17 July 2008 – Mr. Mark Anderson in the Individual
Category and OMPO (Oiseaux Migrateurs du Paléarctique
Occidental) in the Institutional Category are the winners
of the 2008 AEWA Waterbird Conservation Award. The award,
which recognizes contributions to the conservation, research
and monitoring of migratory waterbirds, as well as support
to the development of the Agreement, was presented at the
opening ceremony of the 4th session of the Meeting of the
Parties to AEWA on 15 September 2008 in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
Earlier this year the AEWA Secretariat
announced the call for nominations for the AEWA Award in
institutional and individual categories. The nominees, all
of them ardent activists in the field of waterbird conservation,
were considered by the AEWA Standing Committee at its meeting
on 24-25 June 2008.
The two winners were selected because of
their particular activities and achievements, contributing
to the development of the Agreement, the conservation of
waterbird species and their habitats, the management of
human activities, research and monitoring as well as education
The AEWA Waterbird Conservation Award
was established by the Standing Committee at its second
meeting (November 2004, Bonn, Germany) and is presented
triennially at each session of the Meeting of the Parties
in order to recognize and honour institutions and individuals
within the Agreement area for their significant contribution
to the conservation and sustainable use of waterbirds.
In addition to receiving the Award, this
year’s winners will also receive a free five-day access
to the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, kindly offered to
the winners by the Chair of the AEWA Standing Committee.
The winners of the 2008 AEWA Waterbird
Conservation Award are:
Mark Anderson, the winner in the individual category,
has had a long-standing involvement in nature conservation.
Since 1991 he has been working as an ornithologist with
the Department of Tourism, Environment and Conservation
in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Mark Anderson
has published more than 200 scientific and popular articles
and has contributed to the chapters of several books. He
is the editor of “Vulture News” and Associated
Editor of “Ostrich”, a member of several nature
conservation organizations and steering or advisory committees.
Mr. Anderson is a member of the IUCN-SSC/Wetlands International
Flamingo Specialist Group and a trustee of the Flamingo
For more than 15 years he has been a driving
force in the conservation of Kamfers Dam – the site
supporting the largest permanent population of Lesser Flamingos
in Southern Africa, and has been involved in the bi-annual
monitoring of Lesser Flamingos at 65 wetlands in the Northern
Cape Province. In addition to carrying out monthly counts
at Kamfers Dam, he greatly contributed to the construction
of a flamingo breeding island there in 2006. Today the site
is one of the four breeding sites of the Lesser Flamingo
in Africa and one of only five breeding sites worldwide.
The first successful breeding event on the new island took
place in early 2008, where approx. 9,000 chicks were hatched.
It is hoped that the colony will breed regularly and that
the island will continue to offer unique opportunities for
research, education and public awareness activities.
(Oiseaux Migrateurs du Paléarctique Occidental),
the winner in the institutional category, has played an
important role in strengthening the AEWA network and increasing
the number of Parties to the Agreement in the Baltic States
and Northern Africa as well as strengthening AEWA’s
links in Russia.
The organisation has been a strong supporter
of scientific research in waterbird migration and conservation
in African and Europe and has been collating and publishing
scientific information on migratory waterbirds for many
years. For example, OMPO has been an important supporter
of the Russian Ringing Centre for over 15 years. Similarly,
it has been instrumental in restoring operations of the
Ventes Ragas bird ringing station in Lithuania. OMPO have
been closely involved in the implementation of the Agreement
nationally in France and internationally in Europe and Africa.
In West Africa OMPO has been strongly involved in the restoration
and management of the N’Diael wetland in Senegal.
The AEWA Secretariat warmly congratulates
the winners of the 2008 award and thanks both Mr. Anderson
and OMPO for their major contributions to waterbird conservation
in the AEWA region!
We would also like to thank all those
involved in nominating candidates for this award, whose
excellent achievements were acknowledged during the selection
procedure. We would like to think that this award serves
as an inspiration for all the many conservationists working
together towards the protection of AEWA species.