African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Action Plan (AEMLAP)

African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Action Plan Map
AEMLAP Implementation Strategies:
MLSG | Flap | Species Tool | 



Aim: A co-ordinated flyway-scale approach to the conservation and protection of African-Eurasian migratory landbirds through facilitating the development, and adoption of the Action Plan at the 11th meeting of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Conference of the Parties (COP11), and its implementation across the flyway region. This was called for by CMS Resolution 10.27 on Improving the Conservation Status of Migratory Landbirds in the African-Eurasian Region.

Implementers: The African-Eurasian Migratory Landbird Working Group (AEML-WG) comprising technical and policy experts from governments, NGOs, research institutions, development agencies, companies and individuals with considerable influence on migratory landbirds. A Steering Group (AEML-SG), which is a closed subset of the AEML-WG, coordinates the Action Plan development and implementation process. The day-to-day activities are managed by the AEMLAP Coordinator, hosted by the BirdLife Africa Partnership Secretariat.

Scope: AEMLAP has a geographic scope that covers the movement systems of African-Eurasian migratory landbird species, which includes Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (128 range states). The taxonomic scope covers species classified as full migrant landbird species under the IUCN Species Information Service and the BirdLife International World Bird Database. The AEMLAP species list is divided into three categories; A (globally-threatened), B (Least Concerned with decreasing population trends) and C (Least Concerned with increasing, stable or unknown population trends). The Action Plan is classified into thematic areas that identify key threats to and gaps in the conservation of these landbird species:

  • Habitat conservation (agriculture, forestry, water, energy, climate change).
  • Taking and trade (legal and illegal taking, human-wildlife conflict, poisoning).
  • Other threats (diseases and collisions).
  • Research and monitoring (migration connectivity, monitoring, capacity development).
  • Education and information (public awareness).

AEMLAP complements the conservation agenda within the African-Eurasian flyways region; with the African-Eurasian Waterbirds Agreement (AEWA) focused on sites (for waterbird conservation), the Raptor MoU on migratory bottlenecks (for soaring bird conservation) and now the AEMLAP on landscapes (to accommodate the broader habitat movement of landbirds). This allows for better integration of conservation into agriculture, energy and other areas of development.

Other than the Action Plan itself (available in English, French and Spanish), a number of implementation strategies or tools have been and are being developed. These include:

  • Migrant Landbird Study Group (MLSG); an independent and international network of professionals and amateurs involved in the research, monitoring and conservation of migratory landbird species.
  • Friends of the Landbirds Action Plan (FLAP), to provide support-platform(s) for information and experience exchange by the public aimed at AEMLAP implementation.
  • An online species tool that enables up-to-date information, as well as facilitating filtering through the species list nationally and regionally.
  • Species Action Plans (SAPs).
  • Regional priority actions.
  • African Land-use Task-force.
  • European Atlas of Bird Migration (from ring recoveries).
  • Intersessional workshops.

Financial support: the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Sveriges Ornitologiska Förening (SOF; BirdLife in Sweden), Schweizer Vogelschutz (SVS; BirdLife in Switzerland), Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB; BirdLife in the UK), Vogelbescherming Nederland (VBN; BirdLife in the Netherlands), A.G. Leventis Foundation and the Darwin Initiative.

Key achievements to date

  • African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Action Plan development workshop in Accra, Ghana.


  • Roundtable discussion at the 13th Pan-African Ornithological Congress (PAOC) in Arusha, Tanzania – 2012.
  • Roundtable discussion at the 9th Conference of the European Ornithologists' Union (EOU) in Norwich, United Kingdom – 2013.
  • Report presented at the 41st meeting of the CMS Standing Committee – 2013.
  • Inaugural meeting of the MLSG in Wilhelmshaven, Germany – 2014.


  • Darwin Initiative Fellowship award to support AEMLAP implementation strategies and network – 2014.
  • Endorsement of the AEMLAP at the 18th meeting of the CMS Scientific Council for presentation at COP11 – 2014.

  • Presentation and discussion of the MLSG at the 26th International Ornithological Congress (IOC) in Japan, 1st International Bird Observatory Conference (IBOC) in Sweden and the 5th Bio-logging Science Symposium in France – 2014.
  • Presentation and discussion of AEMLAP at the COP11 Regional Preparatory and Negotiation Workshop for Africa, in Harare, Zimbabwe, and at the Stakeholder Meeting on the Conservation of Large Mammals in Central Asia, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan –2014.
  • 2015 African Bird Club Annual General Meeting at the Natural History Museum in London



Bonn / Abidjan, 1 December 2015: Experts from 20 countries met in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) for the Second Meeting of the CMS African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Working Group from 25 – 27 November 2015.

VIDEO: Interview with Alex Ngari on the conservation of Migratory Landbirds



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