The Eighth Meeting of the Parties (MOP8) of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), held under the theme “Strengthening the Conservation of Flyways in a Changing World”, concluded today in Budapest , Hungary, with the adoption of 16 resolutions and new guidelines aimed at improving the conservation status of 255 migratory waterbirds included in the UN-backed treaty.
Species covered by AEWA include iconic species such as the white stork, red-breasted goose, and black-crowned crane.
The decisions come just days after the publication of a major new report warning that half of the world’s bird species are in decline and one in eight is threatened with extinction.
Through the commitments made by the MOP, the countries of the African-Eurasian Flyway recognize that the implementation of AEWA at the national and regional levels helps not only to protect waterfowl, but also contributes significantly to addressing the triple crisis environmental loss of biodiversity, climate change and pollution.
Better management of wetlands and other habitats that waterfowl depend on is an essential part of maintaining the healthy ecosystems needed to support human communities in all parts of the flyway.
“Despite the current economic crisis, we have seen countries come together here in Budapest to strengthen the Agreement’s ability to coordinate conservation action between countries along the flyway that stretches from the Arctic to the far south.
from Africa and east to the Arabian Peninsula and western Asia. Additional resources provided to AEWA will be dedicated to coordinating species action plans, as well as strengthening waterfowl conservation more broadly across the African continent,” said Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of the Agreement.
AEWA MOP8 was the first major intergovernmental meeting on nature conservation organized by Hungary, with more than 200 people in attendance, including delegates from 45 Contracting Parties, 50 representatives from non-Parties, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as many national and international organizations.
experts “The efforts of a single country are not enough to protect waterfowl, as they are exposed to many threats during the course of their migration.
We can only adequately protect them if all countries along their migration routes have the legal instruments and regulatory measures in place to ensure they find suitable habitats and feeding grounds.
It is also important that these measures are coordinated.
And that is unthinkable without international cooperation,” said Dr. Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, at the opening of the meeting.
Over the course of the four-day meeting, delegates considered a series of reports, including the latest report on the conservation status of species included in the Agreement published in 2021.
This showed that an alarming 43% of bird populations AEWA aquatic species are in long-term decline and 33 AEWA species are globally threatened with extinction.
Among the decisions agreed by AEWA MOP in Budapest was the adoption of a new International Action Plan for the Common Eider, a declining sea duck species covered by the treaty.
The adoption brings the total to 31 action or management plans, among the most powerful tools to reverse population decline, when implemented at the flyway level.
The final days of the meeting saw other highlights including a total of 15 side events, the presentation of the AEWA Waterbird Conservation Awards to Mr. Hichem Azafzaf (Tunisia) in the individual category and BirdLife South Africa in the institutional category.
, as well as the recognition of the European Commission as Champion Plus, within the framework of the Migratory Species Champions Program, for its generous support and commitment to the African Initiative AEWA.