Statement on Taiwan Wild Bird Federation Name Change and Clarifications on Removal from BirdLife International
By: TWBF Secretariat
On September 19, 2020, the Chinese Wild Bird Federation held its annual General Assembly at which time the name of our organization and its charitable purposes was discussed. After careful deliberations, the General Assembly passed a motion so that henceforth the English name of 中華民國野鳥學會 will be the Taiwan Wild Bird Federation (formerly the Chinese Wild Bird Federation). This was done to avoid international confusion and allow us to expand ties with other groups in promoting the important work of global conservation. The TWBF staff is currently working to amend all English language communications and materials to reflect the change. We appreciate your patience as this work is completed.
Furthermore, since the announcement of our removal from the BirdLife International partnership last week, there has been much discussion of the topic within Taiwan and internationally. At this time we would like to issue some clarifications on the matter:
- The BirdLife International family is comprised of numerous amazing and independent organizations doing their utmost to advance conservation in their respective countries and territories. The removal of TWBF from BirdLife was instigated by the CEO and then supported by the Global Council on the basis of incorrect political determinations. It is our understanding that individual BirdLife partners around the world were neither consulted nor informed about this decision beforehand. We ask all our friends overseas to continue to support your local BirdLife partner and their important work in advancing conservation.
- In a recent communication by the BirdLife International CEO to partners, she described the TWBF as being unwilling to leave global politics at the door as part of our participation in BirdLife International. Once again, we would like to reiterate that we have never taken any political stances. We are conservationists, not political actors. In fact, it was BirdLife who asked us to take a political stance by insisting we sign an overtly political declaration and by describing us as a “risk”, without ever clearly defining what that risk was. At all times, we worked to allay those concerns, yet our removal was insisted upon regardless. To bring clarity to the situation, we have decided to release our correspondence with BirdLife on this issue to show how we consistently worked to find an effective compromise.
- Conservation must be based on science, and even though this sad event has taken place, the TWBF fully believes in the scientific principles and methodologies underpinning BirdLife International’s major projects. One of those key scientific concepts has been the designation of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), which serve as the basis for protecting areas important to birds. We have helped to establish 54 IBAs with applications underway for two more. These cover 20% of Taiwan’s area. The TWBF is committed to continuing this work as well as moving with global trends toward the new framework of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), areas of international importance to global biodiversity, promoted by a number of international conservation groups and NGOs.
- Birds do not know borders and conservation efforts are hurt when we are unable to work together. For migratory species, especially in Asia where 48 threatened species use the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, this is critical. Bird conservation requires global and regional strategies bringing together researchers and conservationists regardless of where they are from. We understand this, and as a global partner for conservation, will continue working with all organizations and partners who share our conservation goals.
Finally, the TWBF and its partner associations would like to express thanks to the many individuals and groups who have expressed their support for us during this time. We look forward to working alongside you in advancing global conservation goals in the months and years to come.
2020年9月19日，中華民國野鳥學會(簡稱中華鳥會)舉行會員代表大會，並針對遭國際鳥盟除名議題進行討論。經大會決議，決定將中華鳥會的英文名稱從Chinese Wild Bird Federation（CWBF）更改為 Taiwan Wild Bird Federation（TWBF），以加強本會英文名稱在國際間的識別度，讓我們能夠持續拓展與其他組織的網絡關係，深化全球的保育合作。
保育必須以科學作為基礎，即使發生這種不幸的事件，中華鳥會仍會完全支持國際鳥盟在全球保育計畫中的科學原理與方法論。其中關鍵的科學概念之一，就是推廣與劃設重要野鳥棲地（Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, IBAs），藉由科學性及系統性的方法選定對鳥類重要的棲地，以期得到適當的保護。自2000年起，我們已經在台灣共劃設54處重要野鳥棲地，另有2處正在申請中，這些地區覆蓋了我國近百分之二十的面積。中華鳥會將持續致力於這項工作，並因應全球的保育趨勢，在未來也將往生物多樣性關鍵地區（Key Biodiversity Areas，KBA）的新框架邁進，這是由許多國際保育組織及非政府組織所倡議，對全球生物多樣性具重要性指標的棲地環境。
鳥類不明白國界的存在，我們若無法共同努力，就會危及保育工作。尤其在亞洲，共有48種受脅候鳥會經由東亞-澳大拉西亞遷徙線（East Asian-Australasian Flyway）遷移，他們都極需來自遷徙線上不同國家、地區的重視與保護。鳥類保育需要全球和區域性的策略經營，無論是來自何處的研究人員或保育人士，我們都應該團結在一起。作為全球鳥類保育的夥伴，我們將繼續與擁有共同目標的所有組織和伙伴並肩奮鬥。