Pacific Americas Shorebird Conservation Strategy

Spike Millington, Chief Executive, EAAFP Secretariat

As East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) prepares to develop a ten-year Strategic Plan, it is interesting to look at the rationale and methodology used in the recently-developed Pacific Americas Shorebird Conservation Strategy (PASCS), which was developed over four years and facilitated by six international workshops in four countries. Unlike EAAFP which considers all migratory waterbirds, involving about 250 populations, the PASCS focuses on shorebirds, including both long-distance migrants and relatively sedentary species, for which there are, overall, four national and 11 regional conservation plans, as well as 11 species-specific plans. The approach identified a set of “conservation targets” – 21 species or populations that are both representative of different habitats in the Flyway, as well as being of conservation concern. It then used the “Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation” methodology to identify and rank threats and consequent actions to reduce those threats to maintain or restore target shorebird populations. The result is seven Strategies, each with a series of priority actions:

  • Manage and conserve existing habitats
  • Cultivate and Empower Conservation Constituencies
  • Create Conservation Initiatives with Natural Resource Industries
  • Strengthen Compliance and Enforcement
  • Develop Environment and Wildlife Protection Policies
  • Improve Knowledge of Present and Future Habitats
  • Increase Stakeholder and Partner Capacity

Also of interest is that the Strategy identified 170 sites of international importance (1% level) for the target species.

The PASCS aims to provide a coherent framework for all the individual plans mentioned earlier and “places local action in a flyway context and facilitates collaboration at the scales necessary to be effective.” It goes on to state “the very process of developing the strategy will better enable partners to work together throughout the Flyway to sustain shorebird populations for present and future generations.” Sound familiar?

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