Bonn, 28 October 2015 - The winners of the 2015 AEWA Waterbird Conservation Award are: l’Association Inter-Villageoise du Ndiaël (the inter-village association of the Ndiaël) in the institutional category and Abdoulaye N’Diaye in the individual category.
The Association Inter-Villageoise du Ndiaël was established in 2004 and brings together 32 villages surrounding the special wildlife reserve of the Ndiaël. Based in Ross-Béthio, Senegal, it has 800 members and its main aim is to allow local communities to carry out activities that aim to restore the wildlife living in the reserve. With an area of 46,550 hectares, Ndiaël is a Ramsar site and a central hub of the transborder Senegal River Delta biosphere reserve. It has also been identified as a critical site for migratory waterbirds, in the framework of the Critical Sites Network (CSN) Tool.
The association has worked on the restoration of the floodplain and has been involved in numerous projects to restore water to the inlet and reinstate regular flooding. It has also lobbied the government and enlisted the support of and collaborated with international organizations such as development agencies, the IUCN, Wetlands International and BirdLife International. Activities have included construction of hydrological infrastructure, clearing invasive plants, establishing artificial breeding sites for birds, building a viewing platform for eco-tourists and providing training and advice for local activists and landowners. The association’s efforts have borne fruit: the site again hosts significant numbers of Garganey, Ruff, Whistling Duck, Spoonbill and Black Stork.
The individual winner of the 2015 AEWA Conservation Award is also Senegalese. Abdoulaye N’Diaye has extensive experience of working on wetland management and bird conservation across Western, Central and Eastern Africa. Having worked for Wetlands International and with various other organizations over many years, he has accumulated extensive knowledge and experience of wetlands management and waterbird monitoring, poverty reduction and climate change adaptation. His educational background covers wildlife engineering, zoology, veterinary science and botany, allowing him to develop skills in land use planning, natural resource survey and monitoring as well as in wetland management. He was also instrumental in organizing Wetlands International’s second International Conference on Wetlands and Development held in Dakar in 1998, an event which helped set the implementation priorities for AEWA which at that time was about to enter into force.
As is customary the AEWA Conservation Awards will be presented at the AEWA Meeting of the Parties (MOP), which is taking place in Bonn, Germany from 9 to 14 November.
Previous winners in the individual category have been the late Dr Brooks Childress, Mr Mark D. Anderson and Mr David Stroud. The institutional winners have been the International Wader Study Group, OMPO (Oiseaux Migrateurs du Paléarctique Occidental) and the Government of the Netherlands.