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Asia-Pacific Working Group on Migratory Birds and Avian Influenza

Improving our understanding of the role of wild birds in avian influenza, particularly highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 has been a priority for Wetlands International. To support regional cooperation, the Asia-Pacific Working Group on Migratory Birds and Avian Influenza beings together representatives from government agencies in the Asia-Pacific region, international NGOs, convention secretariats and international organisations and independent experts. It serves as a Working Group of the East Asian - Australasian Flyway Partnership and is jointly convened by Wetlands International and FAO.


Action Description:

The Asia-Pacific Working Group on Migratory Birds and Avian Influenza was established under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Committee in early 2006. The Working Group aims to coordinate:

  1. Avian flu sampling efforts of migratory waterbirds in the Asia-Pacific region
  2. Marking of birds through banding/ringing/satellite marking (needs/who/where)
  3. Sharing and analysis of banding returns in a flyway context
  4. Improving information sharing on migratory waterbird movements and migratory routes
  5. Better informing those agencies involved in development of national and international Avian Influenza Risk Assessments.

The Working Group has invited representatives from countries in the Asia-Pacific region, international NGOs, convention secretariats and international organisations, independent experts, and observers. As at March 2013, there are 23 representatives and observers.

The Working Group is jointly convened by Wetlands International and FAO. Secretariat support to the group is provided by Wetlands International.

The Working Group liaises with and reports to the following international initiatives:

a.      The East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership - where it serves as the Working Group for the Partnership. Download latest reports here.

b.      The Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds

c.       The Central Asian Flyway Action Plan

The Working Group communicates primarily through a list server. Meetings of the Working Group have been organised in Beijing (Nov 2007) and Incheon (Nov 2008).

Initial funding support was provided by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan and the Wildlife Conservation Society under the GAINS programme.

AI breakout information network (AIBIN) - The continued prevalence of AI viruses in wild birds in North East Asia has been a cause for concern for the governments in the region. This has prompted the need to share information on surveillance methods and activities for detection of AI viruses, including from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza from dead birds, live birds, fecal sample, environmental samples, hunter harvest birds, mortality event and so on an on-going basis. To facilitate this, a sub-regional network focused on East Asia named "AI breakout information network (AIBIN)" was established and communication though an e-group "Wildbirds_AI group" on Yahoo! Groups has been initiated. Membership is focused on staff from environment and agriculture agencies, veterinarians, OIE, FAO and NGOs.

For more information, contact the Secretariat:
Taej Mundkur
, Wetlands International

Scott Newman, FAO


Action Partners: