Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Discover the ZEISS Digital Nature Hub

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Chinese Wild Bird Federation statement on removal from BirdLife International

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 05:00   #1
thedipper_hk
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 13
Chinese Wild Bird Federation statement on removal from BirdLife International

https://www.bird.org.tw/news/585

This is the start of a lengthy statement from the Taiwanese CWBF Secretariat on being booted out of BirdLife International. Statement issued 9/15/2020. Under a previous name Wild Bird Federation Taiwan, they were a founding partner of BirdLife International in 1996.

Quote:
It is with great sadness that the Chinese Wild Bird Federation must announce its removal from the BirdLife International partnership. Though a proud, faithful, and strong member of the partnership since 1996, the CWBF was told in December 2019 that it now posed a risk to BirdLife International due to its Chinese name (中華民國野鳥學會).

To rectify this, BirdLife International had required the CWBF to change its legally registered name in Chinese. This was something that the CWBF, as a loyal partner, was willing to discuss. In fact, the CWBF had previously changed its English name three times at the behest of BirdLife International. BirdLife's governing body, the Global Council, also required the CWBF to sign a document formally committing to not promote or advocate the legitimacy of the Republic of China or the independence of Taiwan from China. As an apolitical organization which has never taken a stance on any such issue, we felt it was inappropriate to sign such a document and were unable to comply. We are not political actors, we are conservationists.
An article from the UK's Telegraph where the reporter asked BirdLife for a response and was essential stonewalled. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/202...international/
thedipper_hk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 15th September 2020, 20:03   #2
McMadd
You should see the other bloke...
 
McMadd's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tampere
Posts: 2,459
Birdlife = political pansies...
McMadd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 16th September 2020, 17:49   #3
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nottingham, UK and Occasionally St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 19,582
Quote:
Originally Posted by McMadd View Post
Birdlife = political pansies...
It's only Rock n Troll but I like it.................
__________________
Andy A
andyadcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 02:00   #4
etudiant
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 4,941
Surely no surprise.
We all know China is totally paranoid about any potential erosion to their 'one China' posture.
Bird Life correctly decided that their mission would be better served by keeping China happy.
Taiwan is consequently collateral damage. They are no dummies, they clearly saw this as an increasing risk and tried to finesse it, but were not allowed to do so. Conservation is the poorer for this, even if this helps helps make bird protection more popular in China.
etudiant is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 03:45   #5
johnallcock
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,517
I've been seeing a lot about this in the last couple of days, much of which seems to be pushing an anti-China agenda and criticising BirdLife for the decision. I think the situation is not quite as simple as people are making it out to be.

BirdLife has been trying to engage in China for a long time (at least the last 15-20 years, probably longer). For various reasons they have been unable to get a partner based in China, with one of the main problems being that there is a Taiwanese partner.

The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (HKBWS) have had a long history of trying to facilitate BirdLife engagement in China, and HKBWS was eventually made a partner a few years ago to help this. HKBWS was helping to fund conservation projects in China.
But then two years ago China introduced a new law requiring NGOs working in the mainland to have an office in there. This has made it difficult for HKBWS to engage in China as they were, and thus makes it difficult for BirdLife to fund any conservation work there.
To add to this, the new National Security Law in HK means that organisations like HKBWS and BirdLife have to be very careful about their activities relating to Taiwan, Hong Kong and the mainland. We still don't really understand the implications of this law. There is also now some uncertainty about whether HKBWS can maintain its status as partner.

I suspect that BirdLife has found itself forced into a position where having a partner in Taiwan (especially one using the name China) prevents them doing any conservation work in mainland China and has had to decide which jurisdiction is their priority.
Taiwan has a long history or conservation and birds there are generally well protected, thanks largely to organisations like CWBF. Mainland China is very different - there is still a lot of illegal hunting, and very rapid development on ecologically sensitive sites. There are many threatened species, and conservation work in China will be essential to prevent the extinction of Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Baer's Pochard, Jankowski's Bunting, Siberian Crane, Nordmann's Greenshank and many more threatened species.

From the point of view of conservation, I guess they have decided the money will be more productive in China than in Taiwan. Taiwanese NGOs may still be able to engage in a less formal capacity and maintain close relations with other regional BirdLife partners (as HKBWS did before it was a partner), and I hope CWBF will continue to engage in this way.

Yes, this involves national politics (as does anything involving China/Taiwan) and yes, it is unfair to CWBF, but ultimately it is appropriate for BirdLife to decide what is better for bird conservation, not make a political statement on the two forms of government.
johnallcock is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 17th September 2020, 12:18   #6
Deb Burhinus
Registered User
 
Deb Burhinus's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,975
Hi John

Many thanks for your analysis of the situation with regard to BL and China/Taiwan and putting it into a sensible perspective. While not a political organisation, BirdLife has to work in some very challenging geo-political regions of the world where pragmatism is often the only way forward. In the light of the current security crackdown in HK too, there may be further compromises that might have to be made. I have absolutely no doubt, for the sake of pursuing much needed conservation objectives in China, BirdLife made absolutely the right decision as a conservation organisation despite it likely to be seen as further capitulation to China’s agenda towards Taiwan.
__________________
___________________________
ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF THE MIDDLE EAST
THE CAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA
http://www.osme.org
Deb Burhinus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 19th September 2020, 07:36   #7
James Eaton
Trent Valley Crew
 
James Eaton's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1,780
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnallcock View Post
Yes, this involves national politics (as does anything involving China/Taiwan) and yes, it is unfair to CWBF, but ultimately it is appropriate for BirdLife to decide what is better for bird conservation, not make a political statement on the two forms of government.
The start of a very dangerous precedent, John, and who is to say HKBWS won't be next? Or another Birdlife Asia partner? Especially if BirdLife International actually gained a Chinese partner.
It destabilises the working environment many of the other partners have with CWBF, and puts them in a very difficult position. I'm looking forward to BirdLife International statement.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-ta...-idUKKBN2690BX

Honesty goes a long way in my book, those in Taiwan are obviously well aware of the politics - perhaps some honesty, instead of a cloak-and-dagger approach would be far better received, and understood.

James

#milkteaalliance
__________________
James Eaton

Birdtour Asia
Support the Oriental Bird Club and OSME, keeping those vagrants alive for you!

Last edited by James Eaton : Saturday 19th September 2020 at 08:19.
James Eaton is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 19th September 2020, 23:43   #8
etudiant
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 4,941
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Eaton View Post
The start of a very dangerous precedent, John, and who is to say HKBWS won't be next? Or another Birdlife Asia partner? Especially if BirdLife International actually gained a Chinese partner.
It destabilises the working environment many of the other partners have with CWBF, and puts them in a very difficult position. I'm looking forward to BirdLife International statement.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-ta...-idUKKBN2690BX

Honesty goes a long way in my book, those in Taiwan are obviously well aware of the politics - perhaps some honesty, instead of a cloak-and-dagger approach would be far better received, and understood.

James

#milkteaalliance
As you point out, all organizations where Taiwan is a member, whether wildlife conservation, environmental, industrial or engineering standards etc,
are going to be confronted with this issue.
I believe essentially all of them will roll over for the same pragmatic reasons that BirdLife did, China matters more than Taiwan.
Where it will get interesting is in those sectors where Taiwan is a global force, notably advanced semiconductors, where TSMC has half or more of the global production capacity while China has the market volume.
The only way these multinational organizations may be able to avoid this is to prohibit any non specific resolutions in advance, so the topic cannot be raised, but I'd not bet on that working..
etudiant is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 20th September 2020, 00:11   #9
Chosun Juan
Given to Fly
 
Chosun Juan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central West NSW, Australia
Posts: 8,167
Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
As you point out, all organizations where Taiwan is a member, whether wildlife conservation, environmental, industrial or engineering standards etc,
are going to be confronted with this issue.
I believe essentially all of them will roll over for the same pragmatic reasons that BirdLife did, China matters more than Taiwan.
Where it will get interesting is in those sectors where Taiwan is a global force, notably advanced semiconductors, where TSMC has half or more of the global production capacity while China has the market volume.
The only way these multinational organizations may be able to avoid this is to prohibit any non specific resolutions in advance, so the topic cannot be raised, but I'd not bet on that working..
And indeed the global community and the businesses that operate within it. This is just the continuation of the thickening of the wedge China has already applied, is applying, and will apply, (as in the case of Hong Kong that we see now).
It was just two short years ago that China issued 'ultimatums' to the global airline industry to remove all separate reference to Taiwan.
Australia's QANTAS (among many internationally), duly rolled over like a trained circus animal - and exhibiting the same amount of any real freedom too ......

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.abc...rticle/9833606








Chosun
Chosun Juan is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 20th September 2020, 20:34   #10
Deb Burhinus
Registered User
 
Deb Burhinus's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,975
Just one of the reasons Birdlife made the right (but not necessarily the fairest) decision imo
https://www.birdlife.org/worldwide/n...ssenger-pigeon
__________________
___________________________
ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF THE MIDDLE EAST
THE CAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA
http://www.osme.org
Deb Burhinus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st September 2020, 02:26   #11
johnallcock
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Eaton View Post
The start of a very dangerous precedent, John, and who is to say HKBWS won't be next? Or another Birdlife Asia partner? Especially if BirdLife International actually gained a Chinese partner.
It destabilises the working environment many of the other partners have with CWBF, and puts them in a very difficult position. I'm looking forward to BirdLife International statement.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-ta...-idUKKBN2690BX

Honesty goes a long way in my book, those in Taiwan are obviously well aware of the politics - perhaps some honesty, instead of a cloak-and-dagger approach would be far better received, and understood.

James

#milkteaalliance
I certainly don't take the status of HKBWS as a partner for granted. It was not easy for us to become a partner and took several years of discussions. We are fully aware that it could be lost in future. Over the last 15 months Hong Kong people have learnt to accept that the future is unpredictable.

I agree that it will be interesting to see the official statement from BirdLife International. Hopefully that will provide more details about the reason for this decision.

It will also be interesting to see what the expectation is for the future relationship between CWBF and BirdLife. HKBWS spent many years as an Associate Member before becoming a full partner - this Associate Member status allowed us to work in close collaboration with partners and other associated organisations. I would have hoped that a similar situation would be possible with CWBF, although I am worried that the very public criticism of BirdLife by CWBF will make that difficult.

My previous comment was intended to highlight that the situation is not as clear-cut as the CWBF statement suggests, as I am aware that on a global forum such as this many people will not be fully aware of the complex situation or the legal situation for NGOs to operate in China.

As the CWBF statement claims, we should put politics aside for the benefit of conservation - in my opinion the CWBF comment and the media response (both social and traditional) have not achieved this.
johnallcock is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st September 2020, 06:06   #12
thedipper_hk
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 13
Unhappiness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb Burhinus View Post
Just one of the reasons Birdlife made the right (but not necessarily the fairest) decision imo
https://www.birdlife.org/worldwide/n...ssenger-pigeon
This makes it seems as though the folks unhappy with this decision by BLI want wildlife to go extinct in the PRC *People's Republic of China*.

i) 3 years on and BLI has no viable mainland partner. All of this work was done with CWBF as a partner. CWBF may have changed their name to replace Taiwan with Chinese in their English name to make BLI happy, which means it's not CWBF or the press making things political. We know where the political changes are coming from. I know that things have changed politically in the PRC and it's increasingly difficult to be an NGO in the PRC, but do you ditch a viable partner for no partner with the promise that the folks who are making demands of you to ditch the viable partner will find one to meet you at the altar at some point in the future because they offer you a wealth of opportunities for success and fame in rescuing the damsels in distress?

ii) The last big mainstream coverage of the Yellow-breasted Bunting in PRC state-owned media followed this 2017 BLI statement. Backroom meetings since then have not pushed the public needle on PRC conservation of migratory birds in any major way. I'd give more credit to the major bird bloggers in the PRC than any negotiations that BLI (or their reps) have had over the last 8 years. For example, this SCMP article from a year later finds one of them tipping off one of the world's largest e-commerce sites in China that YBB were for sale on their site. Note the response: We're happy to take action on such future reports instead of we'll prevent any such illegal activity from happening on our site.

iii) The actual legwork for this article was by Wieland Heim & co with the Amur Bird Project, HKBWS, folks out of Hokkaido, and uncertainly separate folks on Sakhalin Island *which is also disputed territory but birders and their associations and governments in Russia/Japan seem to ignore that at least when it comes to conservation* (side note: I haven't seen any updates this fall from the Amur Bird Project on their blog and wondered how conditions were with the tundra fires in the Russian Far East.) There is a big black box in the middle of this geographic region with nothing beyond meetings and posters and a 1 week media campaign. If the PRC authorities were a conservation partner in good faith, this wouldn't be the issue.

iv) Over the last 50 years, the standard PRC govt reaction to species being eaten to extinction is a captive breeding campaign or extending the reach of supply lines. There has been some movement to remove endangered species from the list of livestock animals in the PRC this spring/summer, but as with all regulations there is the matter of enforcement and the govt continues to subsidise their long-range fishing fleet depleting seas off S America, Africa, and the Southern Oceans. And when their fleets have been caught illegally fishing/shark finning in the past, you can guess who the PRC govt blames for their fleet's actions. Taiwan.

v) And the reports I have read from folks visiting the PRC's eastern shore wader/shorebird preserves is less than encouraging. The last report I read from a local who helped advise on setting up at least one of these was not an enouraging return visit a few months ago. My thoughts reading it made it seem that to make up for lost revenue from property development of mud flats/mangroves, that the govts were pushing mass tourism which was pushing the areas towards a Hong Kong Wetland Park feel. Woe to the East Asian Flyway if HKWP becomes either the educational or conservation model for mud flats/mangroves along the PRC's eastern coast.
thedipper_hk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st September 2020, 07:26   #13
Chosun Juan
Given to Fly
 
Chosun Juan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central West NSW, Australia
Posts: 8,167
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedipper_hk View Post
This makes it seems as though the folks unhappy with this decision by BLI want wildlife to go extinct in the PRC *People's Republic of China*.

i) 3 years on and BLI has no viable mainland partner. All of this work was done with CWBF as a partner. CWBF may have changed their name to replace Taiwan with Chinese in their English name to make BLI happy, which means it's not CWBF or the press making things political. We know where the political changes are coming from. I know that things have changed politically in the PRC and it's increasingly difficult to be an NGO in the PRC, but do you ditch a viable partner for no partner with the promise that the folks who are making demands of you to ditch the viable partner will find one to meet you at the altar at some point in the future because they offer you a wealth of opportunities for success and fame in rescuing the damsels in distress?

ii) The last big mainstream coverage of the Yellow-breasted Bunting in PRC state-owned media followed this 2017 BLI statement. Backroom meetings since then have not pushed the public needle on PRC conservation of migratory birds in any major way. I'd give more credit to the major bird bloggers in the PRC than any negotiations that BLI (or their reps) have had over the last 8 years. For example, this SCMP article from a year later finds one of them tipping off one of the world's largest e-commerce sites in China that YBB were for sale on their site. Note the response: We're happy to take action on such future reports instead of we'll prevent any such illegal activity from happening on our site.

iii) The actual legwork for this article was by Wieland Heim & co with the Amur Bird Project, HKBWS, folks out of Hokkaido, and uncertainly separate folks on Sakhalin Island *which is also disputed territory but birders and their associations and governments in Russia/Japan seem to ignore that at least when it comes to conservation* (side note: I haven't seen any updates this fall from the Amur Bird Project on their blog and wondered how conditions were with the tundra fires in the Russian Far East.) There is a big black box in the middle of this geographic region with nothing beyond meetings and posters and a 1 week media campaign. If the PRC authorities were a conservation partner in good faith, this wouldn't be the issue.

iv) Over the last 50 years, the standard PRC govt reaction to species being eaten to extinction is a captive breeding campaign or extending the reach of supply lines. There has been some movement to remove endangered species from the list of livestock animals in the PRC this spring/summer, but as with all regulations there is the matter of enforcement and the govt continues to subsidise their long-range fishing fleet depleting seas off S America, Africa, and the Southern Oceans. And when their fleets have been caught illegally fishing/shark finning in the past, you can guess who the PRC govt blames for their fleet's actions. Taiwan.

v) And the reports I have read from folks visiting the PRC's eastern shore wader/shorebird preserves is less than encouraging. The last report I read from a local who helped advise on setting up at least one of these was not an enouraging return visit a few months ago. My thoughts reading it made it seem that to make up for lost revenue from property development of mud flats/mangroves, that the govts were pushing mass tourism which was pushing the areas towards a Hong Kong Wetland Park feel. Woe to the East Asian Flyway if HKWP becomes either the educational or conservation model for mud flats/mangroves along the PRC's eastern coast.


Exactly. Objecting to one 'injustice' does not automatically confer support for another, or a lack of care about a situation.

Things such as 'global' conservation should be above politics - especially the kind that sees free peoples and organizations coerced into kowtowing to totalitarian regimes 'sensitive' to truth, and all too ready to back their delusions with 'hard' military power as a form of political position.






Chosun

Last edited by Chosun Juan : Monday 21st September 2020 at 07:29. Reason: Dan autocorrect !
Chosun Juan is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Monday 21st September 2020, 09:04   #14
Deb Burhinus
Registered User
 
Deb Burhinus's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,975
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedipper_hk View Post
This makes it seems as though the folks unhappy with this decision by BLI want wildlife to go extinct in the PRC *People's Republic of China*.
No of course this is not the intention for posting this link and I do not believe the plight of a critically threatened bird should ever be appropriated in such a way in order to play political football. This is a public discussion not just a dialogue between the directly effected and concerned parties (such as represented by yourself, James and John above). Therefore, there will be many users on this forum not aware of how difficult managing conservation of critically endangered species are in the region of E/SE Asia or why, or may have little knowledge of the species involved.

For birders in the UK at least, because of the recent vagrancy of a Yellow-breasted Bunting here this week, highlighting IUCN/BLI concerns for this species by posting this link (which I also posted on the Rare Bird Information btw) has the added advantage of being topical so hopefully not only raises awareness of the species’s vulnerability to the twitching/birding community in the UK but also helps to highlight the current geo-political conundrums faced by parties struggling to prevent the extinction of this species (and others likewise threatened) in E/SE Asia.

While ‘conservation’ should ideally ‘be kept above politics’, in the ‘real world’, they are necessarily inextricably linked as it is ‘policy’ that implements the conservation imperatives and ensures its continuance. Likewise, having had some contact with ornithologists working in other parts of the world in circumstances particularly challenging and often as very much a minority group, I have always maintained partnership and global support is crucial, not only to achieve practical objectives but to encourage those who might otherwise be discouraged having to work in political and cultural environments antagonistic to their efforts. It’s these two aspects that I hope will help reconcile a very difficult situation going forward.
__________________
___________________________
ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF THE MIDDLE EAST
THE CAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA
http://www.osme.org
Deb Burhinus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 21st September 2020, 10:31   #15
opisska
Jan Ebr
 
opisska's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Warszawa
Posts: 2,077
I find it absurd to blame BirdLife here, they do not really exist to do politics but to conserve birds and in the current situation, choosing the bigger China is the logical step to do that. The mistake lies solely on the western countries who should have long ago assumed a similar stance of boycott towards the PRC, both in organization and in economy. But alas, money speaks and the whole west is deep into China's pockets.

I imagine that if the EU said to BirdLife "if you drop Taiwan, we drop you", they would easily choose the EU over the PRC. One can only dream.
__________________
Birds: world 2172, WP 568, gWP 605, bird photos | Mammals: 260, mammal photos | Herps: 140, herp photos | iNaturalist observations
opisska is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 22nd September 2020, 00:46   #16
etudiant
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 4,941
This discussion simply underlines that Taiwan has no chance of surviving in international bodies, China is determined to extirpate them from international presence.
That suggests that Taiwan urgently needs to find a better way to be considered.

A tie in with another island nation such as Madagascar might be one option, but of course seems incompatible with the Taiwan claim to be the legitimate rulers of China.
etudiant is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 22nd September 2020, 04:33   #17
thedipper_hk
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
A tie in with another island nation such as Madagascar might be one option, but of course seems incompatible with the Taiwan claim to be the legitimate rulers of China.
Almost no one in Taiwan claims to be the legitimate rulers of China. In fact most would be happy to see The Republic of China name, the flag, and the anthem go away. See the new design of the Taiwan/Republic of China passport as an example of this. Of course the PRC has threatened to military invade Taiwan if they drop the claim to rule the mainland, change the name of the country, or the national symbols.

What they have done recently is forge an alliance with Somaliland, another of those country/non-country places.

and since this is a bird forum, let me raise a glass to salute the late Robert Tovey and remember one of his last series of posts including a few from Somaliland. Robert Tovey/Birding for a Lark: Day 1 in Somaliland
thedipper_hk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 22nd September 2020, 04:52   #18
thedipper_hk
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by opisska View Post
I find it absurd to blame BirdLife here, they do not really exist to do politics but to conserve birds and in the current situation, choosing the bigger China is the logical step to do that.
And this is the core of the question I was trying to get to in my post yesterday. If your goal is to conserve birds, do you choose to maintain the partnership with an association backed by a government that are actually conserving their birds or seeking a partnership with an association to be named later that will be provided to you by a government whose environmental conservation record is sketchy at best?

And this came up in my feed reader today A trip report up at Shanghai Birding on Birding the Jiangsu Coast last month. The list of birds for 3 days is pretty fun and shows why these spots on the coast are so important to be conserved. I'm happy that the PRC govt moved on protecting these spaces at least legally. Read the report and you might see reasons to wonder if the PR from protecting these spaces in name was more important than doing the actual work to protect them as critical habitat for migrating shorebirds along the East Asian Flyway.

And let me say that I've seen some great bird research papers come out of the PRC, so there are home-grown experts that could provide the guidance to clean up these issues, if the powers that be were concerned or interested in listening.
thedipper_hk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 22nd September 2020, 06:44   #19
johnallcock
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedipper_hk View Post
And this is the core of the question I was trying to get to in my post yesterday. If your goal is to conserve birds, do you choose to maintain the partnership with an association backed by a government that are actually conserving their birds or seeking a partnership with an association to be named later that will be provided to you by a government whose environmental conservation record is sketchy at best?
Why isn't the best option to try to maintain a partnership with an established Non-Governmental Organisation (not "backed by a government"), while building capacity for smaller NGOs to develop and funding on-the-ground conservation actions where they are most needed?

Would this have been possible if CWBF had agreed to sign the document requested by BLI that they would not participate in activities promoting Taiwan independence or use the BLI logo on documents funded by organisations supporting independence?
This is a genuine question, I don't know the answer. From the CWBF statement, it seems that it is their refusal to commit to this document that has precipitated the change, not pressure from anyone in PRC.

Despite your comment, there is no suggestion that BLI have been trying to engage a partner in mainland China. As far as I am aware, there is no organisation there that qualifies for BLI partnership.


It's a shame that you are so dismissive (or unaware?) of the work that HKBWS and BLI have been doing in China. They have been working with small, regional NGOs to carry out survey work for waterbirds (especially Spoon-billed Sandpiper); to search for, remove and report illegal mist nets, and pressure local officials to take action on illegal trapping; to identify and protect sites for threatened species such as Jankowski's Bunting, Blue-crowned Laughingthrush, Chinese Grassbird and Scaly-sided Merganser, etc. This work has paid off in some areas, for example with a reported reduction in illegal hunting along the Guangdong coast. With no funding and no support, there is a risk that these fledgling regional NGOs will be unable to continue this work. These small NGOs and the work that they have done may not currently be high-profile on the global stage, but that is no reason to assume that they are not important or that they will not achieve more in the future.

Trying to change attitude and policies of PRC on conservation, as you are calling for, might take a very long time, but it will only be achieved if you are in a position to engage with them directly, not watching from the sidelines.
johnallcock is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 22nd September 2020, 08:08   #20
Deb Burhinus
Registered User
 
Deb Burhinus's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 1,975
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedipper_hk View Post
And this is the core of the question I was trying to get to in my post yesterday. If your goal is to conserve birds, do you choose to maintain the partnership with an association backed by a government that are actually conserving their birds or seeking a partnership with an association to be named later that will be provided to you by a government whose environmental conservation record is sketchy at best?
Yesterday your response to the YBB link was to suggest it was done to somehow show that the critics of BLI’s handling of this situation are not supportive of conservation in the PRC. I hope you accept this was not the case based on my post yesterday? I understood it was CWBF refusing to sign a document asking them to commit to not promoting political objectives that resulted in the present situation with BLI. I apologise if this is a misrepresentation or over simplification, obviously there are complexities to which I may not be aware but would CWBF’s priority goal to conserve birds in Taiwan (and the PRC) have been better served by signing the document?
__________________
___________________________
ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF THE MIDDLE EAST
THE CAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA
http://www.osme.org
Deb Burhinus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 22nd September 2020, 08:50   #21
thedipper_hk
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnallcock View Post
Why isn't the best option to try to maintain a partnership with an established Non-Governmental Organisation (not "backed by a government"), while building capacity for smaller NGOs to develop and funding on-the-ground conservation actions where they are most needed?
So is the demand from BLI on CWBF coming directly from HKBWS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnallcock View Post
Would this have been possible if CWBF had agreed to sign the document requested by BLI that they would not participate in activities promoting Taiwan independence or use the BLI logo on documents funded by organisations supporting independence?
This is a genuine question, I don't know the answer. From the CWBF statement, it seems that it is their refusal to commit to this document that has precipitated the change, not pressure from anyone in PRC.
It's a political document. Why should a birding conservation association ever have to swear political allegiances? Could you imagine Bird Life Malta being sworn to supporting a govt that supports shooting of passerines?

Quote:
Despite your comment, there is no suggestion that BLI have been trying to engage a partner in mainland China. As far as I am aware, there is no organisation there that qualifies for BLI partnership.
Isn't that part of the equation? You give up something for nothing in the hopes that something, which will inevitably be government appointed, pans out.


Quote:
It's a shame that you are so dismissive (or unaware?) of the work that HKBWS and BLI have been doing in China. They have been working with small, regional NGOs to carry out survey work for waterbirds (especially Spoon-billed Sandpiper); to search for, remove and report illegal mist nets, and pressure local officials to take action on illegal trapping; to identify and protect sites for threatened species such as Jankowski's Bunting, Blue-crowned Laughingthrush, Chinese Grassbird and Scaly-sided Merganser, etc. This work has paid off in some areas, for example with a reported reduction in illegal hunting along the Guangdong coast. With no funding and no support, there is a risk that these fledgling regional NGOs will be unable to continue this work. These small NGOs and the work that they have done may not currently be high-profile on the global stage, but that is no reason to assume that they are not important or that they will not achieve more in the future.
Mostly unaware, but I still think there are ways to fund and support fledgling PRC regional conservation NGOs that don't require BLI dismissal of CWBF from BLI or even political oaths. I just wonder if the demand for BLI credit for funding trumps getting essential conservation work done. If so, let me know and let me know if the groups across the border are willing to accept individual donations on major PRC payment apps.

Quote:
Trying to change attitude and policies of PRC on conservation, as you are calling for, might take a very long time, but it will only be achieved if you are in a position to engage with them directly, not watching from the sidelines.
And that is the fundamental debate in engaging with the PRC. Will backroom deals produce results that couldn't have been produced by major global PR critiques from the outside while acting on info provdided by small mobile groups on the inside? We'll see in 5 years, but I'm not hopeful for the East Asian Flyway.
thedipper_hk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 22nd September 2020, 12:20   #22
opisska
Jan Ebr
 
opisska's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Warszawa
Posts: 2,077
Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
This discussion simply underlines that Taiwan has no chance of surviving in international bodies, China is determined to extirpate them from international presence.
That suggests that Taiwan urgently needs to find a better way to be considered.

A tie in with another island nation such as Madagascar might be one option, but of course seems incompatible with the Taiwan claim to be the legitimate rulers of China.
They actually have a pretty nice strategy: be good people.

During the corona crisis, PRC made shady deals with our (Czech) politicians, extorting money and selling overpriced crap PPE, while Taiwan simply sent help. Our government and president are still deep in PRCs pockets, but the head of the Senate made a state visit to Taiwan with an entourage of businessmen. Taiwan investments in the Czech Republic already outshine those of PRC, despite the huge disparity in sizes. PRC threw a huge temper tantrum afterwards and cancelled some trade, but it's so minor that it doesn't matter.

If more people around the world begin to understand this huge difference between PRC and Taiwan - and if their citizens properly identify which of their politicians are on PRC's payroll and sent them away swiftly - then Taiwan has a chance to become the partner of choice, simply because they actually are a partner, unlike the PRC.
__________________
Birds: world 2172, WP 568, gWP 605, bird photos | Mammals: 260, mammal photos | Herps: 140, herp photos | iNaturalist observations
opisska is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 22nd September 2020, 13:49   #23
mjh73
Registered User
 
mjh73's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 650
"Dear [mjh73]

I understand from [X] that you were concerned about the news stories that have been circulating about the departure of the Chinese Wild Bird Federation from the BirdLife family. I wanted to take this opportunity to address some of the misconceptions that have entered into this discussion, while also remembering how our policies at the root of this allow us to be as effective as we are around the globe.

And, let me reassure you. These difficulties do not distract us from keeping our eyes on the ball. In the next weeks alone, we are sponsoring and promoting events around the world, including World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) on the 10th October and the Global Bird Weekend (GBW) on the 17th - 18th October and the very successful BirdLife Partner Eurobirdwatch weekend (EBW) of the 3rd - 4th October share the joy and wonder of birding and demonstrate the global reach of our partners.

And, of course, our key science and policy work underpins global interventions; the Red List, the seminal State of the World’s Birds report, due at the end of September, aligning with the UN Summit on Biodiversity and our CEO’s participation in some important colloquies at the UNDP/UNEP Nature for Life Hub in the next weeks.

It is critical to remember that it is these events and our science based work, which make us effective and reflect who, we and our Partners, are. Our conservation work is possible because we remain apolitical. The Global Council’s obligation under UK charities law is to avoid any risk which could prevent BirdLife from achieving its aims or carrying out its strategies. In addition, as a UK charity, we are required to guard our independence, and ensure that we remain independent. It is not permissible for us to support any political party or government.

The Partnership has patiently engaged for years on this issue, and recently for many, many months to ask CWBF to leave these global politics at the door as part of its participation in BirdLife International. Our Global Council felt they had no choice but to arrive at this unanimous decision, with pain and sadness, and ask the CWBF to leave the BirdLife Partnership.

The decision was based on the long-established, democratically voted and unanimously approved -by all the Partners- Operational Procedures of the Global Partnership. BirdLife International has voted to follow the United Nations policies with regard to national sovereignty, nomenclature and related issues. This was chosen as the most neutral way for BirdLife to avoid wading into the arena of geopolitical pressures and conflicts. Diverging from these UN policies and promotion of such divergence by a Partner subjects BirdLife to the real risk of failing to achieve our aims and strategies. The Operational Procedures further make clear that a Partner cannot use the BirdLife name, logo, brand and/or symbols in conjunction with those of any political movement, political party, government, territory or other political unit which promotes secession from a UN recognised country. Our charitable mission and passion is about conservation. To act otherwise would negatively impact our capacity to work locally, and globally, to protect birds and biodiversity.

The record of CWBF in conservation is one we recognize and which we salute but the Partnership must maintain its independence from political agendas of this kind, if it is to maintain its capacity to work around the globe in diverse states, free as much as possible from interference and threats from political agendas. Through our work on global treaties around biodiversity, species and habitat protections, climate change, etc. we engage and we make a difference: often because we are perceived as having no other agenda than conservation and saving birds.

There remains urgent and pressing work to do to save the planet. This work must be done through a range of collaborations and partnerships and BirdLife always stands ready to find collaborative ways to achieve this with all conservationists of good faith, both within and outside, her formal structures.

I hope this gives you the fuller context and the facts about the issue and will help us return to the genuine fray we are so passionate about - saving birds and biodiversity for nature and for people.

Please let me know if I can provide any more information or resolve any additional questions. I do hope that this reassures you that no pressure of any kind from any country or partner led to this decision. It was our interest to protect BirdLife and ensure we can be seen independent and neutral in Asia and around the world.

Warm regards,

Sarah

Sarah Proud
Fundraising Manager"
__________________
mjh
mjh73 is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 22nd September 2020, 14:11   #24
Chosun Juan
Given to Fly
 
Chosun Juan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central West NSW, Australia
Posts: 8,167
Interesting ..... in Birdlife's desire to be independent of political agendas it seems to have succumbed to one ....... (despite the very reasonable adherence to UN defined Sovereignty ....)






Chosun
Chosun Juan is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 23rd September 2020, 07:17   #25
johnallcock
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh73 View Post
"Dear [mjh73]

I understand from [X] that you were concerned about the news stories that have been circulating about the departure of the Chinese Wild Bird Federation from the BirdLife family...
mjh73, thank you for posting this. It is useful to see both sides of the argument, not only the statement from CWBF. I'm surprised that BirdLife International still seem not to have issued an official statement.

I really hope that CWBF will be able to find a way to work with BLI again in future. Their experience and knowledge are of great benefit to BLI partners in Asia.
johnallcock is online now  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bird Studies Canada - Celebrating the 2013 BirdLife International World Congress HelenB News From Birding & Nature Organisations 0 Friday 5th July 2013 23:12
Happy Birthday BirdLife International Melanie Conservation 1 Wednesday 20th June 2012 13:50
BirdLife International? martinf News From Birding & Nature Organisations 0 Tuesday 2nd August 2011 14:04
BirdLife International Photo Contest Glen Tepke Threatened Birds Of The world 3 Sunday 5th August 2007 20:43
State Of Birds Of The World - Birdlife International cuckooroller Conservation 1 Monday 8th March 2004 17:46



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.20632291 seconds with 39 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 05:21.