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The Wings Over Wetlands - African-Eurasian Flyways Project

The Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project

The Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project was the first international, flyway-scale wetland and waterbird conservation initiative ever to take place in the African-Eurasian region. The four year project (2006 - 2010) was a partnership among international conservation organizations and national governments, which aimed to improve and conserve healthy and viable populations of African-Eurasian migratory waterbirds.

The area covered by this initiative included all 118 range states of the UNEP administered African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), covering all of Africa, all of Europe, south-west Asia (including the Middle East and Central Asian States), Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago.

Wings Over Wetlands was a joint effort between Wetlands International and BirdLife International, supported by the UNEP-GEF (The Global Environment Facility), The Government of Germany and a wide range of other donors and partners. The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) was engaged to support project implementation, and the project was implemented in close cooperation with the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, UNEP-WCMC and with many local partners along the African-Eurasian flyways.

A new web portal was developed by the WOW technical team and is providing unprecedented access to information on over 300 migratory waterbird species, their migration routes and the key wetland sites these birds use in the African-Eurasian region. The Critical Sites Network (CSN) Tool supports conservation efforts of countries along the entire Flyway by providing decision-makers and conservation organizations with the improved data access needed for timely and focused wetland and waterbird conservation.

The project also supported field projects in eleven important wetland areas in 12 countries. These projects focused on a number of wetland-related conservation issues including community mobilization, management planning, ecotourism, field research, wetland restoration, control of invasive species, trans-boundary management, education and alternative livelihoods. WOW Demonstration Projects were implemented in: Estonia, Hungary, LithuaniaMauritaniaNigerNigeria, Senegal / The GambiaSouth Africa, Tanzania, Turkey and Yemen

A training and capacity development framework was developed in consultation with a wide range of partners across the region, which has helped enhance the professional capacity and understanding of flyway-scale conservation concepts among conservation professionals and decision makers at various levels across the AEWA region.

A FLYWAY TRAINING PROGRAMME with a comprehensive FLYWAY TRAINING KIT has been developed in the context of the WOW Project, which includes tailor-made training materials on topics related to flyway conservation, wetland management and migratory waterbird conservation, targeted to a range of stakeholders in the African-Eurasian region.

Further Information

For a quick (printable) introduction to the WOW Project, please see the projects final Newsletter (published in Febuary 2010): Flyway Conservation at Work

For an overview of project related news published over the course of the project (2006 - 2010), please see the LATEST NEWS section of this website.

For quick access to the three main components and outputs of the project, please see the following pages:


Photo: Camillo Ponziani
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