Burundi Becomes AEWA’s 74th Contracting Party

Bonn, 27 August 2014 - AEWA’s membership will grow to 74 Contracting Parties as of 1 October 2014, with the Republic of Burundi being the latest country to join the Agreement.

Burundi is a landlocked country in the African Great Lakes region in the south-east of the continent, bordered by Rwanda to the north, the United Republic of Tanzania to the east and south and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Much of its southwestern border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika, the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume.

Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum) © Sergey Dereliev, www.dereliev-photography.com

Burundi is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, with over 300 inhabitants/km2 in some areas.

The country possesses extensive wetlands – more than 120,000 ha, equaling almost 5 per cent of the area –a large part of which have, however, been drained for agriculture. There are also a number of small lakes in the mountainous part of the country as well as four larger ones, including Lake Tanganyika which contains an exceptional fauna.

Burundi’s wetlands are of great importance for the 113 waterbird species recorded for the country according to the BirdLife Data Zone. The avifauna includes 14 species of global conservation concern, with two AEWA species - the Madagascar Pond-heron (Ardeola idae) and the Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum) - classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Most of the remaining significant wetlands are now in protected areas such as Rusizi and Ruvubu National Parks, which are among Burundi’s five Important Bird Areas, along with Kibira National Park, Rwihinda Lake Managed Nature Reserve and Bururi Forest Nature Reserve.

The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat warmly welcomes Burundi and is looking forward to working closely with the responsible national authorities and other stakeholders in the country to support the implementation of the Agreement in Burundi and to strengthen regional waterbird conservation efforts.


By Dunia Sforzin.

Last updated on 09 October 2014

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Ardeola idae
Balearica regulorum
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