CMS Secretariat has released of the Central Asian Flyway (CAF)
Action Plan for the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and
their Habitats. The Action Plan is the outcome of six years
of work including two intergovernmental meetings.
The Meeting to Conclude and Endorse the Proposed Central
Asian Flyway Action Plan to Conserve Migratory Waterbirds
and their Habitats took place in New Delhi, India, from
10-12 June 2005. The New Delhi Meeting was the second official
meeting of the Central Asian Flyway Range States after the
first held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 2001, to discuss
a draft Action Plan for the CAF and various legal and institutional
options to support an Action
The Action Plan will provide the basis for the region’s
30 Range States to take individual and coordinated region-wide
activities to conserve waterbirds and their habitats. It
will help countries to manage the threats to migratory waterbirds
by human activities, such as harvesting/hunting and habitat
loss, as well as emerging threats posed by wildlife diseases
such as avian influenza.
Nearly 100 participants attended the New Delhi Meeting
including delegates from 23 of 30 Range States and a number
of international and national level non-governmental organisations.
CMS organised the meeting, in cooperation with Wetlands
International, who also provided technical advice to the
CMS Secretariat and in-kind support to the meeting. The
Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests hosted the event
with organisational support from the Wildlife Institute
of India. The Governments of India, the Netherlands and
Switzerland, as well as CMS, the African-Eurasian Waterbirds
Agreement (AEWA), the Global Environment Facility, the UNEP
Regional Offices for West Asia, Asia and the Pacific, and
Europe (Pan-European Biodiversity and Landscape Strategy)
provided generous financial contributions.
The meeting had four primary objectives to: (1) provide
Range State delegations with an overview of flyway conservation
issues; (2) finalise and endorse the draft CAF Action Plan;
(3) consider, prioritise and endorse selected implementation
activities, and lay the basis for exploring and possibly
establishing an interim coordination mechanism; and (4)
develop a consensus on their preferred option for a legal
and institutional framework for the CAF region.
The outcomes of the meeting are summarised in the
report that includes the New Delhi Meeting
The New Delhi Meeting finalized the draft Action Plan. Wetlands
International in consultation with the CMS Secretariat revised
the Action Plan to incorporate technical comments received
following the New Delhi Meeting. The text remains to be
officially adopted by the Range States.
8.5 the Eighth Meeting of the CMS Conference
of the Parties welcomes the Action Plan’s finalization.
It also recognises the need to establish an appropriate
legal and institutional framework to support the Action
Plan’s implementation, and notes the Range State participants’
preference at the New Delhi Meeting for the Action Plan
to be appended to a legally binding instrument: AEWA.
Another intergovernmental meeting might be necessary for
the Range States to identify a legal and institutional option
and to officially adopt the Action Plan text. The meeting
would likely take place in mid to late 2007 in conjunction
with the Sixth Meeting of the Range States to the
CMS Siberian Crane Memorandum of Understanding.
Until a way forward is agreed, Range States, interested
organisations and experts have been invited to draw from
the principles and actions reflected in the Action Plan
as a basis to prioritise their on-going work to conserve
the migratory waterbirds and habitats of the Central Asian
CMS will also work actively with the Range States, other
interested States, international organisations and Wetlands
International to support the Action Plan’s interim
implementation at the flyway level.
The CMS Secretariat has successfully reached an agreement
with Wetlands International to establish a coordination
mechanism to support the Action Plan’s interim implementation
· Provide a flyway level presence to promote awareness
and support for the Action Plan amongst Range States, international
agencies, partner organisations and donors;
· Develop proposals and source funding for at least
two of the seven flyway level implementation priorities
identified by the New Delhi Meeting including: (1) a monitoring
strategy and the means to strengthen capacity for monitoring
waterbirds in the CAF and (2) a flyway status overview of
national and international conservation aspects of migratory
waterbirds and their habitats as a basis for cooperative
· Catalyse information exchange between the Range
States about issues of common concern; and
· Develop and maintain a web portal and electronic
discussion forum for the Central Asian Flyway initiative.
In addition, the issue of avian influenza has been of increasing
concern in 2005-06 because of the potential grave implications
for the global animal and human health sectors, the economic
and development sectors and the conservation sectors, including
migratory waterbirds and their habitats. Strategies for
responding to the threat of this disease are being developed
around the globe.
CMS has established an international Scientific Task Force
on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds to prioritise action.
CMS recognises the urgent need for the sharing of flyway
scale migration information on wild waterbirds. However,
in the CAF region it is currently not readily available
and this needs flyway wide-attention and cooperation. This
issue does not feature in the New Delhi Meeting priority
list of projects, but it has since emerged and is now on
the top of the global agenda.
CMS has proposed to the Range States to make this an additional
implementation priority for CAF in order to provide the
basis to develop a flyway level project as soon as possible.
It will work closely with Wetlands International to develop
a project that could be added to the interim coordination
mechanism’s task list.
With the generous financial support of the German Government,
CMS has committed USD 25,000 to the initial establishment
of the interim coordination mechanism. The estimated total
cost would be about USD 50,000 per year.
Eighth Meeting of the CMS Conference of the Parties
(Nairobi, 2005) invited Range States, other interested States
and interested intergovernmental and international non-governmental
organisations to consider making generous in-kind or financial
contributions to support the next steps towards adopting
and implementing the Action Plan.
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