Wings over Wetlands (WOW) Project
Bird migration is one of the great wonders of the natural world. Yet each year, fewer birds of many species return to their breeding grounds, because the sites they depend on to rest and refuel while on their long journey from their wintering grounds have been damaged or developed.
The BirdLife Partnership is pleased to be part of the Wings over Wetlands (WOW) project, because WOW will enhance international conservation efforts for migratory waterbirds and their habitats.
Wings over Wetland (WOW) Project:
To focus on tackling the issues that affect migratory birds the ‘Wings over Wetlands (WOW) Project’, a collaborative project led by Wetlands International in partnership with BirdLife International , among others, has been devised.
Launched on the 20th of November 2006, the WOW Project (formerly the ‘African-Eurasian Flyways Project’) aims to focus on enhancing information and coordinating measures to conserve the critical network of sites on which these birds depend.
The WOW Project covers the entire African-Eurasian area as defined in the AEWA Agreement (the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement). This includes all of Africa, all of Europe, south-west Asia (including the Middle East and the Central Asian states). It now forms the largest international wetland and waterbird conservation initiative ever to take place across the African-Eurasia region.
“Migrating birds see no borders. Conserving them and their critical habitats may only be achieved through improved collaboration between national governments, local and international conservation organizations and local communities.” - Edoardo Zandri, Chief Technical Advisor of the WOW Project.
"Migrating birds see no borders." —Edoardo Zandri, Chief Technical Advisor of the WOW Project
How does WOW work?
The project will help foster international collaboration along the entire flyways and aims to build capacity for monitoring and conservation and demonstrate best practice in the conservation and wise use of wetlands in the twelve countries selected.
These twelve countries include eleven important wetland areas, ranging from the famous Biharugra's Fishponds in Hungary to the Wakkerstoom Wetlands in South Africa. An additional nine other critical wetland areas throughout the region will directly benefit from the five-year project.
‘Flyway level’ information
The project will also pull together a range of research efforts to create a ‘flyway-level‘ information database that can assist conservation efforts and facilitate appropriate policy responses across the region.
“The WOW project is unique in combining a flyway-level perspective with an emphasis on practical conservation at the site and country level” said Leon Bennun, Director of Science, Policy and Information at BirdLife International. “Waterbird migrations are an extraordinary and very valuable natural phenomenon, which this project will help safeguard for the future.”
“Waterbird migrations are an extraordinary and very valuable natural phenomenon, which this project will help safeguard for the future.” —Leon Bennun, Director of Science, Policy and Information at BirdLife International
The project is a joint effort led by Wetlands International in partnership with BirdLife International, UNEP-GEF, the United Nations Office for Project Services, and will operate in close coordination with the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and a wide range of local partners along the African-Eurasian Flyways. The project is supported by the UNEP Global Environment Facility, the German government, UNEP/AEWA Secretariat and several other donors.
For further details and up-to-date information on the WOW Project please visit the ‘Wings Over Wetlands: The African-Eurasian Flyways Project’ website, hosted by Wetlands International: