News and updates from the continent

Migratory waterbird welfare on African agenda

Migratory waterbird welfare on African agenda

Aug 24, 2015

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Barbara Thomson, will address representatives of over 37 African countries that are Parties to the Africa Eurasian Waterbirds Agreement (AEWA) in a meeting to be held from 25 to 27 August 2015 in Cape Town.

The meeting is a platform for the African countries to deliberate and agree on African regional positions to be taken on issues covered in the agenda of the sixth Meeting of Parties to the Africa-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA MOP 6) taking place in November 2015 in Bonn, Germany.

The Africa Eurasian Waterbirds Agreement (AEWA) was developed under the auspices of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), which is a treaty of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The AEWA aims to facilitate close cooperation between countries to maintain or restore migratory waterbird species and their populations at a favourable conservation status throughout their flyways.

AEWA facilitates this cooperation at all levels, stimulating Parties to contribute effectively to international conservation, for instance through improved national practices, international collaboration, and joint activities. South Africa is a range state (one of the countries that the waterbirds visit or fly through in their annual journeys) for migratory waterbirds covered by this agreement and is also a Party to the agreement.

Some of the topical issues that will be deliberated on include the fact that developing countries, particularly African countries, rely on natural resources for survival, given the high rate of poverty and unemployment. As such, the meeting will discuss conservation approaches such as “conservation for people with the people.” This approach is expected to yield co-management arrangements for the protection of important bird areas which should be facilitated between management authorities and communities for the benefits of current and future generations.

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