Migratory Birds and Flyways - Middle East

Cranes. Photo: Nick Upton RSPB Images

The routes followed by migratory birds on their journeys between their breeding and wintering places are known as flyways. BirdLife Partners in countries and territories along the world’s great flyways are taking action for migratory birds, by protecting chains of IBAs used as feeding and resting sites, and working with governments, developers and funding agencies to reduce the impacts of infrastructure products, such as windfarms and power distribution networks.

The Flyways Programme has nurtured regional and cross-regional cooperation between Partners within the Middle East and other regions, like Africa and Europe. In the Middle East, the programme strives to: increase understanding of Regional Flyways, and develop appropriate conservation measures;  develop targeted conservation measures to reduce the impacts of hunting, wind farming, power lines, agriculture and waste to migratory species, produce guidelines for the regional sustainable hunting, agricultural best practices and safeguards that can be adopted by governmental agencies and the private sector; strengthen coordination and cooperation with the relevant international conventions and agreements, and support effective partner engagement into these; and mainstreaming the critical sites and bottleneck sites within national management planning action plans and land use policies.

The imminent threat of hunting and indiscriminate persecution mainly to migratory bird species has triggered several cross regional initiatives in attempts to reduce its impact, including the Sustainable Hunting project, Wings Over Wetlands and the Migratory Soaring Birds Project.

The Sustainable Hunting Project aimed to strengthen the management of bird hunting in selected North African and Middle Eastern countries of the Mediterranean region to reduce excessive, indiscriminate and illegal hunting of migratory birds, promote more sustainable hunting practices and enhance the compliance of international and regional agreements on the conservation of migratory birds. Find out more about the Sustainable Hunting project.

The implementation of the Wings Over Wetlands Project has also been facilitated and coordinated through Sub-Regional Centres located across the AEWA region, including the  Middle East. These centers forged regional interactions and ties, through exchange programs, as well as using demonstration projects as a springboard for information and as a venue for training and awareness raising programmes in each respective region.  The WOW regional centers formed an important pillar for the Wings Over Wetlands project, strengthening the capacity of local partners and therefore fostering the long-term sustainability of flyway-level conservation initiatives across the entire African-Eurasian region. Find out more about the Wings Over Wetlands

The Migratory Soaring Birds project aims to integrate conservation management objectives into targeted public and private sectors in 11 countries along the Rift Valley / Red Sea flyway.

Find out more about the Migratory Soaring Birds Project.


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