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“IUCN SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group Seminar in Yogyakarta: Raising Awareness and Collaboration for Songbird Conservation in Asia”

Biodiversity and Wildlife Conservation,Digital Climate Action

IUCN SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group Seminar: Increasing Awareness and Collaboration for Songbird Conservation

Yogyakarta, June 21-24, 2024 – Atma Jaya University Yogyakarta hosted a significant seminar organized by the IUCN SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group (ASTSG). This four-day event attracted various stakeholders, from academics to conservation practitioners, to discuss the trade of songbirds in Asia and find solutions to protect these endangered species.

Day One: Public Seminar

On the first day, Friday, June 21, the seminar began with a warm welcome from Dr. Gregorius Sri Nurhartanto, Rector of Atma Jaya University Yogyakarta. He emphasized the importance of cross-country and institutional collaboration in songbird conservation efforts. Following this, Mrs. Badi’ah M.Si, Deputy Director of Species and Genetic Biodiversity Conservation from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, delivered an opening speech highlighting the government’s efforts to protect these species.

David Jeggo, Chair of the IUCN SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group, introduced the group and explained the background and objectives of the seminar. “We hope this event will serve as a platform to share knowledge and strengthen the network among conservation experts and practitioners,” Jeggo stated.

Focus on Songbird Trade

Serene Chng opened the first session by discussing the songbird trade in Southeast Asia. She outlined the main challenges in controlling illegal trade and its impact on songbird populations. Agung Nur Haq then presented reflections from seven years of monitoring the bird trade in Indonesia, particularly in West Kalimantan, and the impact of law enforcement on trade dynamics.

Education and Holistic Approaches

A presentation by Hardini Indarti on the CARING Tree approach to reducing involvement and frequency in songbird competitions was enthusiastically received by the participants. A panel discussion on the role of education and storytelling in addressing the songbird trade crisis became one of the highlights of the event.

The first day concluded with a discussion on the challenges and priorities in conservation breeding and reintroduction, led by an expert panel. This session provided valuable insights into the efforts made and steps needed to increase songbird populations in their natural habitats.

Day Two: IUCN SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group Members Workshop

On Saturday, June 22, the special members of the IUCN SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group continued with an internal workshop. The plenary session, led by David Jeggo, Jessica Lee, and Serene Chng, discussed the history and journey of the IUCN SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group, as well as a priority taxa list needing special attention. The discussion continued with updates from various sub-groups, including trade and legislation, education and community engagement, and field research.

On this day, Sunaring Kurniandaru, S.Si., representing Relung Indonesia, presented preliminary research results titled “Preliminary Results: Understanding the Economics, Practicalities, and Barriers within the Commercial Songbird Breeding Sector in Java.” This presentation provided important insights into the challenges and opportunities in the commercial songbird breeding sector in Java.

Strategy Development and Work Plan

Participants then focused on developing strategies and work plans. Facilitators from the Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG) led discussions on the vision and mission of the IUCN SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group and how to develop specific and measurable targets. This session was expected to result in a comprehensive work plan for the coming years.

Day Three: Action Planning

On Sunday, June 23, participants worked in small groups to develop more detailed action plans. They identified key challenges faced and sought thematic solutions that could be implemented. This session was highly interactive, allowing participants to share experiences and innovative ideas.

Day Four: Presentations and Discussions

The final day, Monday, June 24, began with presentations from each sub-group, outlining their discussion results and work plans. Each sub-group was given 20 minutes to present, followed by a 10-minute discussion. Sunaring Kurniandaru from Relung Indonesia, who will be a special member until 2025, led a special discussion presenting interim research results on commercial songbird breeding.

The event concluded with a summary and next steps by Jessica Lee and Serene Chng. The IUCN SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group seminar successfully raised awareness about the importance of protecting songbirds in Asia and strengthened collaboration among stakeholders. With the insights and action plans generated, it is hoped that songbird conservation efforts in Asia will become more effective and sustainable in the future.



“No bird soars too high if it soars with its own wings.”

-William Blake

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Biodiversity and Wildlife Conservation,Digital Climate Action
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