Gland, 11 May 2009 - Leon Bennun, the Director of Science, Policy and Information at BirdLife International and member of the WOW Steering Committee highlighted the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project in his Opening Statement at the 40th Standing Committee Meeting of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, which took place in Gland, Switzerland, 11- 15 May 2009.
Speaking on behalf of the five International Organization Partners, his address included the following passage on WOW:
"I would like to mention the ‘Wings over Wetlands’ project as an example of what can be achieved by working together. This brings together Ramsar with another Secretariat, for the Africa-Eurasia Waterbird Agreement, and two IOPs – Wetlands International and BirdLife. The main financial supporters are currently GEF-UNEP and the German government. The project is making information available on critical networks of sites (very likely to be listed or shadow Ramsar sites) for migratory waterbirds across the AEWA region, and building capacity to conserve them. I mention it specifically for two reasons. First, because the project is now evolving into a long-term programme partnership, with all involved continuing to pull together in a joint effort to support Ramsar and AEWA implementation. Second, because the partnership is functioning effectively at a local, national and sub-regional level, as well as at flyway scale. It has been pointed out that existing Ramsar partnerships have focused mainly on global-level interactions. There is huge potential to achieve real gains by working together at smaller scales, bringing in to play the IOPs extensive field programmes and national and local partnerships and networks."
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