Current | Search | RSS Feeds

Central Asian Flyway interim coordination

Wetlands International has been the driving force behind the development of the 'Central Asian Flyway initiative', carried out in cooperation with 30 states in Central Asia. The initiative is pushing for better protection of migratory waterbirds and the wetlands they depend on. Now after some years we achieved improved inter-governmental cooperation on the protection of waterbirds and their key habitats.

Wetlands International provides the interim coordinator and secretariate for this flyway.

Action Description:

In 2001, a donation was granted to Wetlands International by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries, aiming at a long term conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Central Asian Flyway (CAF). Project objectives include development of an Action Plan, capacity building in the region, establishment of a network of specialists and promotion of exchange of information/expertise, support to surveys in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and other issues.

The Central Asian Flyway covers the areas used by species of birds with the main migratory routes through ‘Central Asia’ (sensu lato). It has also been referred to as “Central Asian-Indian Flyway” or as “Central Asian-South Asian Flyway”. A final name to be used for this flyway still has to be determined and agreed by the range states. As such, the area extends from the Arctic Ocean in the North until the Indian Ocean in the South (including islands in that region) and thus covers territories of 30 Asian and East European countries. It overlaps with the African Eurasian flyway in the West, and the East Asian flyways in the East.

     Since 2001, Wetlands International has been working closely with the Convention on Migratory Species to progress the finalisation of the Central Asian Flyway Action Plan for Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and their Habitats and to support the development of an institutional framework to support implementation of the Action Plan.




In August 2001, the first Central Asian Flyway workshop in Tashkent, Uzbekistan was organised to discuss options for cooperative action for conservation of migratory waterbirds in the flyway. Government representatives, scientists and conservation experts from 15 of the 21 Range States of the flyway, inter-governmental organisations and specialised international NGOs participated in the meeting supported by the secretariats of CMS and AEWA, hosted by the Government of Uzbekistan and organised by Wetlands International. The event was financed by the Government of the Netherlands, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the CMS.  The outcomes of the meeting have led to the development of an Action Plan. A brief report of the meeting can be downloaded (from the blue bar on the right).


In 2005, Wetlands International organised the 2nd Central Asian Flyway (CAF) Meeting of Range States to develop a common international framework to promote the conservation of migratory waterbirds and wetlands. This meeting was held in New Delhi, India (10-12 June), brought together 23 of the 30 range states, CMS, AEWA, international and national NGOs and technical experts. The Meeting was hosted by the Minister for Environment and Forests, Government of India. The meeting was organised under the auspices of the Convention on Migratory Species, in cooperation with Wetlands International and Wildlife Institute of India. 

The Action Plan was discussed in great detail and finalised. Various international concept proposals to support and inform implementation of the CAF Action Plan were prioritised. The Range States present were in almost complete unanimity for a legally-binding instrument for the Action Plan to be integrated with the existing AEWA Agreement.

Action Partners:

Donor in general:

Convention on Migratory Species

Donor Interim coordination:

Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries (LNV)


Donor second governmetnal meeting in 2005:

  • Government of India,
  • Government of the Netherlands,
  • Government of Switzerland,
  • CMS,
  • AEWA,
  • Global Environment Facility,
  • UNEP Regional Offices for West Asia, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe (Pan-European Biodiversity and Landscape Strategy),
  • International Crane Foundation,
  • Wetlands International.


More Action Details