Statements of the Executive Secretary

Statement by Dr. Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) on World Wetlands Day 2023

This year’s World Wetlands Day theme “It’s time for wetland restoration” echoes the same spirit of urgency and action which led to the historic adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) by 196 countries in December 2022. The GBF recognizes the importance of protecting and restoring wetlands – amongst other places, in Target 2, which calls on countries to “ensure that by 2030 at least 30 percent of areas of degraded terrestrial, inland water, and coastal marine ecosystems are under effective restoration.”

02 February 2023

Video Message by Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) for Ramsar COP14

The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat – is the original name of what we today refer to as the Convention on Wetlands. The four words at the end: “especially as Waterfowl Habitat” are important for us at AEWA. Ornithologists and hunters were the first to support the idea of international wetland conservation, because they understood the importance of international wetland conservation for maintaining migratory waterfowl. 

05 November 2022

International Day for Biological Diversity 2022

Human beings are part of the web of life. We are part of what we have come to call biodiversity – the wide variety of animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, and other organisms that make up our natural world. And yet, in the relatively short time our species has existed, we have had a significant and unfortunately predominantly negative impact on the planet’s climate, its species, and ecosystems. As part of this web of life, human beings have also been benefitting from the huge number of services that nature provides and the erosion of these will have an increasingly devastating effect on our lives.

20 May 2022

Statement by Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of AEWA on World Wetlands Day 2022

The 2nd of February is World Wetlands Day, a dedicated day to observe and raise awareness on the importance of wetlands. The day was chosen as it marks the date of the adoption of The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat, also known as the Ramsar Convention, after the Iranian city of Ramsar in which the Convention was signed on 2 February 1971.

02 February 2022

Statement by Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of AEWA on the International Day for Biological Diversity

I could not agree more with the slogan of this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity: “We’re part of the solution.” COVID-19 has reminded us how much we depend on nature and on international cooperation to address the challenges the world is facing today. The ongoing fight against the pandemic, climate change and biodiversity loss are all global problems which require us to work together as a community of nations and people living on one planet.

21 May 2021

25 Years of AEWA – Statement by Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of AEWA

It was 25 years ago that I was in the Netherlands, in Den Haag to be more precise, as a French delegate to finalize the second round of negotiation on the AEWA treaty. There were 146 participants in all, representatives from 64 Range States plus many observers.  It was a hard week of work, with discussions in plenaries and in the corridors.  Most of us ended up exhausted despite the coffee breaks. The Netherlands hosted this formal meeting after several informal ones. I would like to pay tribute to Gerard Boere, from the Dutch Ministry (also a keen birder) for all his successful efforts.

16 June 2020

Statement by Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) on World Environment Day 2020

The coronavirus crisis has led many of us to reflect on humanity’s relationship with the natural world and to recognize that this relationship is now seriously out of balance, with dire consequences for our health, wealth, everyday lives and continued well-being.  We have taken for granted for too long the benefits that we derive from nature and are beginning to pay the price of neglect, overexploitation and lack of respect for the environment.  World Environment Day, with its slogan “Time for Nature”, is a timely wake-up call for us to ensure a sustainable future, where we support nature so that it can support us.

02 June 2020

Statement by Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of AEWA on the International Day for Biological Diversity

I could not agree more with the sentiments underlying this year’s IDB theme. The coronavirus crisis has given us cause – and time – to reflect on our relationship with nature and to learn to appreciate better the role of the environment and the other creatures that share our planet in securing our health, wealth and well-being.

22 May 2020