• EAAFP Strategic Planning Workshop for 2019 – 2028

    On 11 – 13 June 2018, under the coordination of EAAFP Strategic Plan Task Force (Martin Spray – Chair, Alison Russell French – Vice Chair, Doug Watkins – Coordinator), around 20 representatives from national governments, international non-governmental partners and the EAAFP Secretariat gathered in the Copthorne King's Hotel, Singapore to develop the EAAFP Strategic Plan for 2019 - 2028. Special appreciation goes to the National Parks Board, Singapore Government for kindly hosting this important workshop. The workshop was intended for EAAFP Partners to engage and develop the new framework and goals for the coming next 10 years.  Figure 1 Group Photo  ©Hyeseon Do/EAAFP On the first day of the workshop, Mr. Martin Spray kicked off with an introductory presentation of the workshop and the draft Strategic Planning document which was circulated to the workshop participants for discussion. Afterwards, Mr. Doug Watkins presented the synthesis of the feedback from the survey conducted by the participants before the workshop. The survey provided a quick analysis of the EAAFP in terms of key strengths and weaknesses for improvement. Following the overview session, for next two days, the participants were divided into three groups to discuss the draft Strategic Plan Overview, review proposed Targets/Indicators under each Objective of the Plan. Figure 2 Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve  ©Hyeseon Do/EAAFP Day 3 started with a field trip to the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve [EAAF073] while the Task Force was pulling together the outcomes of the workshop in the hotel. In the plenary session, the participants made a final check of the draft and agreed on each objective, targets and indicators to make sure it captured the key information made during the workshop. Shortly after, Dr. Lew Young, Chief Executive of the EAAFP Secretariat, made a presentation to canvass view on a reporting template for MoP10 which will reflect on the new targets/indicators of the Strategic Plan.  The spirit of the workshop for three days was remarkably positive, and the attendance reflected a good mix of government and non-government partners. The detailed schedule of the next steps and the workshop report will be shared by the Task Force shortly with Partners. Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eaafp/sets/72157696414263401


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  • Briefing on the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and Wetland in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

    Figure 1 Group photo © Mijin Park/EAAFP On 11 June 2018, the “Briefing on the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and Wetlands in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” was held from 10:00h – 12:30h at Board Room, 8 Floor, G – Tower, Songdo, Incheon. The event was co-organized by the East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership Secretariat (EAAFP) and the Hanns Seidel Foundation - Korea (HSF), one of EAAFP Partner, which have interacted with DPRK by organizing events and supporting DPRK for raising public awareness on conservation activities for many years. The purpose of the Briefing was to understand the current circumstance in DPRK and discuss how we can cooperate and support them to conserve migratory waterbirds and wetlands in the future.  Around 80 participants attended the Briefing including representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries, Ministry of Unification, UNESCAP-Sub Regional Office, Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME), Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia, NGOs, Research Institutes and other interested experts. The Briefing began with an opening from Ms. Hyeseon Do (EAAFP Programme Officer) and this was followed by four 25-minute presentations from four speakers respectively with simultaneous interpretation and Q&A session in the end. Figure 2 Dr.Lew Young   © Mijin Park/EAAFP Mr. Felix Glenk (Project Manager of DPRK, HSF Korea), started the Briefing with capacity building project in DPRK by HSF around Rason Migratory Bird Reserve. He detailed ongoing projects about reforestation and wetland conservation since 2015. He stressed on the importance of joint conservation works with various international organizations with the DPRK. Dr. Lew Young, (Chief Executive, EAAFP), presented the overview of the conservation of migratory waterbirds and wetlands in the DPRK with a focus of Mundok Migratory Bird Reserve [EAAF045]. He also noted that the DPRK has gradually acknowledged the importance wetlands and the need for their sustainable management since proceeding with various cooperative project from 2015. Figure 3 Dr. David Melville © Mijin Park/EAAFP The other speakers also assessed the DPRK is now putting more effort on conserving and ensuring the wise use of nature. Specifically, Dr. Nial Moores (Director, Birds Korea), who has a 30-year experience in the conservation of birds and wetlands in East Asia, pointed out their lack of their capacity even though DPRK has a lot of interest in conserving nature. He emphasized the need for cooperation among Northeast Asia countries to conserve the environment and make a sustainable management platform. Dr. David Melville, an ornithologist from Pukorokoro Miranda Naturalists Trust (New Zealand), also made the point of the value of the remaining tidal flats in DPRK not only for migratory shorebirds but also for people while explaining the shorebird surveys along the West Coast of the DPRK that a New Zealand team has been conducting since 2014.  In the discussions between the participants and speakers, the tidal-flat habitats around the Yellow/West Sea which is bordered by the ROK, DPRK and PR China, were acknowledged as being critically important as a resting and feeding site for millions of waterbirds during their annual migration each year. NGOs and relevant Ministries in the Yellow Sea countries were encouraged to continue, and even increase their efforts in supporting cooperation with the DPRK. DPRK become the 36th Partner of the EAAFP in April 2018. For more pictures: Click on Flickr Press Release in English: Click the attachment For more articles about the event: http://www.yonhapnews.co.kr/bulletin/2018/06/11/0200000000AKR20180611095200065.HTML?input=1195m http://www.segye.com/newsView/20180611007181 http://www.kyeongin.com/main/view.php?key=20180611010003799 http://www.kyeongin.com/main/view.php?key=20180611010003850 http://www.breaknews.com/sub_read.html?uid=582852&section=sc2 http://www.incheonilbo.com/?mod=news&act=articleView&idxno=814406#08hF http://www.ytn.co.kr/_ln/0103_201806111613135310 http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2018/06/11/0200000000AEN20180611009900315.html?did=2106m (For English)


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  • World Migratory Bird Day 2018 – Cambodia

    Event Title: World Migratory Bird Day  2018 Cambodia Organizer: Department of Freshwater Wetlands Conservation, Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Department of Environment of Kampot Province and Pannasastra University of Cambodia(PUC) Number of Participants: around 300 people Summary: WMBD was celebrated on 9th and 10th May 2018 by Department of Freshwater Wetland Conservation of General Directorate of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection, Ministry of Environment together with Environmental Department of Kampot province, and our partners who are working on natural resources and wetlands conservation and management organized awareness and education event "World Migratory Bird Day 2018" at Anlung Pring Protected Landscape where a flock of Sarus Crane and other shorebird such as Black-tailed Godwit using that area as feeding ground during their non-breeding period. This awareness event, the World Migratory Bird Day 2018, organized for the purpose of increasing the awareness of natural resource management and conservation of migratory birds, to encourage the public, especially students, to love and protect migratory birds, and to encourage the public to participate in protecting the breeding and non-breeding  grounds of migratory birds. Many awareness-raising materials were designed and produced including books and banners. In addition, T-shirts were also designed and printed for students and related NGOs showing the massage of WMBD 2018 in the theme of "Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation". Leaflets about the impact of agriculture chemical fertilizer and pesticide on people, wildlife, and wetland were produced to be distributed to villagers for awareness of their fertilizer and pesticide usage. The education audio was recorded as awareness raising tools to play during the awareness parade.  On 9th May 2018, participants and university students traveled to Anlung Pring Protected Landscape to learn about site conservation, ecotourism and bird identification. Site manager, partner NGOs and head of community based ecotourism briefly introduced site management, ecotourism operation and Sarus Crane conservation at the site. With guiding from conservationist, university students walked to the wetland station and learned about wetland ecology and using of telescope/binocular for birding. In addition, students also participated in finding birds challenge which was conducted in the wetland station where students able to spot birds through telescope and record the name of each species they found in the bird log. The winner who was able to spot most of the species was provided a reward after finished the challenge. On 10th May 2018, WMBD event took place at Thmor Berk Secondary School located nearby Anlung Pring Protected Landscaped with 450 participants, including students, university students, local authorities, villagers, conservation NGOs. It presided over by H.E Chea Sam Ang, Director General of General Directorate of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection, Ministry of Environment and there were 4 speakers coming from different institutions but work together to conserve wetlands and migratory birds. The key message delivered by the speakers focused on "Together to conserve Migratory Birds". The activities followed by the event included Question and Answer section to students, bird drawing competition, poem recitation, bird watching, and distribution of awareness materials. The event also involved awareness parade in and around the villages to distribute leaflets about the impact of using agriculture chemical fertilizer and pesticide to human, wildlife and wetlands. Participants get on tractors and some of them ride bicycles with the bird sign such as Sarus Crane and other waterbird species with the education audio being played. The parade started from Thmor Berk Secondary School along the village roads. It was not only for raising awareness to villagers about the impact of pesticide through audio and leaflets but also draw public's attention toward Sarus Crane and wetland conservation at Anlung Pring Protected Landscape. The public event also captured and spread through Ministry of Environment and partner NGOs social media. The messages and the objective of this annual awareness event, WMBD, will reach more public attention toward conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. For more photographs, visit our Flickr album.  


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  • Terms of Reference for Intern (Programme Assistant)

    Position title: Programme Assistant Type of contract: Fixed-term (6 months) Work percentage: 100% (full time) Languages: Fluent in English and Korean Expected starting date: July 2018 Reporting to: Programme Officer, Chief Executive Officer Supervisor: Programme Officer A small amount of monthly allowance may be given.   This assignment will include the following responsibilities: Site Information Analysis and Management Support: Preparing data sheets (Site Information Sheet for Flyway Network Site) and related documentation to support the new nomination procedure of Flyway Network Sites and their updates; Updating FSN database for new nominations and their updates; searching conservation issues of FNS – threats in particular; maintaining FSN and relevant web contents with updates; Documentation Support: Preparing and providing EAAFP meeting/events documents including agenda, program and supporting documents; Keep all meeting/event documents organised in the archive folder; keep all documents online updated; Recruitment Support: Checking the EAAFP Secretariat official email account regularly for new applications; updating and advertising intern vacancies; assisting recruitment process of new intern/volunteer; preparing administrative documents for internal review, interview and final selection; responding to inquiries from applicants/candidates; providing a brief introduction of Internship Programme to selected candidates and new interns; Meeting & Translation Support: Assisting in preparation of meeting agenda and program, and logistic; providing translation and simultaneous interpreting; providing translations of English and Korean for meetings, events and newsletter; Resource Mobilization Support: Support the fundraising manager in developing funding proposals, resource mobilization strategies, and tools. Support the manager in identifying potential donors and organizing necessary events. Team Support – Other duties Administrative Support: Dealing with routine administrative work, such as preparing correspondence, sending faxes, making photocopies and assisting with bulk mailings, when Administrative Assistant is absent Team Support – Research support and website management support: Managing website, blog and social media; maintaining and purchasing software programmes, when Communication Assistant is absent * Intern’s duties can be reviewed and changed after probationary period of one month, if needed. Educational Requirements, Minimum Qualifications & Credentials: Enrolled university students or graduates majoring in environment, natural resource management, geographic information systems and/or related fields. As the Secretariat’s working language is English, full competency of using English (both written and spoken) is required. Additional EAAF languages (e.g. Korean, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Mongolian, Bahasa Malaysia, etc.) skills are a plus. Well-developed computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)   Those who are interested in working for an international organisation in environment and nature conservation area can submit the set of documents listed below through email to secretariat@eaaflyway.net by Saturday June 30, 2018. EAAFP Internship Application Form CV/résumé A personal statement: Describe your motivations, reason for applying and career goal (up to one page). A sponsorship letter, if you have a sponsor to this programme A reference letter when requested.


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  • Terms of Reference for Intern (IT Assistant)

    Position title: IT Assistant Type of contract: Fixed-term intern (6 months) Work percentage: 100% (full time) Language: English Expected starting date: July 2018 Reporting to: Communication Officer, Chief Executive Supervisor: Communication Officer A small amount of monthly allowance may be given.   This assignment will include the following responsibilities: Website Management Support: Provide assistance to managing the EAAFP website, SNS channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and e-Newsletter; coordinate the maintenance of software programmes required to maintain the website; Publication & Graphic Design Support: Produce CEPA (Communication, Education and Participation, Awareness) related materials including brochures, posters and flyers; managing the publications and liaising with service providers to ensure that high quality deliverables are timely supplied; Outreach Programme Support: Support the coordination and the organization of EAAFP meeting and events, conduct translation (from your mother tongue to English or vice versa), editing and simultaneous interpretation; assist in responding to media; Photography & Video Editing Support: Assist for managing EAAFP Flickr, YouTube and raw data for publishing in the EAAFP website/SNS; making/editing videos of interviews or speeches for EAAFP events. Administrative Support: Support the staff members on routine administrative work, such as preparing correspondence, sending faxes, making photocopies and assisting with bulk mailings. ※ Intern’s duties can be reviewed and changed after probationary period of one month   Educational Requirements, Minimum Qualifications & Credentials: Enrolled university students or graduates with experience in developing and maintaining a website. Applicants should describe website development/maintenance related experience in their cover letter and CV/resume. As the Secretariat’s working language is English, full competency of using English (both written and spoken) is required. Additional EAAF languages (e.g. Korean, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Mongolian, Bahasa Malaysia, etc.) skills are a plus.   Those who are interested in working for an international organisation in environment and nature conservation area can submit the set of documents listed below through email to secretariat@eaaflyway.net by Saturday June 30, 2018. EAAFP Internship Application Form CV/résumé A personal statement: Describe your motivations, reason for applying and career goal (up to one page). A sponsorship letter, if you have a sponsor to this programme A reference letter when requested.


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  • Terms of Reference for Intern (Admin / Finance Assistant)

    Position title: Administrative/Finance Assistant Type of contract: Fixed-term (6 months) Work percentage: 100% (full time) Languages: Fluent in English and Korean Expected start date: July 2018 Reporting to: Deputy Executive Officer, Finance Officer Supervisor: Finance Officer A small amount of monthly allowance may be given. This assignment will include the following responsibilities: Administrative Support Performing a wide range of administrative tasks including preparing and/or processing administrative requests/documents. Assist in travel/meeting arrangement. Assist in translating requested information in Korean and/or English Managing office equipment inventory and storage. Finance Support Assist in managing and updating monthly financial report Assist in dealing with documents for expenditure and income. Managing the spreadsheet data for the budget balance Assist in providing the procedural and technical support to staff within the areas of finance and budget Assist in performing other related tasks as required * Intern’s duties can be reviewed and changed after probationary period of one month, if needed. Educational Requirements, Minimum Qualifications & Credentials: Enrolled university students or graduates majoring in Finance, Accounting, Business Administration, Procurement or any other related discipline. As the Secretariat’s working language is English, full competency of using English (both written and spoken) is required. Additional EAAF languages (e.g. Korean, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Mongolian, Bahasa Malaysia, etc.) skills are a plus. Well-developed computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) Those who are interested in working for an international organisation in environment and nature conservation area can submit the set of documents listed below through email to secretariat@eaaflyway.net by Saturday June 30, 2018. EAAFP Internship Application Form CV/résumé A personal statement: Describe your motivations, reason for applying and career goal (up to one page). A sponsorship letter, if you have a sponsor to this programme A reference letter when requested.


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  • World Migratory Bird Day 2018 – Indonesia

    Event Title: World…


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  • EAAFP at 2018 Secheon Biodiversity Day Event

    To celebrate the twenty-fifth World Biodiversity Day on 2018 May 22nd, Ministry of Environment (MOE) of Republic of Korea (ROK) held an event from 17 – 19 May 2018 at the National Institute of Ecology (NIE) located in Seocheon; (ROK). This year with the slogan ‘Recovering ecology and rich biodiversity’, the event introduced important restoration cases and prepared programs for citizens to participate in various activities to acknowledge the importance and methods of restoring biodiversity. ©Banseok Koo Speech by Ms. Kim Eun Kyung, Minister of the Ministry of Environment (MOE) during the opening ceremony On the 17th   May at the start of the event, there was an opening ceremony where 300 people participated including Ms. Kim Eun Kyung, Minister of the Ministry of Environment (MOE), Mr. Lee Sang Don, member of Environment & Labor Committee, environment groups and citizens. At the request of the government, the EAAFP Secretariat team also participated in the ceremony and operated a booth during the three day event. ©Banseok Koo Kids drawing on bird papers Nine organizations including the National Institute of Ecology (NIE) and the Korean National Park Service (KNPS), operated exhibition and program booths to introduce their activities to restore the biodiversity. The EAAFP Secretariat operated a booth as one of the organizations to introduce about the work of the EAAFP and the importance of the migratory waterbirds and their habitats. Citizens and other visitors were able to learn  about the key species in the Flyway and the Secretariat staff answered questions about waterbirds and their protection. Visitors to the booth was encouraged to participate in decorating and writing messages to contribute to the EAAFP Interactive Art Project called “To Our Winged Travelers.” Photographs from the event can be found in the following link: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmijmtWP


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  • Ten Countries Agree The “HENGSHUI DECLARATION” To Save Baer’s Pochard (Aythya baeri) From Extinction In The Wild

    21 MARCH 2018 ©Luo Jianhong On 19-20 March 2018, delegates from ten countries gathered at Hengshui Lake National Nature Reserve, in Hebei Province, China, for the first international workshop on the conservation of the Baer’s Pochard. This crucially important workshop was coordinated by the East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP)’s Baer’s Pochard Task Force, which was launched in 2015 in response to the catastrophic (>90%) decline in the population of this migratory east Asian waterbird. Hengshui Lake National Nature Reserve provided the perfect setting given its status as the most important known site in the world for this ‘Critically Endangered’ duck, whose population is thought to be under 1,000 individuals, making it rarer than the Giant Panda. During the workshop, delegates from Bangladesh, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Japan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Russia and Thailand heard from senior Chinese local and national government officials, academics and international experts, discussed urgent conservation priorities and agreed the “Hengshui Declaration”. Highlights from the declaration include: “Delegates: • Warmly welcome the State Forestry Administration’s recommendation that Baer’s Pochard be added to the list of species given first class protection in China; • Encourage all range states to strengthen the protection of all sites supporting Baer’s Pochard as a matter of urgency; • Recognise the importance of Hengshui Lake for breeding, migrating and wintering Baer’s Pochard, and suggest that the site is nominated as a wetland of international significance under the Ramsar Convention, and hereby nominate Hengshui Lake as the “Home of Baer’s Pochard”. Professor Ding Changqing, Chair of the Baer’s Pochard Task Force said: “The Baer’s Pochard is a jewel in the crown of East Asia’s natural heritage. And with a distribution concentrated in China, we have a unique responsibility to ensure its survival in the wild. I am delighted that the State Forestry Administration has recommended that Baer’s Pochard be added to the list of species with Class 1 protection in China. If approved, this will mean severe penalties for anyone killing or endangering this bird and will be a significant step forward towards ensuring the species’ long-term survival.” Mr Yuan Bo, Director of Hengshui Lake National Nature Reserve, said: “Hengshui Lake is the most important known site for Baer’s Pochard in the world. With that great honour comes a great responsibility. At Hengshui Lake National Nature Reserve, we are doing all we can to ensure the site is managed in a way that allows our Baer’s Pochards to flourish, thereby helping to reverse the decline in the wild population of this beautiful duck” Mr Richard Hearn, Head of Monitoring at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Coordinator of the Baer’s Pochard Task Force, said: “This workshop has been a resounding success and it has been truly heartening to hear from so many people, from so many countries, who care about the future of this special duck. As well as helping hugely to shine a spotlight on its conservation needs, the workshop has also provided a clear understanding of what we need to do next to help ensure its survival.” Ms Hyeseon Do, Programme Officer of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership said: “Effective and continuous international collaboration is required to save this poorly-known species in the Flyway. The Baer’s Pochard Task Force is among the most active in EAAFP and the outcomes of the workshop in Hengshui form an excellent foundation for advancing positive conservation outcomes for this critically endangered species” Background Baer’s Pochard (Aythya baeri, ⻘头潜鸭) is a poorly known migratory diving duck that was formerly widespread in eastern Asia. Since the 1980s it has suffered a precipitous decline throughout its range and fewer than 1,000 birds now survive in the wild. The causes of this are largely unknown. Following uplisting to Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List in 2012, an International Single Species Action Plan (ISSAP) was prepared in 2014 and adopted by the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) in 2015 and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) in 2017. Based on the knowledge at the time, this emergency plan identified two key threats as having likely had the largest impact on Baer’s Pochard, particularly at breeding sites; (i) habitat loss and degradation; (ii) unsustainable harvesting as a result of poisoning, trapping and egg collection. Other potential threats identified were: (i) inadequate site protection and management; (ii) human disturbance and recreation; (iii) by-catch in fishing nets; (iv) lack of awareness; (v) policy obstacles. Possible threats include: (i) potential for hybridisation now Baer’s Pochard numbers are so low; (ii) excessive use of pesticides and fertilisers. Recent activities focused on Baer’s Pochard conservation have been carried out in six range states. This has included targeted surveys of breeding and wintering habitat in Russia (breeding), Myanmar (wintering) and China (both seasons). Efforts to improve management of key sites have also been conducted in Russia, China and Myanmar. General wetland monitoring and management activities in many other countries have also enhanced knowledge and conservation. Focused awareness raising has also been carried out in a number of countries and as a result the status of Baer’s Pochard and the need for its conservation is now much more widely understood. These efforts have been greatest in China, the most important country for this species, and significant new information is now available on its status, ecology and threats. About The East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) The East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership is a network of partners within the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF). The East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) aims to protect migratory waterbirds, their habitat and the livelihoods of people dependent upon them. The Flyway is one of 9 major migratory routes recognised globally. Partners include National Governments, Inter-Governmental Organisations, International Non-governmental Organisations, and international Private Enterprise, which agree to endorse the text and support the objectives and actions under this Partnership. There are 7 Working Groups and 8 Task Forces including several single-species Task Forces. (More information: http://eaaflyway.net/) Contact: For English-language enquiries about this press release or interview requests with any of the delegates, please contact Terry Townshend on +8615011289613 or on email at terry.townshend@gmail.com For Chinese-language enquiries, please contact Wu Dayong on  +861340328091 or on email at dayongwu@hotmail.com or Wu Lan on  +8613811194908 or on email at wulan.pku@gmail.com Annex A: Conservation Of Baer’s Pochard: “The Hengshui Declaration” On 19-20 March 2018, an international workshop on the conservation of Baer’s Pochard was held at Hengshui Lake Nature Reserve, hosted by Beijing Forestry University, Hengshui Municipal Government, organized by Hengshui Lake National Nature Reserve, School of Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University and Hengshui University and supported by State Forestry Administration of China, China Wildlife Conservation Association and the Forestry Department of Hebei Province. Co-organisers included the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) Baer’s Pochard Task Force, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the China office of Wetlands International. Delegates included representatives from all key range states within the flyway - Bangladesh, China, DPRK, India, Japan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Russia, Republic of Korea and Thailand. The workshop focused on the EAAFP / CMS Baer’s Pochard International Single Species Action Plan as adopted by EAAFP Partners in 2015 and CMS Parties in 2017. Specifically, delegates discussed: • The status of Baer’s Pochard, its conservation needs and threats, from across the range countries, • The identification of information gaps, research and conservation priorities • The development of national action plans As delegates of the workshop, we: • Warmly welcome the State Forestry Administration’s recommendation that Baer’s Pochard be added to the list of species given first class protection in China; • Encourage all range states to strengthen the protection of all sites supporting Baer’s Pochard as a matter of urgency; • Identified priorities for research and monitoring, including the need for synchronous censuses across the wintering range, efforts to locate further key breeding areas and improved knowledge about the breeding ecology • Encourage the development of stronger collaboration between different stakeholders including national and regional governments, nature reserves, researchers, NGOs and the general public; • Highlight the urgent need to raise awareness of the conservation needs of Baer’s Pochard among key stakeholders, including national and regional decision-makers, nature reserve managers and the general public; and • Recognise the importance of Hengshui Hu for breeding, migrating and wintering Baer’s Pochard, suggest that the site is nominated as a wetland of international significance under the Ramsar Convention, and hereby nominate Hengshui Hu as the “Home of Baer’s Pochard”. Participants committed to further refining and implementing the International Single Species Action Plan with a view to slowing and reversing the population decline of Baer’s Pochard and urged everyone to support the achievement of this goal. Download Heungshui Declaration


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  • Safe Passage: China Takes Steps to Protect Shorebirds Migrating from Australia to the Arctic

    February 15, 2018. By Terry Townshend Every year, millions of shorebirds migrate to the Arctic to breed—some coming from as far away as Australia and New Zealand—and then head back again. Nearly all of the birds making this journey spend time in the food-rich intertidal mudflats of the Yellow Sea ecoregion, on the east coast of China and the west coasts of the Korean peninsula. But as China’s economy has grown, around 70 percent of the intertidal mudflats in the Yellow Sea area have disappeared—the land drained and “reclaimed” for development. All of the more than 30 species of shorebirds that rely on the mudflats are declining, and those that stop there twice a year are declining at a faster rate than those that stop only once. If the current trajectory continues, the Yellow Sea—once known as the cradle of China—will become the epicenter of extinction. The endurance and resilience required by this epic journey is stunning: A population of bar-tailed godwits that winters in New Zealand, for example, flies 6,800 miles to Alaska and then, after bearing and raising its young, makes a nonstop return trip—equivalent to a human running continuously for seven days at 43 mph. Sadly, the number of bar-tailed godwits successfully returning to New Zealand each autumn has shrunk from around 155,000 in the mid-1990s to just 70,000 today. In January 2018, the Chinese government announced it will halt all “business-related” land reclamation along the country’s coast, which will help the tens of millions of migratory shorebirds along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, including species on the brink of extinction, such as the critically endangered spoon-billed sandpiper and the endangered great knot. At a recent press conference, China’s State Oceanic Administration Deputy Director Lin Shanqing said the government plans to: nationalize reclaimed but undeveloped land; end reclamation projects that are not in compliance with national policies; demolish any structures on illegally reclaimed land; stop approving non-critical development on reclaimed land; and, not allow local governments to approve reclamation projects. The head of the National Marine Inspection Office, Gu Wu, said that land reclamation has historically helped boost economic development. “However, illegal and irregular reclamation activities caused a number of problems to marine ecosystems and lawful businesses,” he said, and “those effects have become a major public concern, so the administration decided that reclamation would be closely looked at in its annual inspection last year.” Chinese media has criticized coastal provinces for mismanaging land reclamation projects, as revealed by the oceanic administration’s 2017 inspections.  Hebei province, for example, which is home to well-known birding sites such as Beidaihe, Nanpu, and Happy Island, has allowed tourism, aquaculture, and shipbuilding in one of its national nature reserves. The government of neighboring Liaoning Province failed to collect more than half the fines imposed for violating reclamation regulations; in addition, almost one third of the province’s waste water drain pipes into the sea were illegal and many were not properly monitored. In the south, Jiangsu Province’s mismanagement of reclaimed land, including fish farming in the seas surrounding a national wetland reserve and 184 land reclamation projects that lack government approval, have also drawn negative attention. Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Calidris pygmaea).  The population of this unique shorebird has plummeted to around 200 pairs, as its stopover sites and wintering grounds along the Chinese coast have disappeared. Photo copyright Chen Tengyi of local NGO, “Spoon-billed Sandpiper in China.” While the ban on land reclamation is encouraging, China’s enforcement record is not strong. It remains to be seen whether the government will pursue violators with the rigor necessary to ensure the integrity of the remaining intertidal mudflats.  But I am optimistic; the new policy is consistent with President Xi’s goal of building an “ecological civilization,” as he emphasized at the 19th Communist Party Congress; and it is in line with other recent efforts to strengthen environmental regulations, including the Environmental Protection Law. By halting land reclamation, China’s announcement could be the turning point for the spoon-billed sandpiper and the many other species dependent on the intertidal mudflats of the Yellow Sea coast. But it must be accompanied by other efforts to protect and manage key sites for migratory shorebirds, including policy and advocacy campaigns by organizations such as the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership, BirdLife International and local NGOs. Transforming the fortunes of the world’s most threatened flyway will only be possible if all the countries along the route cooperate, from Russia in the north, to Australia and New Zealand in the south. Together, China and these countries could set an example for governments and their partners working to protect world’s other major flyways facing similar threats, including the Atlantic and Pacific Flyways. Original link: Safe Passage: China Takes Steps to Protect Shorebirds Migrating From Australia to the Arctic


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