• Office Visit of U.S. High Schoolers

    Figure1 Group Photo ©Mijin/EAAFP The 22 enthusiastic high-school students from US visited EAAFP Secretariat office on 12 July 2018. “Do you have any favorite bird in your mind?” Hyeseon Do, Programme Officer in EAAFP, started with this question and continued to explain about EAAFP. She detailed works in EAAFP such as Partners Working Groups, Task Forces, World Migratory Bird Day event, EAAF Sites in Alaska and so on. Not only about the what we do, she talked about what has been changed after our works as well. She rounded out her presentation showing video about conserving Spoon-billed Sandpipers’ journey directed by Vivian Fu. Figure 2 Lecture from Danhak ©Mijin/EAAFP In the touched atmosphere, provoking them to do conservation activity, Danhak Gu who is a Programme Assistant began her presentation while telling the beautiful life story of Bar-tailed Godwits. She pointed out the importance of habitat as a stopover site for migratory birds including Bar-tailed Godwit who flies long distance in the life time of over 10 years equal to the trip to the moon. “Let’s say if you are planning to make a road trip from Portland, Oregon to New Hampshire, you need to drop by gas station to refuel your car. Otherwise your car will be shut down in the middle of nowhere. Likewise, these birds need to refuel themselves to make all the way to their final destination” she added. Given the information, students are told how they can do for conserving activities. Danhak also introduced many activities they can do easily. In addition, she explained EAAFP Social Network Services and how to join the international/national organization. We could see their potential to be a leader of conservationist and what they want to be. Figure 3 To Our Winged Travellers ©Mijin/EAAFP As a last session of presentation, there were group activities in bingo game which is coordinated by Minshil and Mijin, Programme assistants, under the theme of ecology and participating our project "To Our Winged Travellers". They wrote the message for migratory birds on EAAF with love and beautiful drawings. The bingo game was so special because they should explain their words to their friends and share thoughts. Also, two players who had one bingo line firstly got the gifts. The first winner took a guide book of Waterbirds of ASEAN and second winner got the T-shirt, with handkerchief and Far Eastern Curlew badge. Lew Young, Chief Executive of EAAFP, gave a closing remarks for the students. “How are you going to tell what you’ve learned here to your eight-year-old sister?” he started with this question. He also mentioned the importance of conserving flyway reaching to Alaska as well. With the hope they will push an effort on conservation activities in the near future, we took a photo with Spoon-billed Sandpiper at the office. For more photos, click here.


    Continue reading
  • Developing Waterbirds and Habitats Database of China’s Coasts Project

    ⓒEAAFP On 27 June 2018, Dr. Lew Young, the Chief Executive of the EAAFP Secretariat attended the project meeting of the “Developing Waterbirds and Habitats Database of China’s Coast”. From 2014-2015, the Paulson Institute carried out the important China Coastal Blueprint Project to review the status of China coastal wetlands along the Bohai and Yellow Seas, and to give recommendations on the way forward for the conservation of these wetlands. The project was funded by the Lao Niu Foundation and the Paulson Institute, and the EAAFP was one of the members of the project Steering Committee. The Blueprint Project identified the problem of a lack of long-term data on waterbirds use of the wetlands along the Bohai and Yellow Sea coast which could be used to distinguish further areas for conservation. Therefore, a follow-up project was developed to produce an online application where information on waterbirds count and distribution along the Bohai and Yellow Sea coast can be recorded by interested birdwatchers. The project would be conducted by the Institute of Geographical Science and Natural Resources, Chinese Academy of Science. The project period is from March 2018 to December 2019.


    Continue reading
  • North-West Australia Wader and Tern Expedition 2019

    The Australasian Wader Studies Group (a special interest group of BirdLife Australia) has organized a series of special expeditions over the years in order to undertake comprehensive long-term studies of the waders and terns in North-West Australia. The next expedition will take place from 2nd to 24th February 2019. For more information, please download the PDF file below. Download the PDF here: NWA Epedition 2019 Introduction (666KB)


    Continue reading
  • Special Donation from Chadwick International School

    Since 2014, the EAAFP Secretariat and Chadwick International School (Incheon, Republic of Korea) have built a good relationship through organizing educational lectures on conserving migratory waterbirds and habitats for young students. The school is located in Songdo International City which is home to the EAAFP Secretariat. The former EAAFP communication officer, Ms. Tomoko Ichikawa, delivered several lectures to the Chadwick elementary school students while she was working for the Secretariat. More recently, Ms. Tomoko Ichikawa, gave a lecture to third grade students at Chadwick in March 2018. She introduced migratory waterbirds and tidal flats of the Incheon area to the students, emphasizing the ecological importance of Songdo tidal flat as one of the 2,301 internationally important wetlands (Ramsar Site) in the world, providing a habitat to various waterbird species. The participating students showed a lot of interest in not only migratory waterbirds but also all the different living creatures in the tidal flats. After the lecture, the students were invited to participate in interactive activities about the food chain of the tidal flat. Through the lecture and the interactive activities, students were able to understand why the tidal flats are so important for conservation of both migratory waterbirds and human being as well. After the lecture, more detailed information was transmitted by the Chadwick teachers to the students. After the sessions, the students created collagraph prints of various bird species assisted by their art teacher, Ms. Gigi Maiquez. These hand-made prints were sold at the Chadwick business bazaar organized later and the students were able to raise some money. Gratefully, the students were able to donate the money raised (KRW 277,000) to the EAAFP Secretariat for supporting the EAAFP’s Spoon-billed Sandpiper Task Force for their conservation efforts. On Thursday, June 7th 2018, five 3rd grade students and Ms. Gigi Maiquez visited the EAAFP Secretariat office to present the donation. They also brought their collagraph prints as well as a hand-writing message card to the Secretariat. The message read “We, the third graders at Chadwick International hope that our small donation of KRW 277,000 will help you protect the migratory birds. We have learned to take care of our environment in our own small ways”. What lovely words!! The Secretariat staff members were touched by their message. The Secretariat truly appreciates this special donation from the Chadwick students and we hope to continue the cooperation with the Chadwick in the future. The EAAFP Secretariat is highly proud of these young students: Edward Kang, Daniel Lee, Nicholas Taylor, Connor Feitel and William Kim. More pictures of their artwork can be found on our Flickr.


    Continue reading
  • 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


    Continue reading
  • State of the Worlds’ Birds 2018

    Birdlife International has just released their ‘State of the World’s Birds 2018’ report [link]. This provides statistics showing that at least 40% of bird species worldwide (3,967) have declining populations, compared with 44% that are stable (4,393). The cause of the decline was put on agricultural expansion, logging, overexploitation, urbanisation, pollution, disturbance and the effects of invasive alien species. Longer term, human-induced climate change may prove to be the most serious threat of all. Most species are impacted by multiple threats and many threats are interrelated. In the EAAF region, unsustainable and poorly planned infrastructure development is highlighted as one of the main causes of the decline of bird numbers. The intertidal habitats around the Yellow Sea is one of the most important stopover sites along the EAAF, used by tens of millions of long-distance migratory shorebirds to rest and refuel. Unfortunately, the area’s mudflats have been progressively lost to land reclamation for agriculture, ports, industrial developments and urbanisation. Two-thirds of the Yellow Sea’s intertidal habitat has been reclaimed since the 1950s. In China, nearly 40% has been lost since the 1980s. Shorebird population declines have been estimated at 43-78% over the last 15 years, with Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris populations having declined by over 80%. Ultimately, human overconsumption lies behind the global biodiversity crisis and efforts to identify, conserve and restore critical habitats for birds is already showing that the decline can be slowed. Education and awareness raising is another important tool to convince the wider community of the importance of bird conservation and to take appropriate action.


    Continue reading
  • 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


    Continue reading
  • 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)


    Continue reading
  • 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.


    Continue reading