Budapest, 20 September 2022 – The final and closing day of AEWA MOP8 in Budapest (Friday, 30 September 2022) began with a special ceremony to honor two recipients of the AEWA Conservation Award as well as the recognition of a Champion Plus under the Migratory Species Champions Programme – a fundraising scheme designed to support the implementation of AEWA and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Family of Agreements.
The AEWA Conservation Award in the individual category was presented to Hichem Azafzaf (Tunisia) in the presence of the Tunisian Ambassador to Hungary, while BirdLife South Africa was presented the award in the institutional category.
“I am very pleased to be with you today and to see this audience of countries gathered under this intergovernmental treaty for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats. Much has been achieved thanks to all of you and thanks to AEWA, but the threats to the natural balance of the planet are growing and mankind keeps trampling on the natural environment and in particular on wetlands, which are crucial for the survival of waterbirds,“ said Hichem Azafzaf in his award acceptance speech.
“For more than two decades AEWA has effectively drawn together a diverse community of governmental and non-governmental actors from across the African-Eurasian Flyway, united in their endeavor to conserve migratory waterbirds and their habitats. We at BirdLife South Africa see enormous value in this community and we are very proud to be a part of it,“ said Melissa Lewis in her award acceptance speech.
The European Commission was recognized as a Champion Plus – under the Migratory Species Champions Programme for its generous support and commitment to the AEWA African Initiative for the period 2021 -2023. The European Commission is a long-standing supporter of the Agreements work and was instrumental in the development of the Plan of Action for Africa. The 2021 – 2023 grant received from the European Commission in the framework of the Global Public Goods and Challenges Cooperative Agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme is enabling AEWA to continue its work on iconic species such as the Northern-Bald Ibis and the Slaty Egret as well as promoting effective flyway conservation and capacity building in Small Island Development States.
“And for all of that, we need to collaborate within the EU. But we need to do it within the EU and also beyond. And that is why we are very very happy to have AEWA and to support its work. We need to support the work of the Secretariat and thanks to that the work of the Parties. There are three key fields of action. We need to have good key sites that are well managed. We need good governance and good monitoring. But then we also need to have capacity building and we need to work with the people constantly,” said Joseph van der Stegen, Nature Unit at DG Environment of the European Commission.
Following the three award ceremonies, delegates heard final reports from the Chairs of the Credentials Committee and the two Working Groups, the first on Scientific and Technical Matters and the second on Financial and Administrative Matters.
The reports were followed by a final review of the relevant documents and the adoption of all 16 resolutions. Among these were resolutions aiming to address causes of waterbird mortality (Resolution 8.15), Ecotourism (Resolution 8.16) and to improve the knowledge for effective waterbirds conservation and management (Resolution 8.7). Other resolutions covered the revision and adoption of conservation guidance (Resolution 8.8), AEWA’s contribution to the post-2020 process and to the Sustainable Development Goals (Resolution 8.8), The meeting also reviewed and approved or reconfirmed the regional representative for the Standing Committee (Resolution 8.10) and the Technical Committee (Resolution 8.11).
Last but not least, Parties, showing their recognition of the work done, have decided through Resolution 8.12 to increase the human resources in the Secretariat by creating a new position for the coordination of Species Action Plans position funded at 50% and have increased by 30 % the financing of the African Coordinator position, moving it from 50 to 80% core budget post. Both the chair of the Working Group and AEWA’s Executive Secretary emphasized that they hoped that voluntary contributions will be added to the much-appreciated effort made by Parties to reach full time positions.
At the very end, Hungary as the host country of MOP8 was thanked for its hospitality and the meeting was closed by Kőrösi Levente, the Chair of MOP8 ahead of schedule. In a statement sent to the Secretariat, Kőrösi Levente said the following upon reflecting on the outcome of MOP8 in Budapest:
“Birds, including some of our waterbirds, play an important role in Hungarian history and folklore. In ancient times, Hungarians believed their ancestor was the Saker Falcon, in the Middle Ages Common Cranes were used to guard people's homes and folklore still has it that babies are brought to families by the White Stork, a bird that is particularly close to the hearts of Hungarians. All the more reason for us to work for the protection of waterbirds and their habitats and to be proud to host the Meeting of Parties of the African – Eurasian Waterbird Agreement here in Budapest. Thanks to the constructive collaboration among participants a series of decisions crucial for the protection of our migratory waterbirds and their habitats were adopted successfully. However, we should not forget that the real task is just ahead of us and we encourage all parties and other partners to actively work to implement these decisions. We as the chair of the MOP look forward to be working and collaborating with them in the next triennium.
About this Report
This AEWA MOP8 DAILY COVERAGE feature has been prepared by the Joint Communications Unit of the UNEP/CMS and UNEP/AEWA Secretariat. The feature includes a short summary and audio-visual elements (photos, videos and audio recordings) of the main highlights of each day of the Eight Meeting of the Parties (MOP8) to the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) taking place in Budapest, Hungary from 27 – 30 September 2022. The product is prepared in-house using available capacity within the Secretariat. Its main purpose is to capture the highlights of AEWA MOP8 for public awareness and communication purposes, i.e. it does not serve as an official record of the meeting. For feedback, content suggestions and inquiries please contact Mr. Florian Keil, AEWA Information Officer by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The AEWA Secretariat would like to sincerely thank the Government of Hungary and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) for providing audio-visual content in the form of photos and videos for this special coverage of AEWA MOP8.
Last updated on 20 October 2022