Lesser Flamingo © Jacques Trouvilliez, African fishermen © Wings Over Wetlands Project, Eurasian Spoonbill © Svetoslav Spasov
Bonn, 15 July 2022 – In preparation for the upcoming 8th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to AEWA (MOP8), more than 50 participants from predominantly African countries convened for a four-day online preparatory meeting organized by the AEWA Secretariat from 4-7 July 2022.
Participants used the Pre-MOP meeting to discuss key issues to be addressed at AEWA MOP8, with a particular focus on matters considered to be of high priority for waterbird conservation in Africa.
Scheduled to take place from 26-30 September 2022 in Budapest, Hungary, AEWA MOP8 will bring together the full range of AEWA Contracting Parties and partners including representatives of other international treaties, international and national non-governmental organizations as well as experts from the scientific community.
MOP8 will decide on issues of crucial importance for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats across Africa and Eurasia and decisions made in Budapest could help strengthen the flyway approach to the conservation of migratory waterbirds across a geographic range spanning 119 countries.
“Despite the limitations of meeting virtually, the preparatory meeting for African Parties has been a great success. It covered a vast array of subjects and included numerous participants from all five sub-regions in Africa, including a noticeable combination of new and long-standing AEWA National Focal Points, which permitted a rich exchange of experience,” said Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of AEWA. “I was particularly impressed by how all the participants were highly dedicated to waterbird conservation and sincerely hope we will be able to welcome as many delegates as possible for MOP8 in Budapest,” said Dr. Trouvilliez.
Consisting of a mix of presentations, lectures and discussions on MOP8 substantive topics such as species action planning and implementation, waterbird monitoring and the AEWA budget planning for the next triennium, the meeting allowed African Parties to identify and coordinate common regional positions on agreed priorities in preparation for the MOP8 negotiations.
Practical exercises and national case studies, including on ecotourism, AEWA-related Communication, Education and Awareness-raising (CEPA) activities and climate change adaptation measures for migratory waterbird conservation, complemented the rich meeting programme.
Some targeted training components, as well as quizzes, further enhanced the participative approach of the meeting.
Tim Dodman, one of the meeting facilitators of the meeting said: “It was a challenge working online for this third Pre-MOP meeting for Africa across four time zones in two languages, but everyone stayed the course, and there was strong engagement and wide involvement from across Africa. We covered all the key areas that need to be discussed and agreed at the upcoming AEWA MOP8, and I was definitely impressed by the commitment shown by African Parties in getting to grips with all issues and bringing their own valuable experiences and insights to the meeting.”
The AEWA Pre-MOP for Africa was made possible thanks to the generous financial contributions from the Governments of Switzerland (through a grant from the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and Germany (through a grant from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), demonstrating the dedication to conservation beyond national and continental borders, as highlighted by Sabine Herzog, AEWA National Focal Point for Switzerland, in her welcome speech on behalf of the donors.
Quotes from Meeting Participants:
Ms.Nadjiba Bedjedda, AEWA National Focal Point for Algeria
"Pre-MOP8 allowed us, as AEWA African National Focal Points, to pause, to identify and consider our region's common interest in the conservation of migratory waterbirds and also to strengthen, our collaboration and negotiation skills before flying to Budapest, for MOP8, in September 2022."
Mr. Salomon Yamale, AEWA National Focal Point for the Central African Republic
"The African PRE-MOP8, was the best framework for sharing experience and lessons learned to ensure the success of Mop8 and a successful future of AEWA in Africa".
Mr. Thulani Methula, AEWA National Focal Point for the Kingdom of Eswatini
"The meeting was great. It was good meeting the focal points and everyone after such a long time. The best thing was the level of participation and engagement from everyone which makes it worth looking forward to the MoP with anticipation that the team will contribute and engage."
Last updated on 29 July 2022