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Obituary: Simon Aspinall

Simon Aspinall

Every now and again someone comes along who touches our lives and makes a difference. Simon Aspinall was one such person. When he died in October 2011, after bravely living with motor neurone disease for four years, the Middle East, and its birds, lost a true friend. He was 53. Simon’s passion for birds started as a schoolboy in England. Graduating in environmental science from the University of East Anglia, he first visited the Middle East in 1991, stopping off in the United Arab Emirates during one of his world birding trips. Later he was to work there for over 15 years, first for the then National Avian Research Centre and later as an environmental consultant,

International conference “Conservation of steppe and semidesert ecosystems in Eurasia, will be held in Almaty (Kazakhstan), on March 13-14, 2013

conservation of steppe and semi-desert

Conference topics:

  • Study of steppe and semidesert ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Biology of steppe and semidesert animal and plant species
  • Design and establishment of protected areas in open landscapes

OSME Summer Meeting 2011, Saturday 16 July 2011

Speakers at the 2011 Summer Meeting, left to right: Geoff Welch, Phil Cannings, Guy Kirwan, Sal Cooke, Jeff Gordon and Andrew Lassey (Ian Harrison/OSME)

After last year’s Middle Eastern weather, things were ‘back to normal’ for this year’s Summer Meeting and AGM with overcast skies and torrential downpours! However the programme of talks took the audience of 44 members and guests to the four corners of the OSME region. The first speaker was Phil Cannings who gave an overview of his work advising on the development of a protected areas network in northern Cyprus.

Minutes of the 33rd Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 16th July 2011 at the premises of the British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, Norfolk, UK

Members Present –. Dawn Balmer, John Bartley, Pat Bartley, Colin Bates, Christine Booth, Phil Cannings, Mick Carroll, Sal Cooke, Elaine Cowan, Peter Cowan, Helen Demopoulos, Jeff Gordon, Andrew Grieve, Ian Harrison, Phil Heath, Mike Jennings, Guy Kirwan, Chris Lamsdell, Andrew Lassey, David Marshall, Rod Martins, Brian Meadows, Nick Moran, Frank O’Connell, Richard Pavy, Doug Radford, Geoff Randall, Mike Reed, Colin Richardson, Andrew Schofield, Joyce Snoxell, Maldwyn Snoxell, Effie Warr, John Warr, Geoff Welch.

OSME and the AEWA Sociable Lapwing International Working Group

Workshop participants outside the headquarters of the General Commission for Al Badia Development and Management, Palmyra, Syria, March 2011. Photo: Geoff & Hilary Welch

The first meeting of the International Working Group was held in Palmyra, Syria between 18 and 20 March, hosted jointly by the Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife (SSCW – BirdLife Affiliate in Syria) and the General Commission for Al Badia Development and Management. The meeting brought together government and NGO representatives from eight of the key range states for the species, covering the principle breeding, stopover and wintering sites. In addition to agreeing the functioning of the Working Group


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