Compared to other regions, Africa has seen a relatively low level of implementation of both AEWA and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). In order to boost implementation of the agreement, the AEWA Plan of Action for Africa attaches considerable importance to improving capacity in the region, including through actions to identify and address gaps in capacity. Other actions aim to promote partnerships with wildlife training institutions in the region in order to institutionalize capacity-building efforts. Moreover, specialized training opportunities are provided to address technical and administrative capacity gaps using various approaches such as Training of Trainers courses.
AEWA training courses target a variety of stakeholders, including government officers, scientific and technical experts, pedagogic experts or communication specialists. They cover a wide range of aspects relevant to AEWA, such as the flyway approach to the conservation of waterbirds and wetlands, negotiation skills in the framework of multilateral environmental agreements and the roles and responsibilities of parties’ focal points for effective implementation of the agreement.
Examples of successful training courses conducted in the framework of the AEWA African Initiative include regional Training of Trainers courses on flyway-approach conservation, for technical experts from francophone Western and Central Africa (Benin, in May 2019), Portuguese-speaking African countries (Angola, January 2014) and anglophone Eastern and Southern African countries (Kenya, May 2013). Other training has focused on the management of waterbird data, such as a workshop for International Waterbird Census national database managers from Eastern and Southern Africa (Senegal, October 2016).
In addition, African preparatory meetings have been convened ahead of the AEWA Meetings of the Parties (MOPs) in order to strengthen the involvement of African Parties in the MOPs at the same time as providing an opportunity for them to consolidate regional interests.
The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat has collaborated with the UNEP/CMS Secretariat on a number of capacity-building activities, for example in the framework of joint projects funded under the European Commission Thematic Programme for Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources including Energy (ENRTP) Strategic Cooperation Agreement (SCA) between the European Commission - DG Environment and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as well as the EC Global Public Goods and Challenges (GPGC) Cooperation Agreement with UNEP.
The European Commission were recognized as Champion Plus for their generous support of and commitment towards the AEWA African Initiative for the period 2017-2020. This activity has been funded with the contribution granted by the European Commission under the Migratory Species Champion Programme and through the Global Public Goods and Challenges (GPGC) Cooperation Agreement with UN Environment.