To all IAF Delegates, Advisory Committee Members and friends of the IAF,
I wish to advise you regarding developments with the Saker Global Action Plan. Please share this information with your membership. The CMS Draft Resolution may be accessed by clicking here.
- In 2011, our late President Frank Bond wrote to the delegates of countries attending the CMS CoP in Bergen, Norway, with the support of FACE and the CIC, regarding planned action related to the Saker Falcon. This involved a statement which, in essence, blamed falconers for the decline in the numbers of this falcon to the extent that it needed up listing to CMS Category 1. We challenged this statement and drew attention to the sustainable use project undertaken in Mongolia. We proposed that there was no simple approach to the conservation of this species. We were most ably represented at this conference by our Conservation Officer, Janusz Sielicki. As a result of a multilateral compromise, CoP 11 created the Saker Task Force.
- Following this conference, the IAF became a signatory to the Raptors MoU of the CMS and the Saker Task Force was established. We were ably represented at the meetings of the Raptors MoU and the Saker Task Force by Janusz, once again.
- The Saker Task Force has now completed the preparation of the Global Action Plan (Saker GAP) for the Saker Falcon. This is a monumental achievement as this species is found across 80 range states. The plan is unique in that it recognizes sustainable use as one of the key elements in the conservation of this species. It also recognizes that there are several very significant causes for the decline of this species and does not lay the blame at the door of falconers, although there is concern for unsustainable and illegal harvesting of this species.
- The Saker GAP proposes 3 Flagship Projects, one of which, The Online Information Portal, involves the monitoring and measurement of the use of these falcons by falconers. The IAF has undertaken to fund and manage this project, in cooperation with representatives of UNEP, BirdLife and IUCN. This is a very significant role for the IAF and has been made possible through our engagement in this process and by the generous support of the Emirates Falconry Club and Abu Dhabi.
- The IAF will further continue its engagement in this process and with the CMS. We shall be represented at the next CoP 12 of the CMS by Janusz Sielicki which will take place in Ecuador in October. We wish him well and can depend on his representation.
These are very significant achievements by the IAF and represent our growth into a Conservation Organization of real international standing. I thank all those who have supported and encouraged our efforts. Special thanks must go to Robert Kenward of IUCN SULi, Nick Williams of the CMS and to Matyas Prommer of BirdLife Hungary.
The real work is about to begin, we will need the support and work of all our delegates from Saker range states to make the project a success. For this reason, I shall be attending the African and Asian Falconry Federation Meeting in Kyrgyzstan next month as well as visiting Kazakhstan.
These are exciting times for our organization.
Dr Adrian Lombard
President - International Association for Falconry and the Conservation of Birds of Prey