Namibia schools learn about birds
(20 September 2013)

Rössing Uranium hosted its thirteenth birdwatching event involving learners and bird guides from the Namibia coastal area.

Fifty-four learners, from 11 coastal schools, and five bird guides participated in the event which was held at the Walvis Bay lagoon. The event was commemorated as part of Namibia's Coastal Biodiversity week, organised by the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management project (NACOMA). The Coastal Biodiversity Week was hosted under the theme THINK, EAT, SAVE.

All Rio Tinto operations in partnership with Birdlife International host birdwatching events as a gateway to wider environment awareness, as well as a promotion of interest in birds. For Rössing Uranium, the aim of the birdwatching day is to develop a lifelong interest in birds and their conservation along the Namibian coast as well to motivate and stimulate leaners to take up studies that lead to the conservation of birds.

Benadicta Uris, Rössing's Manager Health Safety Environmental and Security, welcomed the participants, affirming that Rössing is not only interested in watching birds but in the conservation of birds. Namibia's industries were urged to show interest and to support the conservation of Namibian birds.

Peter Bridgeford from the Committee of Coastal Environmental Trust (CETN) and coordinator of the bird counts in Namibia gave an informative talk on the background of the Walvis Bay lagoon, what makes it a wetland and why it is listed as a Ramsar site. He also took the opportunity to give helpful keys on bird features popularly used in bird identification.

The birdwatching activities included identifying, counting and recording bird species found at the lagoon on the day.

At the end of the event some 31 species of birds were recorded. The birdwatchers made use of bird species books and pamphlets about the common birds at the lagoon.