World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN to Develop Bird Flu Early-Warning System

UN-Led Alliance to Develop Bird Flu Early-Warning System

An alliance of organizations led by the United Nations will develop an avian flu early-warning system able to alert countries and communities to the arrival of potentially infected wild birds, the world body's environment agency announced today in Nairobi, Kenya.

Although experts said it could take two years to be fully realized, the new initiative by the Convention on Migratory Species with support and funding from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will warn authorities on different continents that migratory water birds are on their way.

Experts from other leading organizations such as Wetlands International, Birdlife International and the International Wildlife and Game Federation are also expected to be part of the scheme.

Special maps are to be developed for individual countries pinpointing the precise locations such as lakes, marshes and other wetland areas where the birds are likely to go.

Armed with this information, local health and environment bodies on continents like Africa, Asia and in Latin America will be better able to prioritize their planning and response, which could include warning farmers to move poultry away from key wetlands so as to minimize cross transmission with migratory birds.

"Precise information on the places where migratory birds go, including their resting sites and finally destinations is currently scattered across a myriad of organizations, bodies and groups," said Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP. "It is absolutely vital that this is brought together in a way that is useful to those dealing with the threat of this pandemic backed up by high quality, precision, mapping."

Robert Hepworth, the Convention's Executive Secretary, pledged to work with UNEP and other partners to develop this early-warning system, but said that could take as long as two years.

"But we know that it is needed and we know that the issue of avian flu and similar infections is likely to be a long-tersuch a system should be useful not only over the short but over the long term too."

News of the system came as hundreds of delegates gathered in Nairobi for the eighth Conference of the Parties to the Convention, which opens tomorrow and runs until Friday.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 



Save The Children: Ukraine: 21 Children Killed Or Injured In Horrific Week Of Violence

At least 21 children have been killed or injured in just a week in an uptick of violence across Ukraine, Save the Children said today... More>>


UN: Visionary ‘Blue Transformation’ Strategy To Enhance Underwater Food Systems

Record levels of fisheries and aquaculture production are making a critical contribution to global food security, the UN Ocean Conference under way in Lisbon, Portugal, heard on Wednesday...
More>>
Abu Akleh Shooting: Fatal Shot Came From Israeli Forces, Says OHCHR
Israeli forces were behind the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank - not indiscriminate Palestinian firing - the UN human rights office, OHCHR, alleged on Friday... More>>



UN Ocean Conference: Opens With Call For Urgent Action To Tackle Ocean Emergency
With climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution exacting a devastating toll on the world’s ocean — critical to food security, economic growth and the environment... More>>

World Vision: Deeply Concerned For Thousands Affected By Afghanistan Quake
World Vision is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in the wake of a powerful earthquake in the early hours of this morning... More>>



Malaysia: UN Experts Welcome Announcement To Abolish Mandatory Death Penalty

UN human rights experts* today commended an announcement made by the Malaysian government that it will abolish the country’s mandatory death penalty and encouraged Parliament to take concrete steps to pass the agreement into law... More>>