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Creating climate resilient wetlands for waterbirds and communities across the African-Eurasian flyway

Every year millions of waterbirds fly thousands of kilometres between Europe and Africa in search of food and good breeding sites. The conservation of these migratory waterbirds depends on a network of key wetlands across their annual migration route or flyway.  These same wetlands are also critical to the survival of local communities. However, unsustainable practices and a changing climate are threatening the health of some of these wetlands.

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Migratory Birds for People programme

The Migratory Birds for People programme consists of more than 16 partner wetland visitor centres across Europe and West Africa, forming a network that follows the flight path of many migratory wetland birds species. These centres are working together to share best practice and develop new approaches to delivering waterbird and wetland messages to their visitors. The lead group consists of the Dutch Staatsbosbeheer, Wetland Link International, and Wetlands International. For more information visit the programme website.

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Waterbird Population Estimates Database

The Waterbird Population Estimates (WPE) online database provides current and historic estimates, trends and 1% thresholds for over 800 waterbird species and 2300 biogeographic populations worldwide. This project has been developed by Wetlands International with the support of Environment Canada and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Visit the Waterbird Population Estimates Database

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Ramsar Conference, Bucharest

The Ramsar Conference (6 - 13 July 2012 in Bucharest, Romania) offered an opportunity to strengthen and extend the reach of the Convention to achieve improved wetland conservation and management. We attended the conference with a team of experts from our global network and engaged Contracting Parties and partners to achieve these objectives. 

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Conserving and restoring the marshes of Southern Iraq

The giant Majnoon Oil Field in Southern Iraq overlaps with the country’s most important wetland area: the Mesopotamian Marshlands. These wetlands were severely damaged by past drainage and warfare. Water availability continues to be a constraint for both for marshland restoration and the oil industry in this dry country. Under our collaborative partnership, we are assisting Shell to minimise the negative impacts of oil and gas development on the biodiversity of the marshes and the ecosystem services they provide. This is an opportunity to restore these iconic wetlands and the livelihoods they support.

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RESTORE - Restoring Europe's Rivers

Wetlands International encourages the restoration of European rivers towards a more natural state to deliver increased environmental quality, flood risk reduction, and social and economic benefits.

In the partnership RESTORE we share knowledge to policymakers, river basin organisation and practitioners and promote best practice on river restoration in Europe.

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Improving biofuels policy in Europe

With some clear successes, Wetlands International has been strongly involved in the EU Renewable Energy Directive. We are currently working closely with other NGOs to guide the implementation policies and limit the adverse land use impacts of biofuels demand.

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Saving water for the Mujib Reserve, Jordan

Together with the Royal Society for Conservation of Nature (RSCN) we worked in Jordan to reduce the impact of the dam upstream on the Mujib reserve, involve the local population in agricultural activities to save water and preserve water quality, and make sure that the Mujib reserve water needs are fulfilled in water management plans and decisions of the government.

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UNFCCC Climate Talks, Bonn (Aug 2010)

Wetlands International participated at the UNFCCC Bonn Climate Talks with a stand and side event. The talks were the thirteenth session of the AWG-KP and the eleventh session of the AWG-LCA, which took place from Monday 2 August to Friday, 6 August 2010 at the Hotel Maritim in Bonn.
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The Critical Site Network Tool

 The Critical Site Network (CSN) Tool is an award winning online resource that provides information on 294 waterbird species and the important wetlands upon which they depend in Africa and Western Eurasia. This tool provides users with direct access to both International Waterbird Census and Important Bird Area counts, as well as a range of analytical and explorative tools.  

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Water for all in the Ichkeul Basin, Tunisia

By setting up a dialogue between the different demanders of water, we built a consensus that assured the access to water of all (farmers, dams, etc.) as well as preserves the wetlands and biodiversity of the Ichkeul Basin in Tunisia on the long term. This work was done with our local partner INAT, the Institut National Agronomique.

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Improving the water quality of the Sebou River, Morocco

The Sebou River in Morocco suffers from serious pollution problems. To successfully push for control of urban pollution, we developed a monitoring & evaluation system for surface water quality.

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UN Climate Talks in Barcelona (Nov. 2009)

Wetlands International was present at the UN Barcelona Climate Talks, held from 2 - 6 November 2009. A side event was held presenting the first ever peatland emission data per country.

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Mediterranean Wetlands for Water and People

Building civil society's capacities to dialogue with governments about improved wetland management represents the potential value added of this project. This project promoted exchange of experiences between Mediterranean countries on the issues of participatory and integrated water management and environmental security.

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Follow the Bird

The Follow the Bird! project ran from 2008 to 2010 and demonstrated the vital importance of a network of good quality wetlands along migratory bird flyways and the link of these wetlands to the livelihoods of people.

The ambassadors of the project were birds equipped with satellite-transmitters. The migration routes of ten Purple Herons were followed on the Internet at Follow the Bird!

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Western Paleartic and West-Asian Waterbird Census

The Western Paleartic and West Asian Waterbird Cencus is the waterbird monitoring programme for Europe, West Asia and North Africa. A total of 20 to 25 million waterbirds are counted each season by thousands of volunteers, working through national organisations. Wetlands International produces International overview reports. See the publication section for this.

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BioScore - Biodiversity impact assessment using species sensitivity scores

The BioScore project aims to develop a tool for linking pressures from policy sectors to the (change in the) state of biodiversity as measured by the presence and abundance of individual species.

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Wetland and Biodiversity Enhancement for the Ras Al Khor Wetlands in Dubai

The project involved providing consultancy services on a low impact development project that would have minimal disturbance on the wildlife and environment, as well as enhancing eco-tourism activities, biodiversity enhancement opportunities of this important wetland site.

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New FluBird Project (NFB)

Wetlands International is the co-coordinator  to this project with Erasmus University and 10 other partners throughout Europe. The NFB project aims at setting a Network for Early Warning of Influenza viruses in migratory birds in Europe. Our role is to provide data and expertise on high risk bird species, coordinate surveillance in high risk sites and build capacity for monitoring waterbirds.

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Разработка программы сохранения трансграничных водно-болотных угодий, расположенных по границе Российской Федерации с Белоруссией и Украиной

Цель проекта - содействие сохранению и устойчивому использованию ценных водно-болотных угодий, находящихся на границе Российской Федерации с Белоруссией и Украиной

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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.

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Flood Awareness Prevention Policy in Border Areas (FLAPP)

This project is developing a report on sustainable flood management that will share the knowledge and experience of local and regional flood experts from across Europe on how to prevent and forecast floods, evacuate people and limit flood damage. FLAPP comprises 35 partners, mostly local governments.

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Contribution to African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA)

Wetlands International provides technical information and organisational input to support the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA).

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Wings over Wetlands (WoW)

This project aims to improve the conservation status of African-Eurasian migratory waterbirds by assisting countries to conserve key wetland areas. The project takes place in 118 Asian, European and African countries along the African Eurasian Flyway.

In this region, we have identified the critical network of wetland sites (for a total of 3,020 sites) for migratory waterbirds.

We train people and raise awareness about the conservation and wise use of migratory waterbirds and the wetlands they use. Demonstration projects are implemented to provide good examples.

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Support on the EU bird-directive

Technical support to the European Commission for implementation of the Birds Directive

This project provides information and support for implementation of the European Commission Birds Directive, especially concerning waterbirds.

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European Topic Centre

The European Topic Centre develops reports, policy recommendations and analyses on biodiversity in the EU countries. Wetlands International is the lead agency providing technical analyses on methods within the European Topic Centre partnership.
This project is being carried out at European Union level.

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Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance (GAINS)

Wetlands International is a partner in this global initiative to share data on Avian Influenza and wild birds. Our role is to provide data on waterbirds (International Waterbird Census), to implement and coordinate surveillance in specific countries, to build capacity for monitoring waterbirds and to coordinate waterbird ringing activities in Asia.

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Avian Influenza: Coordination Unit

This project coordinates activities that provide information on the possible relationships between waterbirds and Avian Influenza (HPAI).

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Avian Influenza: preparing countries on an outbreak

Avian Influenza project (HPAI): FAO technical cooperation programme on enhancing the readiness of countries in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe for the arrival of Avian Influenza through wild birds.

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Avian Influenza: investigating the role of wild birds in Europe

Avian Influenza project (HPAI): Mobilising data on wild birds relevant to its spread in Europe
This project identifies high-risk bird species, compiles data on wild birds and Avian Influenza, and analyses risks for Europe.
This project is being carried out together with our offices in Senegal and Ukraine.

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