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Post-WOW flyway partnership agreement takes shape in Bonn

16-Nov-2009

Pictured from right: Gerard Boere (WOW Steering Committee Chair), Camillo Ponziani (UNOPS), Leon Bennun (BirdLife International), Ward Hagemeijer and Taej Mundkur (Wetlands International) / Photo: Ma Zisong (UNEP/AEWA)Bonn, 16 November 2009 - Representatives from the Wings Over Wetlands partners BirdLife International, Wetlands International and the AEWA Secretariat came together at the UN Premises in Bonn, Germany last week (10-11 November 2009) to work out the details of an inter-agency Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) for continued collaborative flyway-level action in the AEWA region for the period following the conclusion of the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) UNEP-GEF African-Eurasian Flyways Project.

The aim of the memorandum is to build on the positive experiences created in the context of the WOW project by consolidating and further advancing a partnership approach for flyway-scale conservation of migratory waterbirds and their wetland habitats between four of the main WOW partners: the AEWA and Ramsar Secretariats, BirdLife International and Wetlands International.

From right: Camillo Ponziani (UNOPS), Leon Bennun (BirdLife International), Ward Hagemeijer and Taej Mundkur (Wetlands International), Jonathan Barnard (BirdLife International), Bert Lenten and Florian Keil (UNEP/AEWA Secretariat) / Photo: Ma Zisong (UNEP/AEWA)

The WOW project - scheduled to have delivered its full set of achievements by December 2010 – is providing an unprecedented boost to flyway conservation efforts in the AEWA region, particularly through the development of such products as the Critical Site Network (CSN) Tool and a Flyway Training Kit and has also led to closer cooperation between many of the institutions most involved in flyway-level conservation work in the region.

Hence, the MoC is seen as a way to build on the effective institutional partnerships which have already been forged in the context of the project and to try to translate the achievements made under WOW into a long-term, collaborative, flyway-scale programme for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and the wise use of wetlands along the African-Eurasian Flyways.

The MoC text drafting meeting was chaired by Dr. Gerard C. Boere in his capacity as Chair of the WOW Steering Committee and was jointly organised by the WOW Project Coordination Unit and the AEWA Secretariat. The draft text of the proposed MoC for the “Wings Over Wetlands Flyway Partnership for the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and their Habitats” is currently undergoing a process of internal consultation amongst all partners and it is hoped that the final MoC will be signed by all partners in a signing ceremony in June 2010.

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