We, the organisers of the most important Bird Fairs in the world, are meeting together at the 15th annual Extremadura Bird Fair (FIO 2020) in the Monfragüe National Park, Extremadura, Spain. We would like to thank the General Directorate of Tourism of Extremadura for their kind invitation and for giving us this unique opportunity to meeting in this way. We congratulate the organisers of the Extremadura Bird Fair for achieving their milestone of holding this event for now 15 consecutive years.
The British Birdwatching Fair started in 1989 and today is the largest event of its kind. In the years that followed, and to the delight of the British Birdwatching Fair founders, bird fairs have become established across the world. Some are locally-focussed, others have a national identity, others are continent-wide. As a group here today, we represent the bird fairs that are demonstrating continuity and an international profile, as measured by both exhibitors and participants.
Through this history we have learned many lessons. The world is changing and bird conservation is facing huge challenges. Reflecting on this, we would like to declare the following intentions and recommendations for the future of our bird fairs and those of others.
- Birdwatching is a passion for millions across the world, enjoyed by people of all ages, wherever they live. Through it, our awareness of nature is enhanced and a commitment for conservation grows.
- Regardless whether birders focus on local birding or travel widely, their activities contribute hugely to local economies and this contribution is growing annually.
- Bird Fairs offer meeting places for this diverse community, to celebrate this common passion and to provide the opportunity for birders to meet businesses offering services and support to birding.
We pledge the following:
- To work together to share experiences and learning on management and promotion of successful bird fairs.
- To encourage bird fairs to promote and support bird conservation and international cooperation on conservation efforts.
- To recognise the climate emergency as a huge threat to life on Earth and encourage exhibitors, especially those involved in promoting tourism, to develop and demonstrate how the impact of their businesses is being ameliorated by off-setting, supporting local conservation initiatives and sustainable development.
- To identify and promote good practices in birding tourism, that demonstrate sustainable support to local, especially rural, economies and communities.
- To ensure that the bird fairs themselves can reduce their own environmental impact through recycling of materials, reduction of waste and other measures.
To achieve these aims, we propose to form a working group to develop the structure and mechanisms to enhance further cooperation between bird fairs around the world, whilst recognizing and respecting the diversity of our individual events.
28th February 2020
Monfragüe, National Park and UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve