Conservation to take Centre Stage at the 2nd International Festival of Falconry
Abu Dhabi’s International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) today announced its participation at the 2nd International Festival of Falconry. Sponsored by the Emirates Falconers’ Club, the festival will be held this summer in the United Kingdom, from the 11-12 July.
The International Fund for Houbara Conservation was established to protect the houbara bustard through captive breeding programs, educational outreach and international alliances with fellow conservationists. Much of this effort is carried out by the National Avian Research Centre (NARC), which lies within the umbrella of the IFHC and manages a number of international research and the captive breeding programs.
The houbara bustard is widely prized in the region. However, loss of habitat and unsustainable hunting practices have greatly reduced its numbers. The IFHC has taken positive steps to counteract this and encourage natural breeding in the wild, having recently released 250 birds in the UAE from a batch of 980 bred last year and the scheme continues to flourish internationally, releasing 5,700 houbara into the wild of North Africa.
H.E. Majid Al Mansouri, Executive Director, Emirates Falconers’ Club said: “Conservation and falconry have always gone hand-in-hand and so we are very happy to have the IFHC at this year’s festival, as they continue to take the lead in international houbara conservation efforts.”
Officials from the IFHC will be attending the festival in order to brief British MP’s and senior officials on the work of the organisation. The IFHC will also take a central role in UAE outreach, taking the houbara conservation story to over 10,000 expected attendees.
Mohammed Saleh Al Baidani, Director General, IFHC said: “The UAE has had a long-standing commitment to conservation and we are proud to increase awareness of our global initiatives in breeding, research and habitat conservation at this year’s festival with the falconers of the world.”
During the festival, visitors will be able to enjoy demonstrations and workshops which cover such diverse subjects as equipment, art, falcon health and breeding. The Festival will raise awareness about Arabian Salukis plus a feature on the conservation of falcons, their game species and habitat. Moreover, a major ‘parade of nations’ is expected to take place each day were representatives from each of the 50 attending nations will have the opportunity to share their country’s traditions.
The United Arab Emirates is leading a UNESCO bid on behalf of other nations to have Falconry declared as an ‘intangible cultural heritage.’ If the bid is successful, this will have a global benefit for all falconry nations and contribute to the preservation of this art form.
For more information about the International Festival of Falconry, visit: http://www.falconryfestival.com/
The Emirates Falconers’ Club is the organisation representing falconers of the United Arab Emirates and for the past two editions of the festival has contributed to the travel and accommodation costs of less well-funded falconry countries.
The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) was recently established and aims to protect the Houbara Bustard through captive breeding programs, educational outreach and international alliances with fellow conservationists.