This item may be of interest - the URL is at the end of the media release ...
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
05 June 2002
Migratory Shorebirds Documentary Takes Flight
A new online documentary mapping the amazing journey of migrating shorebirds
will enable bird-lovers around the world to help participate in their
conservation, Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp,
A Year on the Wing, launched today in Melbourne on World Environment Day, is a
collaborative effort between the environment and arts communities, jointly
funded by the Natural Heritage Trust, ABC New Media and the Australian Film
A Year on the Wing will present a unique perspective on shorebird migration,
focusing on the largest of the 55 shorebirds which travel along the East
Asian-Australasian Flyway, the Eastern Curlew. The Eastern Curlew breeds in far
eastern Russia, before beginning its migration from the Arctic through Asia to
Australia and New Zealand. The birds fly this route twice a year from north to
south and back, travelling up to 25,000 kilometres per year.
"This interactive online documentary promotes an understanding of the remarkable
life-cycle of migratory shorebirds and encourages participation in conservation
activities both here in Australia, and throughout the bird's entire migration
route," Dr Kemp explained.
Dr Kemp is in Indonesia, attending the fourth and final preparatory session for
the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg in late
"The future of migratory shorebirds can only be assured if conservation action
is taken in all countries along the migration route. These birds show us that
the world's environment is indeed interconnected. The birds are integral to the
natural balance of Australia's wetlands and the ecosystem of each wetland at
which they stop to feed and rest.
"Just as these shorebirds network the wetlands throughout Australia and in the
Asia Pacific region, this documentary will facilitate the networking of people
with a common interest in these wonderful birds."
Visitors to the site will be able to track the birds on their journey,
contribute stories, information, observations, artwork and argument to the
project, visit the wetlands throughout the Flyway, plot where they live on the
Flyway and join the international Chain of Schools supporting the network of
wetlands. Information, activities and resources about the birds, and the ecology
and culture of the places they visit will also be available.
Australia has a strong record of leadership in migratory shorebird conservation
in Australia and in the entire migratory route of these birds, with bilateral
conservation agreements already in place with Japan and China and work underway
to establish a conservation agreement with Korea.
"Effective protection of migratory shorebirds and their habitats, which are
largely wetlands, requires the support and involvement of the whole community,"
Dr Kemp said.
"Community and industry involvement through the Natural Heritage Trust and the
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is invaluable in
implementing on-ground conservation actions for these birds and wetlands."
The Australian Film Commission/ABC New Media 'Documentary Online" initiative was
established to encourage exciting and adventurous projects that exploit the
possibilities of the Internet and challenge conventional documentary forms.
A Year on the Wing can be found on the ABC website at www.abc.net.au/docos.
Catherine Job Dr Kemp's office (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
Carolyn MacDonald ABC (03) 9626 1606 or 0418 273 141
Traccy Mair AFC (02) 9362 8566 or 0419 221 493
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