The Polish Government has kindly offered to host the Second Meeting of the Signatory States. The Meeting will take place in the Biebrza National Park, Poland, from 12-15 May 2010. The MoU meeting will be held in conjunction with a scientific conference on the Conservation of Aquatic Warblers organised by OTOP (BirdLife Poland) at the same venue from 11-12 May 2010. A number of technical experts will already be present at this conference.
The main objectives for discussion will be:
(a) to share information on the Aquatic Warblers’ conservation status within the respective Range States,
(b) to review the MoU implementation status and the corresponding Action Plan, including respective national components,
(c) to consider the adoption of a revised version of the Action Plan annexed to the MoU,
(d) to consider an extension of the MoU’s geographic scope and,
(e) to determine short-term priorities for action and funding.
The proposed amendments are as follows:
BirdLife International has revised and updated the Action Plan for the Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola (BirdLife International 2008. International Species Action Plan for the Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola). The scope of this Action Plan covers the whole range of the species, and technical experts from all Range States contributed to the final document. The preparations were made on behalf of the European Commission with the intension of merging both the EU and the CMS Action Plans together into one document. At this year’s meeting, the revised version of the Action Plan will be considered for adoption as an annex to the MoU.
The MoU concerning conservation measures for the Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola aims, inter alia, to maintain and protect the Aquatic Warbler throughout its range. However, in recent years regular sightings of Aquatic Warbler outside the agreement area of the MoU indicate that it would be appropriate to extend the MoU’s geographic scope in order to meet its goals. Seven countries (Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Switzerland) will be under consideration to become new range states.
The Signatories attending the Second Meeting are expected to make a decision on the adoption of the proposed amendments.
The First Meeting of the Signatory States to the MoU concerning Conservation Measures for the Aquatic Warbler took place in the Lower Oder Valley National Park, Criewen, Germany on the 25-27 June 2006. The meeting concluded that the main success of joint efforts, between the various governments, BirdLife International and CMS over the past few years, is the stabilisation of the species’ core breeding population in its largest breeding sites. However, the loss of smaller breeding sites and especially the critical decline of the species’ distinct population in Pomerania along the German-Polish border is highly alarming. During the meeting, the necessity to intensify the efforts in key countries of West Africa to identify the wintering sites of the species, which were still unknown before 2007, was underlined.
The CMS MoU has provided the basis for governments, other organisations such as BirdLife International, and scientists to work together to save the Aquatic Warbler and its unique habitats. The discovery of the Aquatic Warbler wintering grounds is one of the main successes since the First Meeting. Now, the protection of these areas is essential for the effective protection of the Aquatic Warbler throughout its range.
For more information contact: Uladzimir Malashevich,
BirdLife/CMS International Aquatic Warbler Conservation Officer