Europe and Central Asia

Capacity Development - Europe and Central Asia

© Amanda Rogers

The local to global approach: key to a successful Partnership

BirdLife Europe's Partners are present in 49 European and Central Asian countries, including all EU Member States. The Partnership represents 4.100 staff, 2 million members and tens of thousands of skilled volunteers. It owns or manages more than 6,000 nature sites totaling 320 000 hectares.

As the pressure on wildlife and the environment grows stronger every year, so does the need to expand our conservation work beyond our current remits. BirdLife Europe is looking to work with even more local organisations in new countries in Europe and Central Asia.

Three regions are priorities to create a coherent and complete BirdLife Europe Partnership network in Europe and Central Asia: the Balkans, the Caucasus region and the Russian Federation.


The Balkans

Dobrogei Mountains © Amanda Rogers

The Balkan Peninsula is a region home to a unique and rich wildlife. BirdLife Europe seeks to support local organizations  in data collection, identification and designation of protected areas, identification of direct and indirect threats on Important Bird Areas, advocacy and campaigning.

Specific support has been given to help these organisations to strenghten their knowledge in EU legislation in order to assess and align national legislation to EU standards.

  • BirdLife International has Partners and Affiliates in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. See all Partners in Europea and Central Asia.
  • BirdLife has engaged also with an organisation in Bosnia&Herzegovina (Naše ptice).


The Caucasus

Murovdag, the highest mountain range in the Lesser Caucasus © Самый древний

The Caucasus is a high nature value region that is crucial to migratory birds that stop in these countries to eat and rest during their journey back to Europe and Africa. Supporting the protection of birds in the Caucasus is essential to the conservation of European birds, especially migratory ones. 

  • In the Caucasus, BirdLife has Partners and Affiliates in Armenia (Armenian Society for the Protection of Birds, ASPB - BirdLife Affiliate) and Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan Ornithological Society, AOS - BirdLife Partner Designate). 
  • BirdLife Europe has also worked alongside the Georgian Centre for the Conservation of Wildlife, GCCW - BirdLife Partner Designate.

Through a large range of capacity building activities and mentoring, we have supported local organisations in the Caucasus region in data collection, identification and designation of protected areas, identification of direct and indirect threats on IBAs, advocacy work and campaigning.



Russian IBA caretakers © M. Ivanov/RBCU

The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world, comprising more than 17 million square kilometers. The country plays the role of “planet scale reserve” having huge unattached areas including great part of world important biomes - tundra, boreal forest and steppes.

Russia provides vital nesting, breeding, moulting, wintering and staging grounds for 678 bird species. Russia is home for 29 globally threatened species, with 9 species breeding only in Russia. The Important Bird Areas (IBA) network in Russia includes over 700 territories and covers some 800,000 km2 - the size of France and Great Britain combined.

BirdLife Europe is working in Russia with different organisations, in particular with RBCU and Birds Russia on different conservation projects. Activities we support, also through BirdLife Partners, include:

  • Important Bird Areas Programme (identification, monitoring and protection)
  • Threatened Species conservation actions
  • Education and awareness actions



Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.