring,” to mobilizing to pass the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act, Audubon has been at the forefront in preserving the planet for nature and people alike for over a century.
Today, Audubon works directly across the Americas and in partnership with organizations across the world to protect birds and the places they need. Audubon partners with the clean energy industry and lawmakers to ramp up renewable energy production and mitigate wildlife interactions, and leads research on the resiliency of hundreds of bird species and their habitats as well as the impact of climate change on the places they live. The Audubon Americas program brings a hemispheric approach to protecting birds over their entire lifecycle in partnership with numerous other countries and Indigenous governments and communities.
“The natural world that birds and other species are fundamentally dependent upon does not respect international borders and divisions. Environmental challenges and solutions in any part of the globe can affect us all.” says Audubon Board Director and acclaimed wildlife advocate Jane Alexander, “At this conference, we must come together as a global society to overcome these divides and safeguard the common future of all living beings.”
At COP15, Audubon will be engaging with world leaders, Indigenous leaders, the NGO sector, the business community, youth, and others to develop, advocate for, and help implement effective strategies for conserving and restoring biodiversity. Audubon engages its diverse membership and numerous partners in promoting the most effective nature-based solutions to the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation.
“Conserving and protecting birds and their habitats is the answer to many of the resource challenges that will be discussed at this conference,” says Audubon Chief Conservation Officer Marshall Johnson. “We must adopt strategies that are collaborative, equitable, and harmonious with nature. Audubon and our partners at the forefront of the conservation movement can help lead the way.”
“Hemispheric cooperation to protect birds and biodiversity, which includes Canada and countries across the Americas as well as Indigenous governments and communities, can serve as a model for how leaders at COP15 can collaborate to protect nature anywhere in the world,” says Senior Vice President of Audubon Americas Aurelio Ramos.
Audubon will also co-host three side events at the Montreal COP to which the press is invited:
- “The Launch of the Americas Flyways Initiative” will celebrate a strategic alliance between Audubon, BirdLife International, and the Latin American and the Caribbean Development Bank (CAF). This groundbreaking hemispheric collaboration will drive scientific research and financing in biodiversity conservation, as well as sustainable financial investments. This innovative collaboration will also support the design and implementation of large-scale development projects across a network of linked sites shared by migratory birds along the Americas’ flyways. The launch announcement will be held at the GEF Pavilion on December 16th at 10:00 AM.
- “Listening to the Birds — How Indigenous organizations are co-producing acoustic research to inform conservation and stewardship,” will be co-hosted alongside the Seal River Watershed Alliance (SRWA), a partnership of four First Nations to defend a healthy watershed and safeguard all life on Earth. Indigenous governments and communities have long-played an invaluable role in environmental stewardship, including ongoing efforts to establish Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA) that preserve boreal lands. The event will take place in the Canada Pavilion on December 17th at 11:30 AM.
- “The Global Treasure - Boreal Forests, peat bogs, and ocean” will be co-hosted with Wildlands League, Mushkegowuk Council, Weenusk First Nation, and Wildlife Conservation Society. The event will take place in the Canada Pavilion on December 11 at 2:00 PM
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.
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