• 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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  • 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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  • Ibangklaseng Yoga: A different way to celebrate World Wetlands Day 2018

    ©Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. Kathy Lene S. Cielo and Szimon Francisco,  Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually in Naujan Lake National Park (NLNP) [EAAF062], a wetland of international importance—one of the Ramsar sites in the Philippines. This year, we at Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc. (MBCFI) opted to celebrate it with a little twist—we celebrated with yoga! Our activity called “Ibangklaseng Yoga” aims for the wellness of three aspects: 1) biodiversity through talks, exhibit and bird counting, 2) ecotourism through Bangklase tour, and 3) body and mind through yoga. The English translation of “ibang” is different and “klase” is class or kind. The event was also held at the Bangklase, if translated “Bangka” is boat and “klase” is class, meaning “class in a boat”. It is a big catamaran with a seating capacity of 60 persons. The Bangklase project is an initiative of Divine Word College of Calapan and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to promote biodiversity conservation and ecotourism in Naujan Lake National Park. The original itinerary of the Bangklase is to go to different ecotourism sites in the Lake such as: Minglet Forest, Pungao Hotspring, Tagbakin Falls and Malabo View Deck. During the tour, a representative of NLNP- Protected Area Office will provide lectures on biodiversity and Naujan Lake National Park. For this year’s theme of “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future”, we invited 15 volunteers who travelled all the way from Manila to attend the event. They are: from Shell Philippines Exploration BV and Shell Business Office Manila, and Triathletes. BIODIVERSITY TALKS AND EXHIBIT St. Agustin Minor Seminary Ecology Professor Madonna Virola invited MBCFI to hold its Day 1 Biodiversity Talks and Exhibit (February 2, 2018) at their auditorium. The event was attended by more than 50 seminarians and the 15 volunteers from Manila. Joining the seminarians and the volunteers were the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Oriental Mindoro Provincial Officer Mary June Maypa and MBCFI Board of Trustees member Gerardo Concepcion. Concepcion shared his message on sustainability: “Although, I, myself is an entrepreneur, specifically in the gas and oil industry at that, I am also a trustee of MBCFI. I believe that development and environment can go along positively for a sustainable future. And may I quote from the Rio declaration “In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation from it.” I personally, see to it that our business meets the environmental standards of our country, and that we comply dutifully with it.” During the day, other topics related to biodiversity were discussed 1) MBCFI Executive Director Grace Diamante on MBCFI’s programs and projects 2) MBCFI M & E Officer Virtito Natural Jr. on Philippines’ biodiversity 3) MBCFI IEC Officer Roderick Makiputin on Mindoro Biodiversity; 4) RESEARCH Program Manager Don Geoff Tabaranza on MBCFI’s RESEARCH program, wetland birds and counting methods; 5) NLNP-PAO ECOMS I Rayson Alfante on Naujan Lake National Park as an important wetland; 6) MBCFI CARE Program Manager Kathy Lene Cielo on Urban Wetlands. The exhibit included research gears, published books, bird photos and brochures for the appreciation of participants. Day 1 was ended by a send-off serenade and prayer by seminarians and Father Nestor Adalia. COASTAL CLEAN-UP ©Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. Earlier that day, the Protected Area Office of NLNP spearheaded by Protected Area Superintendent Ricardo Natividad pushed through with their regular coastal clean-up in the Barangays surrounding the lake. BIRD COUNTING AND YOGA MBCFI, DENR and volunteers started the Day 2 of World Wetlands celebration at 5 AM aboard the Bangklase. The event started with a short orientation by Don Geoff Tabaranza on bird counting using the block method. It was then followed with an hour session of Ashtanga yoga for beginners. The yoga session ended at the burst of dawn, in time for the bird counting activity where flock of birds welcomed our guests and volunteers. A total of 1,900 birds were counted and majority are tufted ducks followed by Garganeys. However, the bird count was low due to the cloudy weather with periodical rain showers. ©Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. ©Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. ©Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. “Bird counting was more than just “counting’, it was an activity that needed patience, focus and most importantly, enthusiasm. Taking action is the next step. We should consider to be advocates, and create awareness of the values and concerns that we are currently facing in saving our natural habitats and its species not just in our locales.” Decerel Mendoza (Volunteer, Athlete and Yogini) Participants shared their creativity and pledges by coloring a bird-shaped board courtesy of East Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership. The event was ended with a sumptuous breakfast aboard the bangklase! It was indeed a happy World Wetlands Day! “I have previously learned about MBCFI and the ecological significance of Mindoro from lunch-and-learn events held in the SPEX office, but personally being at Naujan Lake with the MBCFI team gave me a deeper appreciation for the hard work being done on the field and why it matters.”- Chiara Bernardo (Volunteer, Shell Exploration BV)


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  • Red Knot Travelling Exhibition at the Second Tianjin International Bird-watching Competition

    ©CBCGDF Shuya Huang, Linda Wong, Jinfeng Zhou, CBCGDF On March 16th-18th, 2018, the Second Tianjin International Bird-watching Competition was officially launched at Tianjin Binhai New Area (Bohai Bay) in the Northern China. The Competition was hosted by the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) along with Tianjin authorities. This Competition also attracted numerous local and national media. Twenty domestic and international birding teams gathered for this event (including 5 international teams, composed of British, German, Singaporean, Indian, Pakistani, and Kenyan bird lovers). In total, 96 species of migratory birds, including the endangered relict gull and great bustard, were identified and verified by the judges during the competition day. The Bohai Bay is located along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) of migratory waterbirds. The vital mudflat supports more than 30 species of shorebirds year-round, including the attractive Red Knot. Collaborating with EAAFP and the “Year of the Knots 2017-2018” initiative, CBCGDF brought the “Red Knot Travelling Exhibition” to Tianjin, China, and aimed to raise public awareness on this particular bird through the comprehensive artwork presentation. The representative from CBCGDF presented the characteristics of the Red Knot and shared interesting information about its migratory habits and the routes from January to December to the participants and volunteers. The artwork provided by Janet Essley and the biologist Lee Tibbitts especially captivated the audience and assisted them to clearly visualize the descriptions. After the presentation, the audience continued to ask questions about the reasoning behind the Red Knot’s preferred migratory route and its favourite food at the staging locations along the EAAF. The public greatly enjoyed the introductory panels as well. With the hard work of the organizers, media, participants, and volunteers, the Red Knot Travelling Exhibition and the Second Tianjin International Bird-watching Competition turned out to be huge successes. ©Tian Jiguang The China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) is an independent non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to environmental protection and biodiversity conservation. As a partner with the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the NGO was originated from the Milu reintroduction in 1985. China's leading conservation is with about 50 staff and thousands of registered volunteers. With a public fundraising license, CBCGDF funded hundreds of grassroots NGOs and individuals in past 3 years, and hosted many biodiversity projects and environmental events around the country to aware the people, encourage the people, and empower the people. Protecting migratory birds and the habitats on which they depend are important tasks of CBCGDF. In recent years, CBCGDF has been consistently promoting the conservation of the migratory birds, as well as their critical habitat (e.g. intertidal zone, mudflats, and wetlands) through various channels. All authors are from China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF). Shuya Huang is the corresponding author, and her email is hsy@cbcgdf.org.


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  • Asian Waterbird Census with the Pulau Ketam Community

    By Mr Woo Chee Yoong, Wildlife RA of the Malaysian Nature Society On the 15th until 19th of January, 2018, I was given the opportunity to engage the Pulau Ketam community in the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) activity. The first task was to survey about the island community’s knowledge and interests in waterbirds. The second task was getting the community to be involved in the Asian Waterbird Census, AWC. Together with my MNS colleague, Ms. Agnes Loh, a local resident who is in-charge of the waste management project and Kelab Pencinta Alam (MNS School Nature Club) in Pulau Ketam, we went around the houses, shops, restaurants, secondary school and interviewed 100 villagers. I was lucky to meet some friendly and helpful members from the Chinese Chess Society (CCS) and they helped introduce me to the villagers, especially the fishermen who even took me on a boat ride for the roost site survey. On the second night, they spotted a few waterbirds at the jetty and informed me on the spot. The following weekend on the 28th of January was an introduction on AWC to the villagers. 16 villagers, with a majority of secondary school students, joined myself, Agnes and two MNS Selangor Branch bird group members, Mr. Low Kok Hen and Mr. Tang Tuck Hong. The two birders provided experiential knowledge of waterbirds to the villagers. We went out to the surrounding Klang Islands during low tide. The boatman brought us to a few good high roost sites. Overall from the survey, we found that the most waterbirds were Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) and Common Tern (Sterna hirundo). We also counted 28 Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus). This is a listed Vulnerable species and the finding of this habitat is a crucial discovery. Other waterbirds recorded were the Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), Common Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica), Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida), Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea), Green-backed Heron (Butorides striata), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) and Great Egret (Ardea alba). Besides waterbirds, there were lots of Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) circling around evening sky may be due to the tourism activity of raptor feeding. In my opinion, this is not an ethical way to promote tourism. It could disrupt the behaviour of the Brahminy Kite by feeding. Other than that, House Crow (Corvus splendens) can be heard everywhere in the village because of the accumulated rubbish without a proper solid waste disposal system and the villagers always complain of the noises these crows made. The other birds documented were Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris), Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus), Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) and Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos).       “It is not the bird watching skills that matters, but it is the interest and passion that we must instill inside each villager that counts. I hoped what we have done so far can help to inspire more villagers to volunteer their time in conservation, especially the youths that turned during the AWC. They are the ones who hold the future of this wildlife, if not them, who else? Thus, I would like to express my highest appreciation to MNS and all the warm-hearted Pulau Ketam community for the successful event held” mentioned Woo.    Mangrove forest surrounding Pulau Ketam during the high tide. Fishermen boats at their own houses in Pulau Ketam. Abundant of crabs found at the jetty mudflat in Pulau Ketam that create the name for this village. Rubbish under the houses in Pulau Ketam. Members of the Pulau Ketam Chinese Chess Society.


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  • Wader Quest the newsletter (January 2018)

    Wader Quest the newsletter is the main publication of Wader Quest, which is a charity that aims to involve local groups and communities in Wader conservation.


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  • Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) with the Kampung Sungai Serdang Communities

    Ms Nabilah Binti Jamaludin Community Research Assistant of Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) I had the opportunity to introduce bird watching activity to the  Kampung Sungai Serdang community. At…


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  • Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) with the SG Buloh Sasaran Community

    Ms. Anisah Ahmad Community RA of Malaysian Nature Society The Asian Waterbird Cencus (AWC) was held at Sungai Buloh Sasaran together with the community on 20th January…


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  • Waterbird Census in Sumatran Tiger Hot Spot

    Hizbullah Arief (Communication and Reporting Specialist at Sumatran Tiger Project) Yus Rusila Noor (Head of Programme, Wetlands International Indonesia) What do Sumatran tigers…


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