Mr. Doug Watkins, ending his tenure as Chief Executive of the EAAFP Secretariat

Doug Watkins, CE of the EAAFP Secretariat delivering congratulatory remarks ©Shinan County

The Chief Executive of EAAFP Secretariat, Mr. Doug Watkins will complete his term on 31st of March, 2023. The EAAFP and Secretariat thank him for his contribution to the Partnership after serving for three and a half years in the position.

Mr. Watkins took up the position in September 2019 and guided the Secretariat during the difficult time of the COVID-19 Pandemic and ensured the Secretariat continued to provide services to its Partners. Regardless of the difficulties, Mr. Watkins actively participated in local and virtual international events to raise the profile of EAAFP.

During his tenure, two new Partners, Hong Kong Bird Watching Society and Mangrove Foundation joined EAAFP, seven Flyway Network Sites were designated, and Incheon-Hong Kong Sister Site Programme was established. Mr. Watkins led the development of the new guidelines for National and Site Partnerships and Sister Site Programme for EAAFP, following Decision 8 and Decision 9 at EAAFP MOP10.

Highlights of his contribution include the establishment of the EAAFP Foundation, as the fundraising mechanism in Ro Korea, under which a small grant fund for local projects was launched. He is instrumental in the formation of the Regional Flyway Initiative together with Asian Development Bank and BirdLife International, and contributed to progress to promote to National Partners of EAAFP.

At the meeting on 8th September, 2022, the Management Committee accepted Mr. Watkins’s decision to not renew his contract. The MC expressed gratitude and extolled the hard work and dedication of Mr. Watkins. In terms of recruitment, a hiring committee will be set up by the Management Committee and the Secretariat will soon advertise the recruitment.

Mr. Robb Kaler, U.S. representative and EAAFP Chair said “Mr. Watkins’ in-depth knowledge and years of international experience in the conservation of migratory waterbirds and wetlands in our Flyway has been an immense asset. His ability to connect a diverse group of partners has been crucial to the implementation of the EAAFP’s 10-year strategic plan and the Regional Flyway Initiative. Mr. Watkins’ guidance to mobilize our resources, exchange information, and build up capacity from grassroots to decision-making levels, has moved us forward on our shared goal to conserve migratory waterbirds, their habitats, and the livelihoods of people who depend on them”.

The EAAFP deeply thank Mr. Watkins for his tremendous effort and services to the EAAFP, especially during the challenges of the pandemic. We wish him all the best in the future.

Recruitment of Chief Executive is due: 20th December, 2022. For details, please visit here.


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