Aquatic Warbler’s voice heard at environmental forum of governmental scale

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Aquatic Warbler’s voice heard at environmental forum of governmental scale

The 10th Conference of Parties for the Bonn Convention took place between 20th and 25th November 2011 in Bergen, Norway. Aquatic Warbler was put into agenda of the Conference and a special side event was conducted by Ministry of Environment of Belarus and APB-BirdLife Belarus with the assistance of BirdLife International. The name of the side event was “Joint international efforts to save the globally threaten Aquatic Warbler: positive changes and pending issues.”

The side event was attended by representatives of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kenya, Latvia, Poland, Senegal, Switzerland, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. The side event was chaired by Olivier Biber, Head of International Biodiversity Matters Unit, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland. The chair from this country was especially welcomed considering that Switzerland joined AW Memorandum during the Conference!   The main focuses of AW side event were as follows:

  • To familiarize delegates  with Aquatic Warbler Memorandum, Action Plan and explain reasons why this bird species gets so much attention and is put into political agenda of the countries.
  • To present recent successes in species conservation in breeding grounds.
  • To describe continued threats, knowledge gaps and international conservation priorities.
  • To underline the need of fly way scale conservation.

Programme and presentations from AW side event may be found here.   Apart from mentioned above a number of informal, but rather productive conversation with delegates took place outside of plenary programme. Here are the main outcomes presented below:

  • Senegalese Ministry of Environment fully shares concern  on agricultural transformation of wetlands, but those areas located outside of National Parcs are in the charge of Ministry of Agriculture  (Ousmane KANE, Deputy director, Direction des park nationaux du Senegal);
  • Aquatic Warbler wintering grounds in Inner Niger Delta, Mali are effected by water level fluctuations. More information on habitats and threats could be got from Bourama Niagate, Director PN.RBBB, AEWA/CMS Focal Point, Mali.
  • Newly launched project “Living on the edge” could be an appropriate platform to to find a compromise solution between nature conservation and agricultural transformation of wetlands in West Africa (Thandiwe Chikomo, project manager, BirdLife Africa, Kenya);
  • In order to ensure more effective species conservation in Ukraine, the relevant actions should be included into National Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation. The Strategy is a more complex document, which works at national level. (Volodymyr Domashlinets, Head of Fauna Conservation Division, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, Ukraine)
  • The Netherlands agreed to assess possibility to sign AW Memorandum. (Gerald van Dijk, senior policy officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality). The reason why it is has still not been signed – AW is classified as vagrant at national scale;
  • Norway regularly holds AWs on autumn migration, however the number of birds is very low (Oysten Storkersen, Head of Project, Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management).
  • Jiří Flousek from Czech Republic will take data from ringing center and will assess possibility to have MoU signed by his country.

At the plenary the Conference adopted a special resolution on African-Eurasian landbirds which applies among others to the aquatic warbler. The resolution foresees development of an action plan. Switzerland is willing to fund its development. The BirdLife African Partnership can provide a coordinator to pull together the plan. Ghana, the resolution proposer, has expressed willingness to host an action plan workshop. The level of commitment to action plan implementation will be decided at the next COP.   For more information on the Conference see also the CMS web site.

Uladzimir Malashevich
BirdLife/CMS International Aquatic
Warbler Conservation Officer

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