Waterbird Monitoring along African- Eurasian Flyways receives partnership boost

Waterbird Monitoring along African- Eurasian Flyways receives partnership boost; photo from OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) Secretariat and the German camera and optics company Leica Camera AG have agreed to work together to further develop and strengthen waterbird monitoring across Africa and Eurasia.

Under a three-year partnership, Leica Camera AG will provide financial support to the Waterbird Fund hosted by Wetlands International as well as annual donations of optical equipment to aid waterbird monitoring work in countries along the African-Eurasian Flyways.

This commitment will make Leica Camera AG an official Migratory Species Champion for AEWA’s waterbird monitoring work.

“We are delighted to welcome Leica Camera AG as a champion for AEWA waterbird monitoring for the coming three years. We hope that this will be the start of a long and committed relationship and one that will help trigger further, long-term support by the company for the work of the Agreement,” said Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of AEWA.

Waterbird monitoring is a key aspect of the implementation of AEWA, and significant further investment is needed to improve monitoring capacity in all countries that have committed to protecting migratory waterbirds under the treaty.

The high-precision optical devices from Leica Camera AG are predestined for the requirements of AEWA monitoring. With over 100 years of experience in the manufacture of long-range optics and the development of optoelectronic binoculars, Leica Sport Optics products are definitive in innovation and technology.

Specially further developed binoculars from the legendary Trinovid product line, which were already on board during the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, are now available for the official use of the AEWA monitoring network. This will ensure the realistic colour reproduction and highest image sharpness required for scientific work in the field of biodiversity.

The waterbird monitoring work under AEWA is coordinated through the African-Eurasian Waterbird Monitoring Partnership, which supports monitoring efforts in many countries across Africa and Eurasia and will also ensure that the donations resulting from this agreement between AEWA and Leica will be allocated according to the defined priorities for waterbird monitoring development that have been agreed by the Contracting Parties to AEWA.

“Becoming a migratory species champion is more than being a one-off sponsor. It is a commitment to become part of the solution for the big environmental challenges of our time, especially those faced by migratory animals across our planet,” said Trouvilliez.

The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) is an inter-governmental treaty dedicated to conserving migratory waterbirds that migrate along the African-Eurasian Flyway. The Agreement covers 255 species of birds ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle.

84 countries and the European Union have signed the environmental treaty, with a geographic range covering 119 countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Greenland, and the Canadian Archipelago.

Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies.

African-Eurasian Waterbird Monitoring Partnership

The African-Eurasian Waterbird Monitoring Partnership is a coalition of 80+ organisations involved in waterbird monitoring and management. The Partnership supports the development of national monitoring systems and the improvement of monitoring information available for internationally important population size and trend estimates.

The data gathered by the Partnership is made accessible through various information services such as the AEWA Conservation Status Reports, the Waterbird Population Estimates, and the Critical Site Network Tool. Wetlands International serves as the secretariat to the Partnership.

The Waterbird Fund

The Waterbird Fund was established in response to a request by the AEWA Meeting of Parties (Resolution 6.3) and it resources waterbird monitoring activities. Wetlands International hosts the Waterbird Fund as part of its secretariat services for the African-Eurasian Waterbird Monitoring Partnership.

The Strategic Working Group of the African-Eurasian Waterbird Monitoring Partnership coordinates waterbird monitoring activities in the flyway, and also decides on the allocation and use of the Waterbird Fund in the African-Eurasian Flyways. The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat has a very central role in the Strategic Working Group and the priorities for waterbird monitoring development followed by the Partnership are governed by the decisions of the AEWA’s Meeting of Parties.

Migratory Species Champion Programme

The Migratory Species Champion Programme aims to honour entities or individuals who commit to support one or more initiatives under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or one of its independent Agreements, including AEWA (also known as the CMS Family), for three or more years, with a significant level of funding. Champions receive recognition through joint public events, web articles and press releases promoted by the relevant Secretariat of the CMS Family.


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