Biodiversity - waterbirds
Park Directors from Mauritania, Senegal and Russia signed an agreement committing them to work together for the sustainable management of migratory waterbirds in critical wetlands within the three countries that are connected by the East-Atlantic Flyway. The agreement was the result of Wetlands International’s ‘From the Arctic to Africa’ initiative to protect waterbirds flying between Africa and the Arctic. The signing took place at a flyway exchange programme that brought representatives from Mauritania and Senegal to the Arctic.
Wetlands are vital storehouses of biodiversity and important bulwarks against the effects of climate change, while also providing livelihoods for millions of people, but they’re being lost at an increasing rate. Geographical Magazine's Mark Rowe reports.
This weekend, people and organisations all over the world will celebrate World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD). The theme this year is “Destination Flyways : Migratory Birds and Tourism”. WMBD was initiated in 2006 and is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats. Wetlands International is a founding partner in this celebration and we are happy to be joined by an increasing number of partners.
By Szabolcs Nagy
The second stage of the Grand West Asian Wintering Waterbird Survey in Saudi Arabia has covered the Red Sea coast between Jeddah and Jizan. During our survey, we have visited the Southern Cornish of Jeddah, the Shoaybah Al-Mudaylif Coast, the coast near to Al Qunfodah, the Al-Shoqaiq Cost, Ras Altarfa and the southern and northern cornishes of Jizan.
The Hague, The Netherlands - With the societal and environmental costs of wetland degradation already huge and growing fast, Wetlands International brought over 100 current and prospective partners and supporters together to explore opportunities for positive action to sustain and restore wetlands in a reception at the atmospheric De Glazen Zaal (Glass Room) in the Hague. The evening featured an interactive marketplace to showcase some of our current initiatives, plus distinguished speakers and interviews with current partners on how our work with different sectors is helping to protect and restore wetlands. In addition to celebrating World Wetlands Day, the event also featured the launch of Wetlands International’s new logo.
The Global Freshwater Fish BioBlitz kicked off on World Wetlands Day to engage nature lovers in freshwater fish conservation. The Freshwater Fish Specialist Group (FFSG), of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Wetlands International, has joined forces with other international groups to introduce this new global initiative.
A new online Atlas of freshwater biodiversity presenting spatial information and species distribution patterns was launched today. The Atlas is an output of BioFresh, an EU-funded project supported by Wetlands International that is putting together the widely dispersed information about life in our rivers and lakes, to better understand, manage and protect our freshwaters for generations to come.
By Szabolcs Nagy
The 5th Conservation Status Report produced by Wetlands International for the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) highlighted that our understanding of the status of wintering waterbirds is the weakest in the West Asian / East African flyway. This is partially a consequence of insufficient capacity in the region. To help tackle the problem we are supporting the development of strategies for countries in the region with the help of the MAVA Foundation.
Bonn 29 August 2013 – The Waterbird Harvest Specialist Group (WHSG) affiliated to Wetlands International was re-launched on the 28th of August 2013 at a special session on waterbird management at the 31st Congress of the International Union of Game Biologists which took place in Brussels, Belgium on the 27 – 29 August 2013.
A newly published study shows that three species of waterbirds (tufted duck, goosander and goldeneye) are shifting their wintering grounds northwards along the North-West Europe flyway in response to rising temperatures. Rising temperatures due to climate change and shifting ranges for wintering waterbirds have profound implications for the conservation of site networks along the flyways and highlights the importance of adaptive management approaches.
Last week delegates to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Conference of Parties (COP16) in Bangkok, Thailand, agreed to stronger conservation measures for the West African manatee. The proposal was led by Benin, Sierra Leone and Senegal with support from Wetlands International.
Dakar (SEN) / Ede (NL) / Naryan-Mar (RU) – A new initiative to protect migratory waterbirds flying between the Arctic and Africa has been launched by Wetlands International. Funded by the Arcadia Fund, the three-year initiative will engage local people and governments to develop a coherent approach to the management of the wetland sites used by the birds along the flyway.
Ede, the Netherlands - Wetlands International congratulates Jan van der Winden on his Herman Klomp prize for his long-term commitment to the protection of birds. In collaboration with Wetlands International, Jan was instrumental in the success of the Follow the Bird! initiative.
Wetlands International Launched the First Interactive Online Database on Waterbird Population Estimates at Ramsar COP11
11th meeting of the Ramsar Convention (COP11) 6-13 July 2012 in Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest, Romania - Wetlands International will press for adoption of resolutions at the Ramsar Conference of Parties that call upon countries to take action on some of the most pressing challenges facing wetlands, such as energy production and pesticide use in rice fields. As an International Organisation Partner (IOP) we will also urge for a climate change resolution that commits Contracting Parties to take up the newly available incentives to invest in the protection, restoration and sustainable use of their peatlands, as part of their strategies to address climate change.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - During Rio+20 in Brazil, the 'Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) for Water and Wetlands Initiative' will be launched in a side event on 15 June. This initiative utilises the TEEB approach to generate a better understanding of the ecosystem service values of water and wetlands to encourage additional policy momentum and business commitment for their conservation, investment and wise use.
La Rochelle, France - The 5th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), 14-18 May 2012, La Rochelle, France, organised by AEWA Secretariat, will kick off shortly in La Rochelle in France. The five-day meeting carries the theme “Migratory waterbirds and people – sharing wetlands”. Wetlands International will contribute to this theme by three publication releases and two key events.
Wetlands International expressed its deep concern about the proposed 53km Danube regulation project in Croatia in a letter to Croatia's Minister for Environment and Nature Protection Mirela Holy. The NGO understands that this regulation would have a severe impact upon the unique river landscape and the most highly valued floodplain area and forests of the entire Danube.
Ede, The Netherlands, February 16, 2012
Wetlands International is calling on the Netherlands to commit to its international obligations for the depoldering of the Hedwigepolder, part of an important delta in the country. Dutch Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Mr. Bleker, meets Euro commissioner of Environment Janez Potocnik today to discuss this. The delta concerns a vital and unique nature area of international importance that we should safeguard, says the non-profit organization. The depoldering was agreed to compensate environmental damage caused by the deepening of the estuary the Western Scheldt.
See also the Dutch release.
Slimbridge (UK) - Widespread declines in birds that spend most of their lives at sea are alarming conservationists. Seven species of seaduck that spend the northern winter in the Baltic – a key non-breeding area – have dropped in number by up to 65% in 15 years, without any clear explanation.
Wetlands International is deeply saddened by the loss of Mark Barter, one of its Associate Experts. The world of waterbird and wetland conservation along the East Asian - Australasian Flyway has lost a pioneering figure and a role model with his passing away on 21 November 2011. Mark always held a passion for shorebirds throughout his life, helping to guide the development of the “National Plan for Shorebird Conservation in Australia” (1987), before becoming the second Chairman of the Australasian Wader Studies Group (AWSG) from 1987 to 1997.
Wetlands International is very concerned about the permission for Exxon and Rosneft for oil exploration in the Russian Arctic Sea. The area designated overlaps with two protected natural areas. Officially oil exploration is banned in these areas.
Wetlands International is deeply saddened to report the loss of one of flamingo conservation's champions. Dr. Brooks Childress, former Chair of the IUCN/SSC Wetlands International Flamingo Specialist Group from November 2004 to July 2010, passed away in the early hours of 22 July 2011.
Gland, Switzerland (IUCN) – Africa is being given a unique opportunity to conserve its tremendous diversity of freshwater species – a critical resource for many of Africa’s poorest people. African countries can now decide to use their water resources sustainably, and avoid paying millions of dollars, as is the case in Europe, to rectify poorly planned wetland development.
Rapid land use change for intensive agriculture and urban functions has a devastating impact, particularly on wetlands. In the light of World Migratory Bird Day 2011 on 14-15 May, Wetlands International calls for attention on the implications of land use change for waterbirds.
Wetlands International is very concerned about the renewed plans by the Tanzanian government to mine for soda ash in Lake Natron. The plan to mine at this very precious but vulnerable lake conflicts with the government’s international commitments and could cause the loss one of Africa’s most important Wetlands of International Importance, being the only breeding site of the East-African population of Lesser Flamingo.
29 October 2010. Wetlands International is relieved by the successful outcome of the Conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Japan. The approved 20 targets for 2020 are an important step to save our global biodiversity, including wetland areas.
Nagoya, Japan - Today, the UN Biological Diversity Convention in Japan has started on its second and last week. The aim to agree on ambitious global targets for the coming decade will be challenging; success is uncertain. The pace of the negotiations is slow.
The rate of decline of waterbird populations has slightly decreased over the last three decades. However, 47% of the waterbird populations are still declining and only 16% are increasing. The status of waterbirds is improving mainly in North America and Europe, while it is least favourable in Asia. Especially long distance migrants appear to be vulnerable.
While global biodiversity loss increases at alarming rates, ministers are gathering in Japan for the most important biodiversity meeting of the decade. During this CBD meeting, a clear picture will be presented on the worsening state of the world’s biodiversity. Yet little in the way of additional action or commitment is expected from the governments in attendance.
New visitors centre displays migratory bird flyways from the Arctic to Africa
Wetlands International and Dutch nature organisation Staatsbosbeheer demand attention on the international importance of the Dutch Oostvaardersplassen as key link in migratory birds’ networks of wetlands (flyway). The future visitors centre built by Staatsbosbeheer in Oostvaardersplassen will play an exemplary role in displaying intercontinental bird migration to its public. Wetlands International and Staatsbosbeheer formalised their cooperation by signing an agreement on Thursday 23 September in Lelystad, The Netherlands.
The Hague, the Netherlands. A new website providing information on thousands of wetlands and hunderds of waterbird populations shows the difficult situation for the migratory waterbirds of Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia.
Wetlands International strongly welcomes the suspension by President Obama of oil drilling in the offshore USA territories in the Arctic. The period of suspension is needed for a proper analysis and discussion about the risks of offshore drilling.
The International Day of Biodiversity is Saturday 22 May. 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and the year that the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will conclude that the aims to reduce biodiversity loss have not been achieved. According to Wetlands International, this crisis for biodiversity is directly connected to the global water crisis that is threatening our planet.
The world’s wetlands such as rivers, mangroves, deltas and lakes are degrading faster than any other ecosystem type. Increasingly many are reaching the critical stage where damage will be irreversible which has serious repercussions for the water and food security of poor people. This is revealed in the in-depth review on inland waters (wetlands) which is being discussed at the technical meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which kicked off Monday in Nairobi.
“Save migratory birds in crisis – every species counts!” - is this year's central WMBD theme and aims to raise awareness about globally threatened migratory birds, with a particular focus on those birds on the very edge of extinction - the Critically Endangered. On 8-9 May 2010 thousands of people around the world will be attending World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) events which will celebrate bird migration and highlight migratory birds in crisis.
Waterbirds in Asia are in trouble. Rapid and poorly-planned human development leading to a lack of adequate official conservation of their important wetland sites are key reasons for their declining numbers. These are the conclusions of the newly published report by Wetlands International, covering over 6,700 wetland sites in 27 Asian countries.
September 1, 2008.
The UK think tank Policy Exchange has presented the costs of the most important climate measures. Reducing emissions from tropical peatlands is by far the cheapest way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions; using biofuels is by far the most expensive measure.
The planned Bujagali Dam in Uganda violates key social and environmental policies of its major funders: the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank. These new and devastating conclusions have just been presented by a AfDB research panel.
The International Waterbird Census (IWC), coordinated by Wetlands International, is one of the world's largest and longest-running monitoring programmes. Over the years the census has provided key information to support the conservation of waterbird populations and the habitats upon which they depend. In September 2014, Wetlands International members and stakeholders met to review our recent progress and look ahead for to the future of the programme.
We deeply regret to announce that our dear friend and colleague, Andres Kuresoo passed away at his home on 2nd September. Andres was a pivotal figure in waterbird and wetland conservation. He was the Estonian national coordinator of the International Waterbird Census for many years and also a Member Delegate of his country to Wetlands International.
A group of experts met in Roosta, Estonia, between the 23rd and the 25th of April 2014 to develop an action plan for the recovery of the Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis).
By Taej Mundkur -
I recently got the chance to experience the natural beauty of Djoudj National Park in Senegal for the first time and see its conservation needs. The Djoudj is a paradise for over a million waterbirds and a lot of other biodiversity. It provides an ideal setting for developing sustainable solutions such as tourism that should allow the surrounding villages, visitors and nature to benefit from this natural wonder.
By Szabolcs Nagy and Stephan Flink -
Wetlands International’s team is currently working on the 6th edition of the AEWA Conservation Status Report, which summarises the available knowledge about the size and trends of migratory waterbird populations.
The recent outbreak of the H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza is causing many victims amongst poultry and wild birds in the Republic of Korea. The Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds has issued a statement on this outbreak saying that there is currently no evidence that wild birds are the source of this virus. Instead the focus of disease control actions must be on the domestic poultry sector.
Bucharest, Romania - At the recently concluded 11th Ramsar Conference of the Parties in Bucharest, Romania, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) signed Resolutions of Cooperation with both the Ramsar Secretariat and African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) to work together in order to better promote Arctic wetlands and bring greater attention to their importance. As a close partner of Ramsar, CAFF and AEWA, Wetlands International welcomes these agreements.
Palembang, Indonesia - The meeting of the East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) on waterbirds has designated the Sembilang National Park in South Sumatra as ‘network site’ for waterbird conservation. The Indonesia office of Wetlands International will from now on host the national secretariat for migratory bird management.
Ede, 15 februari 2012
Wetlands International roept Nederland op haar internationale verplichtingen na te komen voor ontpoldering van de Hedwigepolder. Over dit onderwerp spreekt Staatssecretaris Bleker van Economische Zaken, Landbouw en Innovatie morgen met Eurocommisaris Janez Potocnik van Milieu. De Zeeuwse Delta is een vitaal en uniek natuurgebied van internationaal belang waar we zeer zuinig op moeten zijn, aldus de non-profit organisatie. De ontpoldering is afgesproken ter compensatie van natuurschade veroorzaakt door de verdieping van de Westerschelde.