In Focus: AEWA Conservation Guideline No. 3 - Guidelines on the Preparation of Site Inventories for Migratory Waterbirds

Bonn, 25 August 2015 - In paragraph 2(c) under Article III of the Agreement, special attention is given to the identification of sites and habitats for migratory waterbirds residing within the territory of Parties, and to the encouragement to protect, manage, rehabilitate and restore these sites, in liaison with those bodies listed in Article IX, paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Agreement, concerned with habitat conservation.

The importance of the site inventory is also recognised in Paragraph 3.1.1 of the AEWA Action Plan. This requires Parties to undertake and publish national inventories of the habitats within their territory, which are important to the populations of waterbirds listed in Table 1 of the AEWA Action Plan.

Conservation Guideline No.3 is a manual to assist individual Parties in locating and prioritising the sites, which migratory waterbirds use throughout their flyway (breeding, moulting, staging and wintering areas) in order to protect or manage their populations. An inventory of important sites is also one of the basic tools for the conservation and management of migratory waterbirds.

This guideline provides a set of seven steps that each country should follow to identify and locate sites on which migratory waterbirds rely during their life cycle. For example, these steps include the identification of leading agencies in the inventory process, defining objectives and phasing, using published sources, drafting a list of key sites and habitats or the identification of new sites using maps, aerial photographs and satellite images as well as organizing inspection visits to these potential new sites.

So far, a series of 14 different Conservation Guidelines has been developed to assist the Parties in the implementation of the AEWA Action Plan. These guidelines deal with, inter alia, species and habitat conservation, management of human activities and others. For more information please visit:

Last updated on 26 August 2015

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