African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Action Plan (AEMLAP) Working Group

African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Action Plan (AEMLAP)


The African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Action Plan (AEMLAP) aims at improving the conservation status of migratory landbird species along the African-Eurasian region through coordinating actions at the international scale and through catalysing actions at national level. Its overall goal is to develop an initial overarching strategic framework to conserve, restore and sustainably manage populations of migratory landbird species and their habitats.

The overall objectives of the AEMLAP complement the work of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) Action Plan for the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and their Habitats and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MOU) toward restoring the status of all African-Eurasian migratory bird species.

The thematic focus areas of the AEMLAP are habitat conservation, research and monitoring, education and information, and taking and trade, and other issues, such as diseases and collision. Thus far, habitat loss and degradation have been identified as the most important threats to migratory landbird species throughout the flyway. Moreover, taking and trade for economic and cultural purposes may also negatively influence some migratory landbird populations.

The vision of the AEMLAP is to adequately monitor landbird species migrating along the African-Eurasian flyways, to identify and mitigate threats to them, to improve their conservation and to preserve and/or sustainably manage their habitats.

The AEMLAP forms Annex 1 of the Resolution 11.17 (Rev.COP13)/Rev.1 Action Plan for Migratory Landbirds in the African-Eurasian Region (AEMLAP), which was adopted by CMS COP at its Thirteenth Meeting (COP13, Gandhinagar, India, 2020). The Resolution and its Annex can be accessed here:


This Resolution instructs the Secretariat, in collaboration with Parties and relevant international organizations, and subject to the availability of funds, to organize regional workshops, promote the implementation of the Action Plan, and share best practice and lessons learned for the effective conservation of migratory landbirds.


Furthermore, the Conference of the Parties requested the African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Working Group (AEML WG) and the Scientific Council, in liaison with the Migrant Landbird Study Group (MLSG) and the Friends of the Landbirds Action Plan (FLAP), and with the support of the Secretariat, to support the implementation of Action Plans for the European Roller (Coracias garrulus) and the European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur). It also requested these groups and bodies to continue to develop Action Plans for declining migratory buntings, including the Yellow-breasted Bunting (Emberiza aureola); see Document UNEP/CMS/COP14/Doc.28.5.1 Action Plans for Birds.


  • Alleviation of habitat degradation through the development and promotion of sustainable land management policies and practices;
  • Elimination of unsustainable harvesting;
  • Monitoring of population trends throughout the region;
  • Research to identify population-specific migratory routes, connectivity, wintering and staging areas and to understand the habitat requirements of, and threats to, African-Eurasian migrants during all stages of their life cycle;
  • Raise awareness of the conservation status of African-Eurasian migrant landbirds, the threats they face and the measures needed to conserve them; and
  • Exchange information in order to develop and implement best-practice approaches to the conservation and sustainable management of these species.

The Action Plan is available in English and French.


The AEML Working Group

The Conference of the Parties to CMS, at its Tenth Meeting (COP10, 2011, Bergen, Norway) adopted Resolution 10.27 Improving the Conservation Status of Migratory Landbirds in the African Eurasian Region. In this Resolution, the COP called upon the Scientific Council and Secretariat to support this initiative, including through the establishment of a Working Group under the Scientific Council to steer the production and implementation of an Action Plan.

The first version of the Action Plan was completed during a workshop held in Ghana in September 2012, back-to-back with the first meeting of the Working Group, and subsequently adopted at CMS COP11 in Quito (Ecuador) in November 2014. The meeting report can be accessed here:

In 2015, the Second Meeting of the AEML WG took place.

Some main outcomes were:

  • Terms of Reference for a Coordinator of the AEML WG;
  • A Modus Operandi for the Working Group;
  • A first Programme of Work for the Implementation of the AEMLAP;

The report of the Second Meeting can be accessed here:


Membership aims to include experts with knowledge of African-Eurasian migratory landbirds, their habitats and the threats they face. External experts have been invited to participate in the Working Group, while the number of members should ideally allow the group to work as effectively as possible.

All members of the Scientific Council are welcome to provide representations to the Working Group. In addition to Councillors, key organizations and invited experts who can add value to the efforts of the Working Group have been identified. An update to the membership of the Working Group has taken place in early 2022.

The AEML Steering Group (SG)

The Steering Group consists of active members of the Working Group led by its Chair, and holds regular meetings to discuss updates on activities that contribute to the implementation of the Action Plan and the Programme of Work for the Working Group.

Activities and Meetings

The Action Plan for Migratory Landbirds in the African-Eurasian Region was adopted by COP11 as Resolution 11.17 in November 2014 in Quito, Ecuador.

Up to date, there have been three major meetings:

The Workshop of the Working Group on Migratory Landbirds in the African-Eurasian Region (AEML1, Accra, Ghana, 2012) Meeting Report AEML1, 2012

The Second Meeting of the African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Working Group (AEML2, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire 2015), at which the Modus Operandi was adopted: Meeting Report AEML2, 2015.

A CMS Workshop on Land Use Policies and Their Effects on Migratory Landbirds in West Africa (LUMB, Abuja, Nigeria, 2016): Workshop Report LUMB, 2016


The Modus operandi, including Mandate, Membership, Governance, Operation, Financing, and the Steering Group of the AEML WG is available here:


Programme of Work for the AEML WG

The active Programme of Work (POW) AEML WG for the period 2021-2026 is available here: AEML WG POW 2021-2026.

The previous POW for for the AEML WG for the period 2016-2020 is available here: AEML WG POW 2016-2020.

Working Group Newsletters

Migrant Landbird Study Group Newsletters


Projects and Partners* implementing components of AEMLAP and the Programme of Work for the Working Group:

Bird Atlas Projects:

African Bird Atlas Project:

Eurasian African Bird Migration Atlas project:

Kenya Bird Map

Nigerian Bird Atlas Project (NiBAP)

Senegal Bird Atlas:

Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP):

Other Projects and Partners:

Action Plans for the European Roller and European Turtle Dove:

Action Plan for the Yellow-breasted Bunting:


African Biosphere Reserves as pilot sites for monitoring and conservation of migratory birds (AfriBiRds) - completed project:

    BirdLife International:

    BirdLife Partner Netherlands: 

      Cambridge Conservation Initiative:

        ICCO Cooperation: 

        ICCO Project: Birds, Bees and Business

            (*The CMS Secretariat does not take any responsibility for the actuality and content of all projects, partners and websites listed)

            Last updated on 20 December 2023