|27 February, 2019

Mohamed Bin Zayed Raptor conservation fund to tackle rising raptor electrocution rates with landmark UAE-Mongolia partnership

Milestone agreement will strengthen ties between UAE and Asian counterpart in drive to secure wild populations of endangered Sakar falcon and other migratory species

Abu Dhabi, UAE – The Mohamed Bin Zayed Raptor Conservation Fund (MBZRCF), an action-orientated organisation committed to conserving and restoring raptors and their habitats as valuable elements of biodiversity, today signed a milestone agreement with Mongolia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism to tackle the alarming rise in electrocution-related raptor deaths caused by power distribution infrastructure in the east Asian country.

The landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in Abu Dhabi by His Excellency Majid Al Mansouri, Managing Director of MBZRCF, and His Excellency Tserendorj Batbayar, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia, in the presence of His Excellency Chintushig Zorigt, Ambassador of Mongolia to the State of Kuwait and non-resident Ambassador to the UAE.

With upwards of 4,000 Saker falcons suffering death by electrocution every year due to above ground electricity distribution lines in Mongolia, the MoU is designed to raise awareness of the importance of conserving and protecting Saker falcons and other raptor species. The Saker falcon is currently listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and classified as vulnerable in the Mongolian Red List of Birds.

“The Sakar Falcon and other threatened raptor species are increasingly at risk in Mongolia due to the increasing prevalence of power distribution lines in the raptors’ steppe habitat,” said His Excellency Al Mansouri. “The Mongolian power line infrastructure, which typically consists of grounded steel-reinforced concrete poles with steel crossarms and brackets supporting upright pin insulators, is the chief contributor in rising rates of raptor electrocution. While we respect and applaud the Mongolian government’s commitment to infrastructure development initiatives, urgent action is needed to mitigate the dangers to indigenous bird species such as raptors.

“Today’s signing will enable the Fund to expand our conservation efforts and meet the electrocution challenge head-on as we strive to secure a sustainable future for raptors.”

Under the agreement, MBZRCF and the Mongolian Ministry of Environment and Tourism commit to work with relevant Mongolia authorities and electricity companies to remodel the existing electricity distribution network and prevent the electrocution of Saker falcons and other birds.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia will facilitate authorisation for the remediation works, in accordance with national laws and regulations, and make site visits to review the project’s ongoing implementation and management. MBZRCF will drive the upgrades to the power distribution network via direct funding and sourcing the necessary equipment for power companies to carry out the work.

“We acknowledge the importance of conserving and protecting wildlife and sustainable ecosystems for future generations, both in Mongolia and neighbouring continents. This partnership allows us to pursue the necessary measures to preserve the habitat of the emblematic Saker Falcon and other raptor species,” said His Excellency Batbayar.

“It is an honour to work with the UAE and partner the Mohamed Bin Zayed Raptor Conservation Fund to secure a sustainable future for vulnerable species. We look forward to strengthening existing ties between our two nations and forging a long-term partnership to benefit all concerned parties and specifically vulnerable raptors.”

MBZRCF was founded in Aril 2018 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Price of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, develop solutions to key global challengers facing raptors. The Fund works to action and facilitate global programmes that support the conservation and restoration of raptors and their habitats as valuable elements of biodiversity.

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About MBZRCF

MBZRCF was founded in April 2018 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Price of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to develop solutions to key global challengers facing raptors, or birds of prey.

The Fund works to action and facilitate global programmes that support the conservation and restoration of raptors and their habitats as valuable elements of biodiversity.

By working at the intersection of conservation and community to build strong conservation collaborations focused on explicit objectives, MBZRCF strives for continuous improvement in the conservation and restoration of raptors and their habitats via the use of science, technology and wildlife management.

© Press Release 2019

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