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WOW in the NEWS: Waterbirds Conservation Workshops Launched (Source: The Environment Press)

20-Nov-2007

Nairobi, November 19, 2007 - A series of international workshops on enhancing the conservation of Waterbirds in Eastern and Southern Africa was launched in Nairobi Yesterday. 'The timing of these workshops is opportune as we currently face various conservation challenges that include environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity in all regions of the world,' said Erustus Kanga, the head of ecological monitoring and biodiversity evaluation at Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in a speech read on behalf of the KWS Director, Dr. Julius Kipng'etich.

Nairobi, November 19, 2007 - A series of international workshops on enhancing the conservation of Waterbirds in Eastern and Southern Africa was launched in Nairobi Yesterday.

 'The timing of these workshops is opportune as we currently face various conservation challenges that include environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity in all regions of the world,' said Erustus Kanga, the head of ecological monitoring and biodiversity evaluation at Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in a speech read on behalf of the KWS Director, Dr. Julius Kipng'etich.

The initial workshop I this series begun Sunday at the Kenya Wildlife Training Institute in Naivasha and brings together 44 renowned scientists from 30 organisations coming from 23 countries. 

The workshops take place under the Wing Over Wetlands (WOW) project and Important Bird Areas (IBA) monitoring project.

Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) -also known as the UNEP-GEF African-Eurasian Flyways Project, is a joint effort between leading international organisations and supporting governments dedicated to the conservation of Waterbirds and wetlands. 

The workshops are hosted by BirdLife International (BI) Africa Partnership Secretariat, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Wetlands International (WI).

KWS is responsible for developing a regional training and awareness raising programme while WI is responsible for organization, monitoring and data collection on water-birds.

In order to conserve migratory species, knowledge of the routes taken by birds and the role of particular sites is essential, BI.

However, a statement from BI says a significant number of IBAs have not been documented. 'Critical sites in the African-Eurasian Waterbirds Agreement (AEWA) Area are not all known. This hampers coordinated conservation efforts,' said the press release in part.

The workshops will focus on identifying areas where further surveys are necessary and on strengthening capacity to monitor these sites.

Deliberations are expected to enhance the database for monitoring Waterbirds across the network of sites and increased capacity to monitor Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in region.

The goal of the project is to protect migratory waterbirds, their migration routes and the key areas needed to complete their seasonal cycles.  WOW will run for four years, 2007-2010.

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