The WOW gap filling surveys aimed to fill information gaps on the knowledge on important wetland sites and key species not well covered by the network of IBAs and IWC sites for the needs of the AEWA Flyway Project. Four regional workshops have been organised to bring up the local expertise in identifying the priority gaps in waterbird knowledge in terms of distribution and numbers. As a result a list of regional priorities were identified for each of the four regions – East and South Africa, Western and Central Africa, Central Asia and Caucasus and Middle East Region. A list of those sites in all four regions are given in the sub-regions priority table.
The gap filling survey targeted regional priority sites or sites holding priority species, which potentially could meet up the criteria for IBAs for them or Ramsar sites (1% criteria). There was a limited funding for small scale surveys that are being administered by the Regional Waterbird Officers (RWO). Larger (usually above 3000-4000 USD) projects had to be fundraised for and therefore had to look into perspective when submitted. The priory was given to those sites that had been identified as regional gaps in waterbird knowledge on the four workshops or subsequently after consultations with miss represented countries.
The procedure of application started with submitting the application form to Wetlands International where record of all application was kept. Then projects were consulted and forwarded to Regional Waterbird Officers. Small scale ones, that could be fitted within the RWO survey budgets were administered directly by them and they handled the contacts with the applicants. The applicants might have been approached with request to redraft the application and possibly refocus it according to the priorities of the Wings over Wetlands Project.
The priority in the survey budget was given to the direct survey implementation costs. Budget and cost should have been reasonable and there should have been justification and clear link between the description of the project and the budget. Applicants should always have first consulted the priority list for gap filling surveys in the sub-regions and should also have felt free to contact the RWO for consultation and advise prior to submitting the project application.
No application would have been rejected on the base of lack of funding. However, those project applications that covered the priority criteria but exceeded the project financial limits for survey funding would have been postponed till funding could be secured for them.
Priority Gap Tables & Map (for each region):
A full list of priority sites (all four regions together) can be found in the sub-regions priority table.