Wings over Wetlands – IUCN supports migratory waterbird conservation in the Caucasus

12 April 2008 | News story

The IUCN Programme Office for the Southern Caucasus (POSC) has joined a broad partnership of organizations and governments - lead by Wetlands International and Birdlife International and supported by UNEP-GEF - to develop and implement a training and awareness raising programme on migratory waterbird conservation along the African-Eurasian Flyway.

The project area comprises all 119 range states of the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), which covers Africa, Europe, south-west Asia, Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago. It aims to support migratory waterbird conservation on the scale of the entire flyway, by coordinating and focusing national efforts, and by exchanging best practice. The training and awareness raising component, which IUCN POSC coordinates in the southern Caucasus, will enhance the professional capacity and understanding of flyway-scale conservation concepts among conservation professionals and decision makers at various levels across the AEWA region.

Returning from the first Regional Training Board meeting for the Caucasus, Central Asia and Russia in Almaty on April 12, Tobias Garstecki, IUCN Programme Coordinator for the Southern Caucasus, stressed the importance of international coordination of migratory bird conservation: ”Migrating birds know no national borders. The best efforts to protect a waterbird species in one country will be worthless if the same species suffers high losses while migrating through another country. By contributing to the training and awareness raising programme, we will enable managers and decision makers along the whole flyway to take into account these linkages in their day-to-day work”.