IAF November News

New York University Abu Dhabi Institute Workshop and Conference: "Falconry in the Mediterranean Context"

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) welcomed UAE residents  to its state-of-the-art campus on Saadiyat Island to enjoy an exciting and engaging workshop that opened a serious academic conference on falconry that we hope will launch several education initiatives in the near future.

This conference and workshop were hosted by the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute in collaboration with the Warburg Institute and the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey from November 15 – 17th 2015. The conference aimed to contribute to the understanding of falconry in the Mediterranean and Near Eastern world from the earliest evidence of its existence until the Early Modern period. Falconry is a practice that united Christians and Muslims and involved all levels of society. The conference included a public program on Sunday, November 15 entitled Falconry: Heritage, History, Medicine.

H.E. Majed Al Mansouri, IAF Vice President MENA region and Executive Director of the Emirates Falconer’s Club delivered the keynote speech that focused on the UAE’s efforts and contributions in the areas of falconry, conservation, environment and heritage to an audience of 80 attendees, which included scholars, students and falconers.

Workshop presentations were made by IAF President Adrian Lombard on the work and vision of the IAF, Patrizia Cimberio on the UNESCO Inscription and Gary Timbrell on the Global Community of Falconers.

Conference Presentations

The latest research on archaeological, textual, and visual testimonies of falconry was addressed. Presentation topics included falconry in Central Asia; texts on falconry in Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Latin, Spanish, French and Italian; caring for sick falcons; and the depiction of falcons and falconry in manuscripts, monuments, and paintings.

Visit to the Desert

Conference and workshop participants were treated to a VIP visit to the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School and a traditional Arab banquet hosted by the Emirates Falconers’ Club.

At this event a digitized version of Roger Upton’s historical films of falconry and hunting with His Majesty the late Sheikh Zayed was presented to His Excellency Mohammed Al Bowardi in a moving ceremony.

Conference Participants

A total number of 27 leading international scholars took part in the conference itself. Organizations represented were: City University, New York; University of Maine; University of British Columbia; Institut français du Proche-Orient; Warburg Institute, University of London; I.A.F.; University of Warwick; Sapienza Università di Roma; University of Valladolid; Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen; Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin; Deutch Falconry Organisation,IAF Germany; Bar-Ilan University ;University of Kent; University of Cambridge; Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital; Middle East Falconry Archive; Meertens Instituut; KU Leuven; UC Louvain-la-Neuve’: University of Ca' Foscari, Venice; University of Turin.

IAF accreditation as an Advisory NGO to UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

We are pleased to announce that IAF has qualified for the next term of UNESCO ICH accreditation which has just been renewed. IAF President, Dr.Adrian Lombard, and Dr. Bohumil Straka attended the Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage meeting in Windhoek, Namibia . This was a meeting important not only to maintain the accredited status, but also vital to keep and update our UNESCO know-how and useful contacts.

The quadrennial report provided in January on behalf of IAF was successful and the UNESCO Secretariat submitted to the UNESCO ICH Committee its recommendation that the accreditation of 59 NGOs including IAF be maintained, while 38 NGOs were terminated. Apparently reviewers found that the UNESCO activities of IAF are very global and very rich. There are only very few international NGOs among many national ones.

This is extremely important for the IAF's image and credit and it enables to continued access to UNESCO sessions and prolongs falconers' involvement in UNESCO matters, especially when our falconry file is being extended.

The review process was carried out by the Secretariat from February to April 2015. Firstly, each report was carefully reviewed based on information submitted in the form. The reviews were carried out by two staff members of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section before being discussed collectively in order to prepare the recommendation to the Committee.


The Committee,

Having examined document ITH/15/10.COM/16, requests for accreditation, as well as quadrennial reports submitted by organizations accredited by the General Assembly at its third session in 2010,

Further considers that those 59 organizations listed in paragraph 17 of this document satisfy the requirements set out in the Operational Directives and decides to maintain their accreditation to provide advisory services to the Committee.

Registration for the 47th IAF Council of Delegates Meeting is now open

The 47th IAF Council of Delegates Meeting will be held in the very south of Ireland from 13th to 20th November 2016 by invitation of the The Irish Hawking Club. The IAF Meetings will be held in Sneem, Co. Kerry in the early part of the week, where hawking will take place everyday. The latter part of the week is optional and we will all move to the Irish Midlands for more hawking and an important conference on the sustainable use of wildlife. For more information contact info@iaf.org or Don Ryandon@irishhawkingclub.ie

To register to attend this meeting please complete the online form .

CITES Enforcement Wildlife Crime” Meeting 11-11-2015

Willem Vrijenhoek, IAF Advisory Committee Specialist, attended this meeting in Brussels which was held by the MEP Intergroup for "Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development". Speakers presented on topics related to wildlife crime in Europe. There were lot of organisations were represented, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the WWF and the IUCN, a total of 80 people.

Most of the presentations were about trafficking of endangered spices of animals, but also plants and tmber. There was a summary of the most important of the wildlife crime cases in Europe from the last two years . One of the main issues that showed up is that the Balkans form one of the most important routes for smuggling, including smuggling birds of prey (different types of falcons). The smuggler and the buyer of these birds were both arrested and prosecuted.

One of the other speakers made a presentation on a new way of investigating. The WWF, with several other NGO’s, has set up an organisation that helps CITES Management Authorities to investigate smuggling-cases. This new organisation will give advice to governments, both wanted and not wanted.

IAF made one intervention -  to tell the meeting that the IAF will help in any way possible with smuggling cases whenever there are birds of prey involved.

Here you could also download official copy of this letter.