AEWA Workshop in Croatia - Enhancing the Implementation of AEWA

Bonn/Samobor – 12 October 2016 – A regional workshop aiming to enhance cooperation and implementation of AEWA for countries situated along the Adriatic Flyway was held 13 – 15 September in Samobor, Croatia.

The Adriatic Flyway is an important corridor which runs along the east coast of the Adriatic Sea for waterbirds migrating between the eastern half of Europe and North and sub-Saharan Africa. Twice a year large numbers of waterbirds use this flyway to migrate between their breeding and wintering grounds.

“Bearing in mind the importance of the Adriatic Flyway, we can see that this regional workshop for AEWA focal points showed the importance of proactive cooperation between countries that share this flyaway on all levels – governmental, expert and non-governmental. In my opinion, this was highly motivating and constructive workshop, which helped us to exchange our experiences and to improve our understanding of what AEWA really is about.  From the perspective of the hosts, the Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, I can say that we are very pleased that this workshop was so successful with a highly positive response from all participants” said Ivana Jelenić, Croatia's AEWA National Focal Point.

Participants from eight countries, including government representatives from Albania, Croatia and Slovenia attended the workshop. Particular attention was given to involving civil society and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from each country. The purpose was to bring together these different stakeholders in order to exchange information and pave the way for strengthened collaboration.

“Better implementation of AEWA in the Balkan countries along the Adriatic Flyway is a topic that concerns both governments and NGOs. The workshop facilitator Tim Dodman succeeded in motivating all participants to work together on this joint task and to exchange a large amount of knowledge, which is essential for this work. The workshop therefore set the basis for fruitful collaboration amongst the local stakeholders, which will ultimately benefit the migrating waterbirds in the Balkans and beyond”, said Stefan Ferger, Project Manager at Euronatur.

The subjects under consideration at the workshop included the rationale behind AEWA, the need to protect migratory birds, the value, threats and opportunities of the Adriatic Flyway. The role of AEWA and of AEWA National Focal Points in the implementation of the Agreement were detailed as well. The sessions took various forms such as discussions, group work and role plays.

One discussion focused on establishing an online workspace to facilitate communication between the National Focal Points and the other stakeholder groups involved in AEWA implementation in the region. Participants gained hands-on experience during a session dedicated to national reporting. They completed exercises for developing national implementation plans for AEWA and simulated a negotiation of a draft resolution at a Meeting of the Parties.

“In my opinion the workshop expanded our knowledge about AEWA’s concept, function and aims. It also taught us a lot about the needed dedication for the contribution to achieve that goal. The work done by the organizers together with the facilitators was more than comprehensible and gave us a broader panorama of it all”, said Roland Lleshi, from the NGO Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania.

A field trip to a station of the Croatian electricity transmission company gave participants the opportunity to gain experience of practical conservation interventions, such as mitigation measures for the electrocution of birds. The national energy company made a presentation of how it minimizes electrocution on mid-voltage distribution lines through insulation techniques and stork nests elevation on platforms above poles. The field experience continued with a visit to the fish pond Crna Mlaka, a Ramsar Site, where participants learned about the management of the nature reserve and the co-existence of fish production and the conservation of waterbirds. The group also observed several hundred-strong flocks of Ferruginous ducks concentrating at the fishponds before their migration to Africa.

The workshop was organized by the nature foundation Euronatur and its local partner – the Croatian Society for Birds and Nature Protection- in conjunction with the AEWA Secretariat and hosted by the Croatian Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection. The sessions were facilitated by Tim Dodman, a veteran of many similar events organized by AEWA and CMS in the past.

For more information about the AEWA Adriatic Flyway Workshop please contact: Sergey Dereliev, Technical Officer at the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat at sergey.dereliev[at]


Last updated on 08 November 2016

News item
Bosnia and Herzegovina
North Macedonia
Species group: