International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey (IAF)


Contact: +32 472 069 354
Postal address: Rue de Flandre 31 B-1000 Brussels
Geographic Coverage of NGO’s expertise:


Year of creation: 1967

Safeguarding measures:

- preservation, protection
- promotion, enhancement

Main areas of work related to the Convention:

The IAF is a non-profit international association, which represents 69 falconry Member Organizations from 48 nations whose total membership exceeds more than 30,000 individuals worldwide. Regarding active membership, which forms a community linked by the desire to pursue the objectives for which it was established, the IAF Officers, Advisory Committee, and Council of Delegates meet at its Annual General Meeting to discuss matters of the association. Representatives of the IAF have been active as members of the board of directors, participants and supporters of the Archives of Falconry (USA) and the Falconry Heritage Trust (UK). Many representatives of the IAF made presentations on the cultural tradition and history of falconry in their respective nations at the international conference held on September 12-15, 2005 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, for the proposal of falconry as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. In July 2007, the IAF, along with many of its Member Organizations, attended the Festival of Falconry, in Reading, England, which united and presented the heritage of falconry for UNESCO recognition for representatives and interested festival attendees. The IAF will attend another Festival Falconry to be held for the same purpose in 2009. In November 2006, the entire Council of Delegates visited the Archives of Falconry where the greatest collection of falconry heritage materials exists in a single location in the world. The collection includes paintings, books, documents, and other literature, artifacts, and also the Memorial Sing dedicated to the memory of the founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, which depicts the culture, tradition, and heritage of Bedu falconry in the Arabian Gulf.


1. To represent falconry throughout the world. Falconry is the traditional sport of taking quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of trained birds of prey. It is a hunting art. 2. To preserve and encourage falconry within the context of sustainable use of wildlife. 3. To encourage conservation, the ecological and veterinary research on birds of prey and promote, under scientific guidance, domestic propagation for falconry. 4. To develop, maintain and amend national and international laws, treaties and conventions to permit the pursuit and perpetuation of falconry. 5. To require the observation of falconry, hunting, conservation and welfare laws, regulations, traditions and culture with regard to the taking, import, export and keeping of birds of prey, the taking of quarry species and the right of access to land in the country concerned. 6. To promote and uphold a positive public image of falconry with specialist organisation, which regulate or otherwise affect falconry.


Over many years the IAF, through various representatives, has intervened to protect the practice, tradition, and heritage of falconry where it has existed for centuries. IAF representatives have met with falconers, local, regional, and national government authorities, and at the international level in the European Union. We have provided expert advice in law and regulation, cultural practices, and heritage history, conservation and biological information, where appropriate, in the following countries most recently: Belgium, China, Denmark, Estonia, Kazakhstan, PMalta, Morocco, Netherlands, Scotland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, and USA. Because many falconers of the world rely on birds of prey produced in captivity, we have intervened to encourage and support captive propagation throughout the world, including in Europe and North America. Similarly, where local falconers rely on raptors harvested from naturally occurring wild populations, the IAF has intervened to support wild harvest on the principle of sustainable use, as part of the nations' cultural and traditional practice of falconry.