Ground-breaking Flyways Summit Held in Abu Dhabi

Bonn, 4 May 2018 – A four-day summit concluded in Abu Dhabi on 26 April, at which many of the key players in global bird conservation participated representing NGOs, the scientific community, governments and the CMS Family.  The main item under discussion was how migratory birds can be better protected at every point of their arduous journeys along the flyways.

The summit brought together representatives of 100 organizations from 70 countries in a series of workshops where experiences were exchanged and ideas for further collaboration discussed. 

The summit has served to emphasize the importance of the work undertaken by the Convention on Migratory Species, its Office in Abu Dhabi and the wider CMS Family, whether on vultures and the Saker Falcon or illegal killing and protecting shorebirds. We are grateful to the International Fund for Houbara Conservation, to BirdLife International, and the Government of the United Arab Emirates which through Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi has long supported the Convention.

Dr Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary, Convention on Migratory Species

A number of actions to address eight priority areas for flyway conservation were discussed and agreed:  (1) sustainable approaches to coastal ecosystem protection, management and restoration; (2) ensuring that onshore and offshore renewable energy and power transmission sectors take full account of the needs of migratory birds; (3) adopting a zero tolerance approach to the illegal killing, taking and trade of wild birds; (4) recognizing bustards as flagships for the grassland landscapes; for Houbara Bustards, ensuring that hunting is regulated and sustainable as part of an integrated in situ and ex situ approach; (5) highlighting the importance of implementing the CMS Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures (Vulture MsAP) and the need to tackle the threat of poison baits; (6) scaling-up implementation of the Saker Falcon Global Action Plan (SakerGAP) especially as regards measures to address electrocution; (7) building the capacity of people and organizations involved in flyway conservation; and (8) more effective collaboration between donors through the establishment of an alliance to enhance efforts for bird conservation.

We warmly welcome the historic announcement made during our Saker Falcon session that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, has launched a Raptor Conservation Foundation with a US$20-million endowment and initial funding of US$1 million to tackle the threat of electrocution.  This supreme commitment by UAE will elevate efforts to address the threats to migratory birds of prey to a previously unprecedented level.

Nick P. Williams, Head of the Coordinating Unit, CMS Raptors MOU 

The Global Flyways Summit was convened by BirdLife International in association with the MAVA Foundation, the Ornithological Society of the Middle East (OSME) and CMS among others.  It was hosted by the International Fund for Houbara Conservation in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.  At the end of the meeting, a Declaration was issued by BirdLife International.

Last updated on 12 September 2018