Middle East
18 Mar 2011

Syria hosts inaugural meeting of the Sociable Lapwing International Working Group.

By Jim Lawrence
Conservation scientists and government officials from fourteen countries spanning three continents are meeting in Syria today to plan collaborative conservation action that aims to prevent the extinction of the Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing. Countries which have sent representatives include, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Russia, Saudia Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey and United Kingdom. The event marks the inaugural meeting of the Sociable Lapwing International Working Group which was recently formed under the Africa Eurasia Waterbirds Agreement (AEWA) and takes place in Palmyra, from 18th - 20th March. The meeting is hosted by the General Commission for Al Badia Management and Development (GCB) and the Syrian Ministry of State for Environment Affairs and is facilitated by the Syrian Society for Conservation of Wildlife (SSCW) BirdLife's Affiliate in Syria and The BirdLife International Middle East Secretariat. While conducted in English, simultaneous Arabic interpretation is being provided. During the next three days the working group will review the revised International Single Species Action Plan; agree conservation measures required by each country and plan co-ordinated, cross border actions to protect Sociable Lapwings throughout their extensive intercontinental range. Additional support and funding to help stage and facilitate this meeting has been gratefully received from, Swarovski Optik and RSPB (BirdLife Species Champions for Sociable Lapwing), The BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme, AEWAThe Darwin Initiative, Save Our Species and the Hanns Seidel Foundation. You can follow progress from this meeting, receive information about ongoing conservation action for Sociable Lapwing and track the species' migration by signing up for automated email alerts here.