This is a white-crowned wheatear video.
This bird of North Africa and the Arab peninsula comes rarely to Western Europe.
I was privileged to see this species in Morocco.
This is a white-tailed lapwing video. This species nests in Asia, and winters in India and Africa.
First North African Congress of Ornithology: call for papers
The Laboratory of Applied Zoology and Animal Ecophysiology of the University of Béjaia (Algeria) is organising the First North African Congress of Ornithology and the 4th International Colloquium of Algerian Ornithology from 24 to 26 October 2017 at the University of Béjaia. …
After the successful editions of Batna (2006), Oum El-Bouaghi (2012) and Guelma (2014). The Laboratory of Applied Zoology and Animal Ecophysiology of the Bejaia University (Algeria), suggests organizing the fourth edition of the International Colloquium of Algerian Ornithology. This year, and given the enthusiasm of our Maghrebian colleagues for the previous meetings, a North African dimension is given to this scientific event, with the organization for the first time on a regional level of the First North African Congress of Ornithology. The theme held this year, for both events; “The Birds of North Africa in front of Global Change”. The two meetings will certainly provide an opportunity to [make] a network of Maghreb ornithologists and … to create a scientific journal dealing with the Birds of North Africa.
Birds of North Africa in front of Global Change
Status and biogeography of North African avifauna
Ecology and Biology of the birds of the Desert and Saharan Regions
Conservation of wetlands and water birds in northern Africa
Ecology and biology of forest avifauna
This video says about itself:
12 July 2011
You’ve never seen so many seabirds in one place! A tiny island off the South African coast is the location of one of the biggest gannet colonies on earth! Watch the birds take flight in this HD video.
Protecting the majestic seabirds of West Africa
By Justine Dossa, Alcyon Project Manager, 26 Jan 2017
Alcyon? It is, in fact, a legend borrowed from Greek mythology. Alcyon is a fabulous seabird, with plaintive song (often identified with the kingfisher, gull, petrel or swan), which is considered a good omen by Greeks and poets because according to legend it only builds its nest on a calm sea.
We had hoped at the start of the Alcyon project that seabirds and all marine and coastal biodiversity of our sub-region, threatened by various pressures, would nest, just like Alcyon, on the calm marine environment of West Africa. This is what this project, named Alcyon by my former colleague Julien Semelin sets out to achieve.
After four years of the Alcyon project, this is no longer a dream. It is, in fact thanks to the Alcyon project that light has been shed on key sites for the conservation of birds and biodiversity at sea; what we call marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas – marine IBAs. Yes, a network of 13 marine IBAs has been identified as part of the Alcyon project, off our sub-region through well-developed methodology based on strict criteria followed by the BirdLife International Marine Programme team.
However, the purpose of the Alcyon project was not only to focus on identifying marine IBAs. It is to reach a harmonious West African eco-region, like an Alcyon nest on a calm sea. At this stage, it is more than necessary to put in place appropriate measures to address the threats identified while further knowledge is gathered on other risks that might impede better conservation of seabirds and biodiversity.
For this reason, the project team has begun a process to develop a Regional Strategy and Action Plan (SAP) for seabird and marine biodiversity sustainable conservation off the coast of West Africa. This strategy paper would make it possible to build on the Alcyon project achievements in order to sustain conservation of the resources concerned.
In October 2016, we organized a workshop for wrapping up and future prospects of the Alcyon project to take stock of project achievements, present the strategy paper developed, and to seek contributions from stakeholders, local partners, international experts, and policy makers to better consider the strategic action needed to address the risks and threats identified in the SAP.
Undoubtedly, implementing the priority action identified in this SAP will contribute effectively to reducing impact in the long-term and even eliminating the threats identified in marine IBAs. It is precisely continuing implementation of our Strategic Action Plan through a marine programme, which thanks to the overlap of the different components could achieve our objective.
Alcyon will definitely no longer be a project, but rather the Seabird and marine conservation programme in West Africa. You will read news of this marine programme – the Alcyon programme in the next few issues of our Newsletter!
This video says about itself:
5 January 2017
Translated from Judith van de Hulsbeek, Dutch NOS TV correspondent in Germany:
Hardly any North Africans in Cologne at New Year
Among the large groups of men who went to the New Year celebration in Cologne this year came, there appear to have been hardly any North Africans. This is in contrast to what the German police said before. …
After the New Year events there was commotion about a tweet by a policeman, in which he labeled a large group of men as ‘Nafris’, abuse for supposedly criminal North Africans. …
The police investigated whether among the men were persons accused of the assaults on New Year a year ago. But there is no evidence for that. “None of the suspects of Cologne in 2015-2016 and none of the 75 persons who had then received an exclusion order have been reported this year,” said Police Chief Mathies in a press release.
This video says about itself:
Profiting from the Poor: the case of Bridge International Academies in Kenya
8 November 2016
Pupils are not really learning and teachers are not really teaching at Bridge International Academies in Kenya. Still, many families sacrifice large sums of their budget, which go into the “low cost” education provided by this chain. But what lies behind the green walls of these schools? Should parents trust them, pupils put their future into their hands and international donors contribute to the success of a chain that is not up to standards when it comes to offering quality education for all? This video will be eye-opening for many.
Bridge runs more than 400 nurseries and primary schools across Africa. It started its expansion after opening its first school in a slum in 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, where it currently operates 359 academies throughout catering to 102,644 students with over 4255 academy staff.
Bridge is financially supported by the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and education conglomerate Pearson Ltd. It is also supported by the World Bank and DfID-UK. Bridge’s business model, which includes fee charging schools run by unqualified teachers delivering a scripted standardised curriculum, has faced heavy criticism.
The Ugandan branch of Bridge has recently come under scrutiny for offering an education well below the national standards, which prompted the order by the Ugandan Education Ministry to close the schools in Ocotber 2016. Also attracting significant criticism is the Liberian Government’s announcement to outsource its primary schools to Bridge.
The company has plans to dramatically increase the scale and scope of its operations to deliver education services to over 10 million children across a dozen countries by 2025.
To find more about Bridge go here.
By James Tweedie:
Kenya will crack down on Gates’s filthy shack schools
Wednesday 7th December 2016
KENYA has vowed to crack down on the chain of shack schools bankrolled by the world’s richest man after a damning report by teaching unions.
The Kenyan National Union of Teachers (KNUT) launched the report by global federation Education International (EI) into the transnational Bridge International Academies (BIA) in Nairobi on Monday.
It aims to supplant governments in Africa and India as the main provider of education to the poor, with a target of 10 million children from families living on about £1.60 a day enrolled by 2025.
But poor teaching standards, low wages and high fees have characterised the operation. Parents interviewed by the report’s authors said they struggled to pay fees, which could reach £16 a month when school dinners and other costs are factored in.
The report also found that 71.5 per cent of the firm’s teachers were unqualified, giving scripted lessons read from tablet computers.
They teach a shocking 59 hours of classes a week on average, on a median salary of about £80 per month.
KNUT general secretary Wilson Sossion called on the government to close all 405 BIA schools in the country, saying: “They should not be allowed to exploit children from poor households.”
Education Minister Fred Matiang’i told reporters he had visited some of the schools and agreed with the report’s conclusions.
“It is true that some of these schools are … (not) offering quality education as they purport to,” he said, adding that the government would be releasing its own report into the outfit.
Mr Matiang’i said he had instructed county commissioners across the country to ensure only official Teaching Service Commission-qualified staff were giving classes from January.
“We are also targeting schools that are not registered or are operating on illegal licences,” he said.
Last month BIA’s chain of 63 schools in Uganda — typically corrugated iron shacks — was shut down after the it lost a court appeal against an education ministry closure order.
The ministry said the schools’ sanitation was so sordid that it endangered pupils’ health and that the firm was not following the national curriculum.
“Bridge International Academies has a few lessons to learn yet,” said EI general secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “The decision of the government of Uganda to close Bridge for failing the meet and adhere to minimum standards has sent a very clear message to this corporate actor.
“The right to quality free education cannot be undermined.”
This video says about itself:
African Grey Parrot: Species in Decline (English)
14 September 2016
The African Grey Parrot – a highly intelligent bird that is popular as a pet – has been eliminated from much of its west African range and the largest populations are now only found in central Africa. In the fall of 2016, delegates from around the globe will meet for the world’s leading forum to debate and discuss issues related to international wildlife trade – the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES. Parties will consider a proposal to transfer the African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) from Appendix II to Appendix I, effectively banning international commercial trade in the species.
Read the full proposal here.
The Cornell Lab or Ornithology in the USA writes about this:
Increased Protection for a Bird Being Loved to Death
The Gray Parrot, also known as African Grey Parrot, is one of the world’s most popular pet birds—but that popularity has fueled the capture of millions of parrots from the wild in Africa. Earlier this month, an international wildlife trade conference granted this declining species increased protections under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The Cornell Lab’s Multimedia Productions program produced this video summary about the plight of the Gray Parrot for the government of Gabon and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Grey Parrot fading from Africa’s rainforests, By Alex Dale, 8 Dec 2016: here.