5th Meeting of Parties of the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement, Action!
The 5th Meeting of Parties of the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA MOP5) took place from 14-18 May in La Rochelle, France. The BirdLife delegation included staff from 12 European countries and achieved virtually all objectives set. A crucial change was made to the AEWA Action Plan; from now on, Near Threatened species can receive protection almost as strong as Globally Threatened Species, with hunting only permitted in the framework of an international action plan. An immediate beneficiary will be the Eurasian Curlew for which the MOP requested an action plan in time for MOP6 (2015). The status of the Baltic population of Lesser Black-backed Gull and the Northern-Eastern Europe population of Bean Goose were similarly changed. In quick response to the present up listing to globally threatened status of Long-tailed Duck and Velvet Scoter, an action plan for the former will be developed for adoption at MOP6. Flyway action plans for the Tundra Swan, Greater White-fronted Goose, Red-breasted Goose, Sociable Lapwing and, for the Svalbard population of Pink-footed Goose, the first ever adaptive management plan, were adopted. MOP5 also adopted a number of resolutions and guidelines, including on renewable energy, powerlines, agrochemicals, climate change and extractive industries, translocation of waterbirds, emergency responses, trade and non-native waterbirds. They will help to guide national governments in minimising the impact of these potential threats to migratory waterbird species within their countries. BirdLife staffs were involved in a variety of side events, covering various topics such as International Cooperation, the waterbird monitoring partnership, the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative, the Wings Over Wetlands Partnership and AEWA Species Working Groups. BirdLife had a hand in several major documents, such as an initial assessment of protected area coverage for AEWA species to be completed by 2015 and the fifth edition of the Conservation Status Review which is a fairly definitive summary of the status of migratory waterbirds in Africa and western Eurasia. Read and download the “Earth Negotiations Bulletin” overall summary of the meeting here. For more information, please contact Nicola Crockford, International Species Policy Officer at RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and Vicky Jones, Global Flyways Policy Officer at BirdLife International. Notes:  The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) is the largest of its kind, covering 255 species of birds ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle. It was signed by 119 countries and the European Union (EU)Parties to the Agreement are called upon to engage in a wide range of conservation actions which are described in an Action plan amended every four years by the signatory Parties.