Joining Efforts to Protect Migratory Birds along the East Atlantic Flyway

Linking regional and global aspects of nature conservation, two meetings held back to back in Bonn on 13 May 2015 discussed the protection of migratory birds along the East Atlantic Flyway.

The 8th meeting of the Steering Group of the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative (WSFI) reviewed the status and achievements of the WSFI and prospects for its future work up to 2017. The Wadden Sea is an area of crucial importance for the survival of migratory birds on a global scale, especially along the East Atlantic Flyway. Therefore, in response to a formal request by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands launched the WSFI in 2012. Intended to address the global responsibility of the Wadden Sea World Heritage to cooperate with other countries in working towards the conservation of migratory birds, the WSFI aims to support the conservation of migratory waterbirds in the region, to obtain more detailed monitoring data and to develop a long-term perspective for the cooperation of countries along the entire flyway.

The Steering Group is composed of representatives of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, the Danish Nature Agency, the Wadden Sea National Park of the Federal State of Lower Saxony, the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) and Vogelbescherming Nederland. It is coordinated by the CWSS.

In a subsequent meeting, the WSFI Steering group and representatives of the UNEP-administered Secretariats of the African Eurasian Migratory WaterBirds Agreement (UNEP/AEWA) and the Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS) exchanged updates on the WSFI and  on-going and projected CMS and AEWA Flyway-related activities and initiatives of mutual interest, including the AEWA African Initiative for the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and their Habitats. Participants explored options for enhanced cooperation between the two UNEP administered Secretariats, CWSS and the WSFI. Among other things, it was agreed to benefit from the momentum generated by upcoming events such as the 39th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Bonn, Germany, from 28 June-8 July 2015 and the 6th session of the AEWA Meeting of the Parties, also scheduled to take place in Bonn from 9-14 November 2015.

Both meetings were hosted by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety in Bonn.