Kiah's 'human swan' lands UN conservation role

A former Kiah local known around the world for "flying" with swans is being appointed to a prestigious UN role next week.

Sacha Dench will be formally sworn in as UN Ambassador for Migratory Species at a ceremony in India on February 17.

The role of helping fight habitat destruction and climate change impacting migratory species is particularly apt, given it's just weeks since Ms Dench lost her family home to Australia's catastrophic bushfires.

SKY HIGH: Sacha Dench - aka the Human Swan - flies a paramotor following the Bewick's swan migration from the Russian Arctic to the UK.

SKY HIGH: Sacha Dench - aka the Human Swan - flies a paramotor following the Bewick's swan migration from the Russian Arctic to the UK.

"Sadly the bushfire crisis brought home to me and many Aussies the very real challenge we face as our climate continues to change," Ms Dench said.

"Losing our home was devastating, yet it's a drop in the ocean compared to the impacts of man-made climate change and habitat destruction on migratory wildlife across the planet as we decimate their global 'flyways' and 'swimways'."

Ms Dench is a pioneering conservationist, champion sports woman and record-breaking adventurer who has been working to raise awareness of endangered species since 1997. She is known as the "Human Swan" following her paramotor journey following the Bewick's swan migration from the Russian Arctic to the UK.

"Whether in the Arctic, Australia or across Europe, I have seen first hand the tragic decline of many migratory species - it is devastating to think this has largely happened in my lifetime.

"From swans and vultures to tuna, issues such as illegal logging, poaching, overfishing and plastic pollution in our oceans is wreaking havoc on our planet's biodiversity.

"The case for immediate action on climate change, protection of biodiversity and the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) couldn't be more compelling.

"By continuing to fly my paramotor across key migration 'flyways', freediving and cavediving at important sites for marine species, I hope I will inspire others to think creatively about how they can benefit from conserving the life around them.

"Importantly, driving real change is not about online actions, it's about helping to change things in the real world through tangible actions.

"I believe it will be through inventive ideas and practical on-ground action, and backing those forward-thinking leaders, that we will be able to halt the decline of migratory species, whose lands and seas are also so important for human survival.

"Migratory species are an integral part of the healthy functioning of the global ecosystem. They remind us of our connection to the finite resource that is our blue planet and how vital it is that each of us and our countries come together to manage it sustainably," Ms Dench says.