55th CIC General Assembly, Marrakech
23rd April, 12.00 - 13.00
The first session of the Commission was attended by approx 80 persons. It started with a welcome note and a review of activities of the Falconry Commission (FC) in 2007 as previously reported to the Executive Committee of the CIC (also see hereafter).
A mention of gratitude was made to Moroccan Falconers Association members’ who were attending the session with their traditional attires and falcons and received a warm applause from the audience.
Abdelak Chaouni, a historian and Secretary of the Association gave a most interesting presentation on the role of Maghreb countries’ falconry in world’s falconry history.
Kieran Buckley, Project Director of the Irish Grey Partridge Trust reported on their project supported by CIC’s Falconry Commission. The project is dealing with a struggling population of Irish native Grey partridges. The activities of IGPT were also reported separately.
Karl-Heinz Gersmann, delegate of DFÖ (Deutsche Falken Örder) and member of the German Delagtion briefed the audience about the Tree Nesting Peregrines project in Germany. It is a project that has been supported formany years by CIC’s FC and DFÖ and is achieving promising results. A report on the project was duly and separately submitted to the Executive Committee and was published, as in the case of the IGPT, in CIC Newsletter #1/2007.
Finally, FC President, José Manuel Rodríguez-Villa took the word to conduct the last point of the agenda: election of officers. He informed that no other candidature but his had been presented to the Presidency of the Commission. He asked if there was any objection from the floor. As none was presented he was unanimously re-elected as President of Falconry and Conservation of Bird of Prey Commission.
Rodríguez Villa then expressed his intention to make a couple of changes in the Vice-presidencies. He thanked Vice-presidents Dr. Monika Reiterer and Dr. Igor Tavcar for their services to the FC and proposed Karl-Heinz Gersmann and Dr. Harald Barsch, President of Austrian Association ÖFB as new Vice-presidents of FC. He also proposed Patrick Morel to continue in his Vice-presidency, focusing mainly on the UNESCO recognition effort. The proposal was seconded from the floor and accepted unanimously.
The session was then closed.
25th April, 10.00 - 11.00
Session II was entirely dedicated to a presentation by Dr. Fred Lacroix, Director of Emirates Centre for Wildlife Propagation, located in Missour (East Morocco). The presentation dealt with the huge project of captive breeding and release program of Houbara Bustard carried out by UAE Govt. Houbara Bustard is the traditional prey of Arab falconry and their populations have suffered from a serious decline in some areas of distribution, due to over-hunting, poaching and change of land use. The massive comprehensive program includes 2 breeding centres in Morocco, huge protected areas and a release plan that just in 2007 involved 8.000 birds. This is the first time that ‘game management’ concept is successfully used in Arab falconry.
Furthermore, the whole Missour area in Morocco has benefited from the project in terms of employment, education, health, infrastructures, meaning a good example for ‘rural development’ thanks to hunting (in this case, hawking).
After the presentation, some questions were raised from the floor and answered by Dr. Lacroix.
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