BONN/NAIROBI, 11th May, 2016 (WAM) — The Convention on Migratory Species, CMS, also known as the Bonn Convention, has announced the creation of an Intergovernmental Task Force on Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds in the Mediterranean, comprised of Governments and the European Commission.

UN organisations such as the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, international environmental treaties, INTERPOL, law enforcement and judiciary organisations, hunting communities and nongovernmental organisations will also be part of the coalition.

The announcement was made on the eve of the 2016 World Migratory Bird Day, celebrated around the world on 10th May under the slogan, “…and when the skies fall silent? Stop the illegal killing, taking and trade!”, to highlight how wildlife crime affects numerous species of migratory birds.

According to BirdLife International, an estimated 25 million birds, including endangered species of waterfowl, songbirds and raptors are killed illegally each year around the Mediterranean Sea alone, undermining efforts to protect them.