Major Step Forward for the Conservation of Waterbirds in Central Asia

Abu Dhabi / Bonn, 13 December 2012 - The Range States of the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) region came together yesterday in Abu Dhabi to decide on the way forward for the legal and institutional framework for the CAF Action Plan for the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds. This meeting was possible only thanks to the generous contributions of the UNEP Regional Office for Europe through the Regional European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy and the Government of Germany.

The meeting unanimously agreed that the preferred option would be to include the CAF under the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). The delegates issued a declaration requesting the Parties to AEWA to consider extending the geographic area of that Agreement to encompass the entire CAF region and to take responsibility for the CAF Waterbird Action Plan. [Declaration - English] [Declaration - Russian]

According to a presentation made by BirdLife International at the meeting, the waterbirds of the CAF region are in more rapid decline than those in Africa and Europe and their habitats are also under great pressure.

The chair of the meeting, Mr. David Stroud of the United Kingdom, noted that under the proposed arrangement, legal protection for the birds would be enhanced, and they would benefit from the greater international cooperation and coordination that AEWA could offer. In its 17 years’ existence, AEWA had become well established and had acquired considerable experience in tackling pressing threats to waterbirds. The declaration included a call for countries in the region to accede to AEWA and to implement the existing Action Plan.

Mr. Bert Lenten, Officer in Charge, of the Secretariat of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), said that he would work together with the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat and governing bodies to ensure all necessary preparatory steps were taken to enable the AEWA Parties to take an informed decision on the extension of the Agreement area to include the remaining part of the CAF region beyond the current AEWA area. In accordance with the outcome of the CMS Future Shape process the extension of the agreement area would be preferable to the development of a new agreement; Mr Lenten hoped that AEWA Parties will be able to agree with such an extension.

At the end of the Meeting, the Chair congratulated the delegates on the major step taken and looked forward to it being implemented for the benefit of the conservation of the waterbirds and their habitats in the Central Asian Flyway region.

Last updated on 06 December 2017