East Atlantic Flyway Webinar Held to Mark World Migratory Bird Day

Bonn, 9 November 2020 – As part of the global celebration of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD), the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat joined several national BirdLife partners in a special webinar organized by BirdLife International focussing on the East Atlantic Flyway. 

The East Atlantic Flyway, which extends from Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, Iceland and the Russian Federation to the southern tip of Africa is an important migration pathway covered by the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA).  

The East Atlantic Flyway - Graphic by the Common Wadden Sea School (CWSS).An estimated 90 million birds, including many million waterbirds, use the flyway for their annual migration, as they migrate between their northern breeding grounds to the warmer wintering (non-breeding) grounds further south and back again. 

Many national BirdLife partners along the flyway participated in this year’s World Migratory Bird Day campaign to raise awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them. Along the East Atlantic Flyway, WMBD events took place in Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Tunisia. 

The BirdLife webinar entitled “Birds connect people along the East Atlantic Flyway”, attracted over 100 participants and took place on 8 October 2020 in celebration of World Migratory Bird Day. The webinar gave the audience a unique insight into the conservation and research efforts underway across this flyway, with examples on the migration of the Black-tailed Godwit as well as site conservation efforts underway in Nigeria. 

It also included a keynote address from Dr Jacques Trouvilliez (Executive Secretary of AEWA) on the purpose and goals of AEWA as a unique policy framework for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats.  Evelyn Moloko (Coordinator of the AEWA African Initiative) also gave a presentation emphasizing the importance of the African Initiative and the Plan of Action for Africa as a key tool to achieve AEWA’s goals in the African region.  

”AEWA has many Parties along the East Atlantic Flyway and the Agreement serves as a policy framework to promote international cooperation for coordinated conservation action for waterbirds amongst all these countries . Among other tools, this is achieved through Single or Multi- Species Action Plans and other dedicated mechanisms such as the AEWA Plan of Action for Africa, which guides implementation of the Agreement on the continent.” 

Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of AEWA

One of the webinar’s objectives was also to raise awareness on the importance of the East Atlantic Flyway Initiative as part of the collaborative efforts being undertaken to conserve migratory birds and their habitats. Success stories on conservation of migratory birds along the flyway were shared and national BirdLife partners took the opportunity to inform the audience about their planned activities aimed at commemorating the second annual peak day of World Migratory Bird Day.  

The two peak days of World Migratory Bird Day 2020 fell on 9 May and 10 October 2020, and the central theme was “Birds Connect Our World”, which was chosen to highlight the importance of conserving and restoring the ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystems that support the natural cycles that are essential not only for the survival and well-being of migratory birds but also for an healthy environment. The theme also underlined the fact that migratory birds are part of our shared natural heritage and that they depend on a network of sites along their migration routes for breeding, feeding, resting and overwintering.

“AEWA was instrumental in establishing World Migratory Bird Day in 2006 and I am delighted to see so many countries and partners across the flyway so actively participating in the global campaign despite all the challenges we are facing due to COVID-19. The BirdLife webinar was an excellent example of this enthusiasm and a great demonstration of connectivity between people and organisations working together to conserve waterbirds across the East Atlantic Flyway.”

Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of AEWA

Last updated on 18 December 2020

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