Statements to Mark 25 Years of AEWA

To mark the 25th Anniversary of the Agreement, the AEWA Secretariat has received statements from some of the key people who have helped shape the Agreement into what it is today, including from the two Honorary Patrons of AEWA. Their anniversary statements can be found below and more statements from across the flyway will be added to the dedicated 25th Anniversary Statements page over the course of the year.

25 Years of AEWA – Statement by Dr Gerard C. Boere, Honorary Patron and Founding Father of AEWA

Congratulations to all the people involved in AEWA on the 25th anniversary of the Agreement. It is excellent that we have come this far, and it is good to see detailed activities undertaken at the practical level, which we believed from the start could be provided by a conservation and management tool such as AEWA. Developing a flyway conservation plan was not an entirely new concept when work on AEWA started in the late eighties. For a long time, bird conservationists believed that the protection and management of birds should be implemented across the entire range: the breeding, stopover and wintering sites.

10 June 2020

25 Years of AEWA – Statement by David Stroud, Honorary Patron of AEWA

For millions of years birds have connected our planet – indeed they were doing so long before we humans were there to wonder at their spectacular annual migrations. When humankind did appear to join the world of waterbirds, it was unsurprising that one of the very first animal sculptures, made some 30,000 years ago, was that of a Palaeolithic waterbird.

11 June 2020

25 Years of AEWA – Statement by Simon Mackown, Chair of the AEWA Standing Committee

AEWA is more than the set of rules, commitments and obligations set out in a treaty. It brings together Governments, local communities, conservationists, and hunters from across Africa and Europe; all with a shared interest in flourishing wetland habitats and thriving waterbird populations. The successes of the Agreement are many and are ultimately due to the commitment, expertise and professionalism of all these individuals.  And of course, the Agreement could not continue to achieve as much as it does  without the exemplary work of the AEWA Secretariat, to whom I, on behalf of the Parties to the Agreement, would like to express my appreciation and gratitude. 

12 June 2020

25 Years of AEWA – Statement by Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of the City of Bonn

Happy Birthday, AEWA! Congratulations to the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement, an appreciated member of the UN Bonn Family, on 25 years successful work! It is with gratitude that we look up to the sky every autumn around UN Day - when the common cranes pass Bonn on their way to Africa. 

16 June 2020

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

25 Years of AEWA – Statement by Øystein Størkersen, Former Chair of the AEWA Standing Committee

AEWA is a favourite of mine among Conventions, simply because it deals with concrete issues, such as species or concrete sites and it gives strong guidance through obligatory requirements. I am also pleased that AEWA is not afraid of difficult issues or of giving advice on how to solve issues. This is not least thanks to the very active and competent AEWA staff. Due to its ability to rapidly adapt to changing issues, AEWA is increasingly becoming a treaty that aims to make a difference. This has been possible not least to a network of professsional experts and national managers. 

16 June 2020

25 Years of AEWA – Statement by Dr. Akankwasah Barirega, Former Chair of the Standing Committee

AEWA has over time raised the profile of waterbird conservation on the African Continent. Conservation of birds in Uganda, for example, has benefited immensely from the tools, processes and knowledge-sharing materials developed under AEWA. Birds now receive the same level of attention from policy makers hitherto accorded mainly to mammal conservation.

18 June 2020

25 Years of AEWA – Statement by Carola Schouten, Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Netherlands

I would like to congratulate all the people involved in AEWA on the 25th anniversary of the Agreement. These past years we have achieved much concerning the protection and conservation of migratory waterbirds. With all the challenges these birds face, it is good to see more and more countries willing to work together for their protection. As the Dutch Minister for Nature, I am proud that the Netherlands was involved in the creation of this Agreement and that AEWA has grown from 14 Parties then, to 80 Parties today. We can look back proudly at the achievements of the last 25 years and I am excited to look forward to the progress we will make in the next 25 years to offer waterbirds safe flyways and a safe future.

18 June 2020

25 Years of AEWA – Statement by Dr Christiane Paulus, Director-General, Nature Conservation and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and my Minister, it is my pleasure to congratulate AEWA and its Secretariat to the 25th anniversary of AEWA. We welcome the tireless efforts of AEWA and its Secretariat to improve the conservation status of migratory waterbirds. Among many issues, I would like to highlight in this regard the lead role of AEWA in the international efforts to reduce lead shot in particular in wetlands as well as the ongoing efforts to meaningfully address the illegal killing of birds, in particular in the Mediterranean Region, e.g. through "MIKT".

29 June 2020