Like other migratory species,
waterbirds cross several international borders during
their migration, facing a wide range of threats. Without
international cooperation, conservation efforts of
one country can be nullified if the species is not
protected in another country along the flyway.
A ‘flyway approach’ means
that all threats waterbirds face during their journey
are identified and addressed. Major threats include
for example habitat destruction of various kinds,
lack of food due to over-fishing or unsustainable
hunting. These threats can be eliminated or mitigated
through international cooperation across the flyway.
To go to AEWA's own website, click here.
The largest Agreement developed so
far under CMS auspices, AEWA, focuses on migratory
waterbirds. It was concluded on 16 June 1995 in The
Hague, the Netherlands, and entered into force on
1 November 1999. The Secretariat is located in Bonn,
AEWA’s flyway approach to waterbird
conservation is unique. Being a regional agreement,
AEWA focuses on 255 waterbird species ecologically
dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual
cycle including many species of pelicans, storks,
flamingos, ducks, waders, terns, gulls and geese.
The AEWA Agreement area covers 119
Range States plus the EU in Africa, Europe including
parts of Canada, Central Asia and the Middle East.
The geographic area stretches from the northern reaches
of Canada and the Russian Federation to the southernmost
tip of Africa.
Parties to the Agreement are called
upon to engage in a wide range of conservation actions
which are described in a comprehensive Action Plan
(2009-2012). This detailed plan addresses such key
issues as: species and habitat conservation, management
of human activities, research and monitoring, education
and information, and implementation.
The “African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird
Flyways” GEF Project
In 2003, the Global Environmental
Facility (GEF) agreed to finance a US$12 million project
within the AEWA Agreement area. The African-Eurasian
Flyway GEF project aims to enhance and coordinate
catalytic strategic measures to conserve a network
of critical wetland areas that migratory waterbirds
depend upon to complete their annual cycle. There
are three linked components to the project: establishing
a network of sites, enhancing technical capacity and
improving communication and coordination. Project
activities includes development of the network of
sites through surveys, training and knowledge base
development; a training and awareness raising programme;
demonstration projects for best practices, which aimed
at showing practitioners how to manage sites in a
sustainable manner; and communications, including
web based resources, a project newsletter and publications.
For more information please see: www.wingsoverwetlands.org