By Szabolcs Nagy
“Migratory waterbirds connecting wetlands and people” is the motto of the Flyway Programme of Wetlands International. This was put into practice during a workshop organised for site managers and local NGO leaders along the East Atlantic Flyway in Africa, held between 14-18 December in the Djoudj National Park, Senegal.
33 site managers and local NGO leaders from Morocco to the Democratic Republic of Congo along the East Atlantic Flyway participated in a Flyway Training Workshop in Senegal’s Djoudj National Park, a Ramsar wetland of international importance that is also a World Heritage Site.
The event was jointly organised by the ‘From the Arctic to Africa’ initiative supported by the Arcadia Fund, the Conserving Migratory Birds in West Africa project supported by the MAVA Foundation and by the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative.
The workshop programme combined group discussions, presentations, games and field visits, with a goal of enhancing the understanding of the flyway concept of waterbird conservation and facilitating networking between managers of different parks and sites in west Africa.
Participants draw a flyway of the Lesser Flamingo. The exercise was useful to highlight the importance of key sites for the species.
By understanding the importance of the areas they manage along the East Atlantic migratory flyway for waterbirds, the site managers can better meet their conservation needs.
Animated games helped to understand migration ecology and the consequences of threats affecting migratory birds and their key sites.
Presentations helped the participants share their own experiences. Here, Gabin Agblonon of Wetlands International presents the Open Standard for the Practice of Conservation that is being used in the Arctic to Africa project to develop a strategic plan for a partnership of governmental and non-governmental organisations to guide future collaboration on the conservation of the Senegal Delta Transboundary Biosphere Reserve.
Field excursions provided opportunities to learn from the management experience of the Djoudj National Park. Ibrahima Diop, Director of Djoudj National Park shows participants the habitat restoration work implemented with the contribution of the Arcadia Fund through Wetlands International.
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