© Collage created by Martin Bangratz


The year 2015 saw the 20th anniversary of AEWA. For the past two decades, AEWA has provided the framework for international cooperation on the conservation and management of migratory waterbird populations in the region - also serving as an example for flyway cooperation around the globe.

The Agreement’s 20th anniversary was celebrated throughout the year, culminating in the 6th Session of the Meeting of the AEWA Parties which took place on 9 – 14 November 2015 in Bonn, Germany.

In particular, the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat was paying tribute to the people behind the Agreement in the form of a rolling “people behind the scenes” feature on this website, highlightening the work and dedication of the many government officials, NGO representatives, experts, consultants and stakeholders as well as project staff - without whom AEWA would not be able to function and deliver.


 20th Anniversary of AEWA - Statement from Jacques Trouvilliez

Dear colleagues and friends of migratory waterbirds across the African-Eurasian region and beyond, it is my sincere pleasure to announce the start of the 20th anniversary year of AEWA – the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement. (Read on)

 20th Anniversary of AEWA - Statement from Øystein Størkersen

In the geographic region of AEWA I believe that most humans, if not all, have an interest in birds and the remarkable lives and migrations they lead. Birdsongs are part of every human childhood memory. (Read on)

 People behind AEWA – Elvire Joëlle Zouzou épse Mailly

Joëlle Zouzou is the National Focal Point for Côte d’Ivoire, which is one of the newest countries to have joined AEWA having acceded in June 2013 thus becoming the 70th Party to the Agreement. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - Tim Dodman

Tim lives on the remote Scottish island of Papa Westray, where he works from home adjacent to a nature reserve important for a number of AEWA species. When he is not being a freelance conservationist, he serves as fire-fighter, tour guide and license holder for the local shop and bar. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - Kerryn Morrison

Kerryn is based at the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) in Johannesburg, South Africa and currently works in a partnership between the EWT and the International Crane Foundation. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - Jesper Madsen

Jesper Madsen is a professor in the Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University in Denmark and is Chairman of the Waterbird Harvest Specialist Group of Wetlands International and Coordinator of the AEWA International Species Management Plan for the Svalbard population of the Pink-footed Goose. (Read on)

20th Anniversary of AEWA - Statement from Melissa Lewis

During their annual movements, migratory waterbirds traverse multiple jurisdictions, the conservation laws and policies of which may differ considerably. It is thus unsurprising that, over the past century, a myriad of international instruments have been adopted to facilitate international cooperation in bird conservation. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - Barirega Akankwasah

Barirega Akankwasah is the Vice-Chair of the AEWA Standing Committee and the AEWA National Focal Point in Uganda, a country which hosts over 1,000 different bird species representing 10 per cent of the world’s avian fauna. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - Volodymyr Domashlinets

For Volodymyr, the Ukrainian National Focal Point for AEWA, the Agreement is the key international treaty providing instruments to the Parties to coordinate waterbird conservation using agreed and harmonized methodology and approaches. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - Ross Wanless

Ross was awarded Best Doctoral Thesis in the Science Faculty at the University of Cape Town in 2007 and won third place in the United Nations/Convention on Migratory Species international thesis competition. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - Sabine Herzog

A biologist by training, Sabine Herzog is deputy head of section in the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) in Switzerland responsible for the law on hunting and forests which covers the protection of native mammals and birds and their habitats. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - The Team of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT)

Founded by Sir Peter Scott, the son of the Antarctic explorer, Robert Falcon Scott, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) is an NGO based at Slimbridge in the United Kingdom and is considered by some to be the birthplace of modern conservation. (Read on)

Saulius Svazas

People behind AEWA - Saulius Svazas

Saulius Svazas is the principal scientist at the Lithuanian Nature Research Centre.  For him, AEWA is the key international instrument forinternational collaboration related to conservation and sustainable management of migratory waterbirds across the whole African-Eurasian Flyway. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - Dr. Gerard C. Boere

Migratory birds have been a life-time fascination for Gerard. With two school friends, when they were about 10 years old, he established a ‘bird and nature club’. Bird watching was their main activity, using a simple old bird guide. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - Cy Griffin

Cy Griffin is Director of Conservation of the European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) where he is responsible for work related to nature and wildlife conservation.  He represents FACE on the AEWA Technical Committee and also brings the hunters’ perspective to the AEWA Lesser White-fronted Goose International Species Working Group. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - Libuše Vlasáková

Libuse works in the Department of the Conservation of Species and Implementation of International Commitments in the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic. (Read on)

Essam Bouras

People behind AEWA - Essam Mohamed Bouras

Essam first had dealings with AEWA in 2008. Although he was not the National Focal Point for the Agreement at the time, he attended the 4th Meeting of the Parties in Madagascar. The MOP presented the opportunity for Essam to meet many professionals with an active interest in birds, all sharing and exchanging information. (Read on)

Hanneline Smit Robinson

People behind AEWA - Hanneline Smit Robinson

Dr. Hanneline Smit-Robinson has been BirdLife South Africa’s Terrestrial Bird Conservation Programme Manager since 2010 and became a trustee of the Middelpunt Wetland Trust in 2013, which was started in 1994 exclusively for the conservation of the White-winged Flufftail. She sees AEWA as important for both practical conservation work and international collaboration. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - Jelena Kralj

Dr Jelena Kralj works at the Institute of Ornithology of the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts and as well as her connections to AEWA she serves on the CMS Scientific Council. In Jelena’s experience, AEWA provides the conservation framework for protection of waterbirds on three continents. (Read on)

People behind AEWA - Kofi Adu-Nsiah

Nana Kofi Adu-Nsiah is currently the Executive Director of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana. He has been with the Wildlife Division since April 1983 and has held various positions including Wildlife Ranger, Park Manager as well as Business Planning and Research Manager. (Read more)

People behind AEWA - Szabolcs Nagy

Szabolcs, who works for Rubicon Foundation, is a member of the AEWA Technical Committee representing the NGO, Wetlands International, for which he is a senior adviser. He has been working with waterbirds since his childhood and became involved with AEWA through coordinating the development of International Single Species Action Plans for globally threatened species in Europe. (Read more)

People behind AEWA - Dr. James Njogu

Dr. James G. Njogu is the AEWA National Focal Point for Kenya. In addition, he is National Focal Point for CMS and Ramsar, and since 2005 he has been serving as Head of Conventions at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). While managing Kenya’s wildlife and its habitats, the organization works closely with other stakeholders to conserve, protect and sustainably manage wildlife resources. (Read more)

People behind AEWA - François Lamarque

A trained veterinarian, François Lamarque has pursued a successful career in wildlife conservation in both Europe and Africa for over thirty years. Although he is primarily a mammalogist, François has been in charge of international activities both for the French National Agency for Hunting and Wildlife (Office National de la Chasse et Faune Sauvage - ONCFS) and the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, where he currently works. (Read more)

People behind AEWA - Hichem Azafzaf

Hichem Azafzaf is from Tunisia and he is the Chair of Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux", the Tunisian BirdLife partner. Following a stint as the North-African regional representative on the AEWA Technical Committee, he currently serves as the Committee’s Vice-Chair. (Read more)

People behind AEWA - David Stroud

David is from the UK and has been working with waterbirds and their conservation since 1978. His initial involvement with the Greenland White-fronted Goose Study continues to the present day and gives occasional opportunities for fieldwork ‘therapy’ in Iceland and Greenland. (Read more)

People behind AEWA – Üllar Rammul

Üllar works as a Senior Officer at the Estonian Ministry of the Environment and serves as the Estonian National Focal Point to AEWA as well as to CMS and EUROBATS. A mammal ecologist, Üllar also lectures at the Tallinn University of Technology. (Read more)


People behind AEWA – Guy-Noël Olivier

Living in a small coastal town in northern France, Guy-Noël Olivier has a privilege to observe the yearly migration of water birds towards the East Atlantic. For more than 50 years, he has been managing a 60 hectare wetland that he uses to study and monitor snipe populations. Guy-Noël is not your typical naturalist and hunter: along with professional life in industry and commerce, he has been interested in migratory birds from an early age. (Read more)


People behind AEWA – Nicola Crockford

Nicola Crockford is well known in AEWA (and CMS) circles – as RSPB’s International Species Policy Officer and BirdLife International’s focal point for the Convention on Migratory Species and some of its avian instruments. She is a regular attendee at COPs, MOPs, and meetings of Standing and Advisory Committees as well as working groups. (Read more)


People behind AEWA - Sharif Jbour

Sharif Jbour works for BirdLife International’s Middle East Partnership Secretariat and has been involved with AEWA since 2004 during the implementation of a project on sustainable hunting in the Mediterranean as well as within the framework of the “Wings Over Wetlands” project. (Read more)

People behind AEWA - The Team of the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa

South Africa became a Contracting Party to AEWA in April 2002. The dedicated South African team hosted the African Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 6th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement in Cape Town from 25-27 August 2015 in support of the African Initiative. (Read more)

People behind AEWA - Olivier Biber

Olivier Biber is well known in AEWA and CMS circles as a regular participant in COPs, MOPs, Standing Committees, the Scientific Council and the Technical Committee.  For him, AEWA is one of the most effective agreements in the field of biodiversity conservation. (Read more)

People behind AEWA - Eckhart Kuijken

Wintering geese and waterbird conservation have been the subject of Professor Kuijken’s research as well as a passion for more than half a century.  He had the privilege of first contacting IWRB (now Wetlands International) in the mid-sixties, when the first international waterfowl counts started and an Annual meeting in Belgium (Knokke) was organized in 1970. (Read more)

People behind AEWA - Abdoulaye Ndiaye

Abdoulaye Ndiaye is the Africa-based coordinator of the Technical Support Unit for the AEWA African Initiative and has an impressive résumé of achievements in the field of wetland and waterbird conservation especially in West, Central and East Africa. (Read more)

People behind AEWA - The Team of the Technical Support Unit (TSU) to the African Initiative

The team of the Technical Support Unit (TSU) to the African Initiative of AEWA is made up of personnel from the French Hunting and Wildlife Office (ONCFS), Tour du Valat and Senegal's National Parks Directorate (DPN of Senegal). (Read more)

People behind AEWA - The Team of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) – which leads on international biodiversity-related issues – supports the work under the Agreement as often as possible in the form of voluntary contributions and by backing larger processes and projects, for example on renewable energy, climate change and the illegal killing of birds. (Read more)