• World Migratory Bird Day 2023 highlights impact of the growing water crisis on migratory birds

    BOULDER/BONN/INCHEON, 13 May 2023 – Water and its importance to migratory birds – and the increasing threats to both water quality and quantity -  is the focus of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day, a global campaign that aims to raise awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them. Activities to mark the campaign will be held globally on two peak days in May and October under the theme “Water: Sustaining Bird Life” Water is fundamental to sustaining life on our planet. Migratory birds rely on water and its associated habitats—lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, swamps, marshes, and coastal wetlands—for breeding, resting, refueling during migration, and wintering. Yet increasing human demand for water, along with climate change, pollution, and other factors, are threatening these precious aquatic ecosystems. Headlines around the world are sounding alarm: 35 percent of the world’s wetlands, critical to migratory birds, have been lost in the last 50 years. Utah’s Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere and used by more than a million shorebirds, is in danger of disappearing within five years. Across the Amur-Heilong Basin in Asia, climate change is amplifying the impact of habitat destruction by depleting natural water systems and depriving migratory birds of vital breeding and stopover site.  These sobering examples go hand-in-hand with recent reports that reveal that 48 percent of bird species worldwide are undergoing population declines. Another poignant example is that of the Aral Sea shared by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.  Once the fourth-largest lake in the world,  it is widely regarded as one of the planet’s worst water-related environmental disasters. Soviet-era irrigation projects almost completely dried up the lake, which led to the loss of livelihoods for fishermen and farmers and the deterioration of public health due to toxic dust and reduced access to clean water.  The impact has been severe for the communities around the lake, but also for migratory birds, which lost important food sources and a critically important stopover point on their journey. Another example is the Sahel, a vast semi-arid region in Africa: Prolonged periods of drought, deforestation, and overgrazing in the Sahel have led to the degradation of the soil and loss of vegetation, threatening the survival of both the local human population and wildlife, including migratory birds. Lake Chad, one of the largest water bodies in Africa in 1960, lost 90 % of its area, depleting water resources for local communities and also for many migratory birds. World Migratory Bird Day serves as an international call to action for the protection of migratory birds, whose ranges often span multiple countries, and are facing many different threats worldwide. The annual campaign is organized by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), Environment for the Americas (EFTA), and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP). World Migratory Bird Day 2023 will be officially held on 13 May and 14 October. The two days of World Migratory Bird Day reflect the cyclical nature of bird migration as well as the fact that there are varying peak migration periods in the northern and southern hemispheres. Events to raise awareness of migratory birds and the importance of water will take place all over the world including in local parks, nature centers, museums, libraries, schools, and other locations on these peak days and throughout the year. To learn more about this year’s World Migratory Bird Day campaign and actions to take, visit www.worldmigratorybirdday.org  and EAAFP WMBD 2023 webpage: https://eaaflyway.net/world-migratory-bird-day-2023/ Also, please have a look of the Campaign Strategy for promoting World Migratory Bird Day, click [here]. For more resources, visit the Trello Board [here]. Message from the Partners of World Migratory Bird Day    Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) “Water is essential for people as well as for migratory birds and other wild species of animals. Yet around the world, the availability and quality of water is under enormous pressure, with deeply concerning implications.  The looming global water crisis requires urgent action by governments, businesses, local communities as well as individuals. Because migratory birds cross national borders and even continents, international cooperation is essential to ensure that actions are taken to conserve and restore important habitat for migratory birds, and to address the drivers of water loss, pollution, and climate change,” said Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).     African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) “The water crisis recently highlighted by the UN 2023 Water Conference also has a tremendous impact on migratory birds. In the Sahel in particular, many wetlands on which migratory waterbirds rely during the non-breeding period are shrinking. Water is a vital resource for all, local communities as well as birds. By reducing our consumption, combatting climate change, and managing wetlands wiser, we can improve the situation,” said Dr. Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA).   Environment for the Americas (EFTA) “World Migratory Bird Day 2023 spotlights the vital role that water plays in the survival of our shared birds. The focal species illustrated on the campaign poster depict the intricate bond each bird shares with water. The diminutive Rufous Hummingbird thrives on nectar-producing flowers that rely on water for their blooms, and the Dickcissel scours the grasslands for seeds that hold the moisture they need. White Pelicans and Ospreys seek their prey in freshwater lakes, while the magnificent Wandering Albatross and Atlantic Puffin remain at sea. WMBD is an opportunity to unify our voices for the conservation of migratory birds and to celebrate their spectacular journeys,” said Dr. Susan Bonfield, Executive Director at Environment for the Americas (EFTA).   East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) “This year's WMBD theme serves as a vital reminder of the linkage of migratory birds to the importance of protecting aquatic ecosystems and conserving wetlands. As birds such as threatened Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Dalmatian Pelican, and Sarus Crane migrate, they rely heavily on wetlands for survival. We must take urgent actions and collaborate at all levels, from citizens to among governments, to tackle the problems of saving water and aquatic ecosystem, and ensure that migratory birds continue to thrive.” Ms. Yeounhee Ahn, Deputy Executive of East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP).  


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  • Strengthening And Raising Awareness On Migratory Birds Trading Or Hunting Through Building The Capacity To Relevant Stakeholders In Cambodia

    2020 EAAFP Small Grant Fund Project by Phallis Eang General Directorate of Natural Protected Area, Ministry of Environment, Cambodia   Cambodia is located along the EAAFP and has become Partner of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) since 2007. Cambodia wetlands provide essential habitats or the stopover site for many migratory birds including Great Knot, Nordmann’s greenshank, Asian Dowitcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew, Sandplover spp., Chinese Egret, Bar-tailed Godwit, Yellow-breasted Bunting, etc. as well as short distance migratory bird like Sarus Crane. To date, there are five wetlands which had been designated as Ramsar Sites and one designated as EAAFP Flyway Network Site. Cambodia is rich in biodiversity and more than 600 bird species were recorded including land and waterbirds. However, there is little known about migratory bird hunting and trading. The relevant legislations related to illegal hunting are in place, but the dissemination on the illegal hunting of migratory waterbirds is limited. Under EAAFP small grant project, an online workshop on bird identification and relevant regulation on illegal trading of wild birds were organized by the General Directorate of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection, Ministry of Environment Cambodia in order to provide the capacity building to relevant authorities as well as raising the awareness to public. The overall objective of the workshop is to provide capacity building to site managers and rangers on the bird identification and relevant regulation on illegal trading of wild birds as well as share that knowledge to relevant people in their working stations. The workshop was precise over by H.E. Kim Nong, Director General of General Directorate of Natural Protected Area, with 90 participations from 7 departments under General Directorate of Natural Protected Area, Department of Environmental Knowledge, Department of Community Livelihood, Department of Biodiversity, Department of Environmental Information and Dissemination, Department of Ecotourism, 12 Provincial Department of Environment such as Takeo Province, Kampot Province, Kep Province, Koh Kong Province, Battambang Province, Kampong Thom Province, Siem Reap Province, Stueng Treng Province, Kampong Cham Province, Tboung Khmom Province, Banteay Meanchey Province and Prey Veng Province, relevant NGOs including BirdLife International, NataureLife Cambodia, WWT, WCS, WWF, WA, WEA, as well as acadmics from the Pannasastra University of Cambodia and the Royal University of Agriculture. Three training presentations were delivered by the trainers. The first presentation was delivered by Mr. Hong Chamnan on the basic of waterbirds identification. The next presentation was provided by Dr. Ding Li Yong from BirdLife International Asia and his presentation focused on the results of illegal bird hunting situation in Southeast Asia. The last presenter was Mr. Sou Sontara who present on the relevant laws and regulations related to illegal bird hunting in Protected Areas. A number of awareness-raising materials focused on illegal trading and hunting of migratory birds were produced. Those included the video and posters which were developed and designed by youths. The posters were provided to relevant institutions especially to the Provincial Department of Environment and wetland site managers for awareness-raising purposes while the video was public in the social media platform reaching more than thousand public. Through the training workshop, relevant departments, provincial department of environments, wetland site managers, rangers, academics and other participants who attended this workshop gained  knowledge and understanding of the waterbird identification and relevant regulation on illegal trading of wild birds. They would share the knowledge with their colleagues and relevant people who work in the same field. Moreover, through the dissemination of posters and awareness videos, the public awareness of the disadvantages of illegal trading and hunting of migratory birds and also the negative impact of wild bird consumption on their health. The results from this project will contribute to the effort of reducing illegal trading and hunting of migratory birds. In addition, the trainees who are working on the ground will continue to share the knowledge and information from the workshop with their community. It is recommended to conduct more training and dissemination workshops on law and regulation related to illegal hunting, trading and consumption of wild birds and involved more relevant people especially the site manager and rangers who work on the ground. It is one of the effective mechanisms to sustainably protect and conserve the migratory waterbirds for illegal hunting and trading. It is also recommended to organize a series of education and awareness-raising activities or campaigns at the ground level and to the local communities. In addition, more research studies on the hunting and trading of migratory waterbird species should be conducted to provide data and information for supporting the decision-making and policy development. Web link: https://www.moe.gov.kh/index/32753 Facebook Post: https://www.facebook.com/314699302002531/posts/2096349793837464/ Video: https://fb.watch/j5qQMKaG1v/ Awareness-raising posters were designed and disseminated to local stakeholders © Ministry of Environment, Cambodia   H.E. Kim Nong, Director General of General Directorate of Natural Protected Area, provided opening speech during the workshop on bird identification and relevant regulation on illegal trading of wild birds © Ministry of Environment, Cambodia Trainers and Guest speakers delivered the presentation lecture to participants during the training workshop © Ministry of Environment, Cambodia Participants to the online workshop on bird identification and relevant regulation on illegal trading of wild birds © Ministry of Environment, Cambodia The project was funded through the 2020 EAAFP WG/TF Small Grant Fund. View the report, Click here.


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  • WMBD 2021 Reports

    October 2021 Cambodia


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  • “Crane Rice” – an initiative to improve local livelihoods and conserve the threatened Sarus Crane in Cambodia

    ‘Sarus Crane Rice’ ©Ministry of Environment of Cambodia & NatureLife Cambodia The Ministry of Environment of Cambodia, in collaboration with NatureLife Cambodia and BirdLife International, has now established a new ‘Crane Rice’ initiative, aimed at improving local livelihoods and better conserving the stately Sarus Crane. ‘Crane Rice’ will involve wildlife-friendly rice farming practices which will benefit the cranes and other waterbirds in Anlung Pring Protected landscape, the first Flyway Network Site in Cambodia (EAAF144) located in Boeung Salang Kang Tbaung and Prek Kruss communes, Kampong Trach district, Kampot Province, Cambodia. Under this initiative, participating farmers need to grow native and crane-preferred rice varieties. They also need to adhere to the guidelines for crane rice. This means that the farmers cannot hunt and snare wildlife on their plots, and apply poisons. Farmers are also expected to avoid encroaching on protected lands and encouraged to adopt organic rice farming (i.e. no application of chemicals fertilizers and herbicides). Half of the rice grown on leased land, will be harvested and packaged for sale while the remainder will be left in the fields to benefit Sarus Cranes and other biodiversity. For crane conservation and protection to be successful, it needs to consider local livelihoods and engagement with stakeholders. The Ministry of Environment will continue to collaborate with our NGO partners to find markets for Crane Rice to ensure the success of the pilot programmes, while encouraging farmers to participate in this initiative and working to ensure that the rice can be sold at a premium. ©Ministry of Environment of Cambodia & NatureLife Cambodia Since its pilot inception which supported by IUCN-Netherland, the project team have collaborated with 16 farmers and over 10 years, leased 17 hectares of rice fields to pilot work to grow crane-friendly rice, thereby benefiting local livelihoods. The number of farmers who have participated in this Crane Rice initiative increased this year, which is very encouraging. Local farmers planting the seeds ©Ministry of Environment of Cambodia & NatureLife Cambodia The permanently based rangers are collaborating with the local authorities and partner NGO to educate local people about the legislation that protects wildlife and the value of rare bird species, especially the Sarus Crane. The Crane Rice Initiative has provided supplementary feeding for the cranes that annually visit our site during their non-breeding season. Mr. Teup Khay, a farmer from Kok Chamkar, was appreciated for joining the Sarus Crane rice pilot project as it provided him with additional income. At the same time, his family are growing rice without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that can help to provide safer food, which they are very proud of. Moreover, If the cranes are better conserved, they will also help to attract more tourists, who would also enjoy the local culture, and hospitality of their communities. About Sarus Crane: Sarus Crane is one of the crane species in EAAFlyway. There is mainly only one species of cranes in Southeast Asia. It is a short-distant migrant between Vietnam and Cambodia, including a re-introduction programme in Thailand. Based on the findings of the 2020 Sarus Crane census in Cambodia, only 194 birds have been recorded, an all-time low. In the last few years, the number of cranes has declined steadily due to the high mortality rate and low nesting success in its breeding grounds. Additional threats faced by the cranes include deteriorating habitat conditions, poisoning caused by pesticide use, lack of food, change in water regimes at key wetlands, diseases, and in the long-term, climate change. Sarus Crane © Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok Article prepared by The Ministry of Environment of Cambodia.


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  • Official Launching of the Regional Flyways Initiative Webpage

    The EAAFP Secretariat is pleased to announce the release of a webpage built up for the Regional Flyway Initiative (RFI). The page was set up to archive RFI-related documents, articles, media, and events for information sharing. A brief introduction of RFI, key documents (RFI Technical Assistance Report and EAAFP Strategic Plan 2019-2028), a list of meetings and webinars, articles, and publications linked to RFI are also available. Link: https://eaaflyway.net/regional-flyway-initiative/ The Regional Flyway Initiative was launched in October 2021 by joint efforts with Asian Development Bank, EAAFP, and BirdLife International at the Ecological Civilization Forum of the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15). The Regional Flyway Initiative seeks to develop a long-term financing program to protect and restore EAAF wetland ecosystems and the services they provide. RFI aims to mobilize large-scale financing to support the protection, maintenance, and restoration of wetlands in East and Southeast Asia, especially coastal wetlands. The initiative aims to strengthen the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands across the region, which are crucial for the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people and the migratory waterbirds in Asia and the Pacific. This will be achieved through partnerships among governments, non-government organizations, local communities, regional organizations, development agencies, private sectors, and other stakeholders.


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  • EAAFP MOP11 – 4th Notification to Partners

    With regards to the continuing COVID-19 global pandemic situation, international travel measures and restrictions imposed in many Partner countries, the Australian Government and BirdLife Australia have proposed revised dates regarding the hosting of MoP11 to the 12th -17th March, 2023 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The EAAFP Management Committee has accepted the generous hosting offer from the Australian co-hosts. The Management Committee also endorsed the Secretariat organizing a series of webinars to increase dialogue with and between Partners. This is also an opportunity for Partners to be briefed on important issues to be tabled for consideration at MoP11, including Activities of the Secretariat; Draft Guidelines for National/Site Partnerships and Sister Site Programme; Migratory Waterbird Conservation Status Review; Update on the ADB Regional Flyway Initiative; Briefing on the proposed Partner Reporting Template for MoP 11, etc. The webinars are proposed for June, 2022. Further notification and details will be announced in due course. The EAAFP Secretariat regrets any inconvenience caused by the postponement of MoP. The Secretariat will continue its work and update Partners, Working Groups and Task Forces on issues and the proposed decision papers related to MoP11 via email, the MoP11 webpage , and social media channels. Please feel free to contact the Secretariat at [email protected] for any relevant inquiries.


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  • World Coastal Forum held in China to promote wetland conservation

    On 10th January, 2022, the World Coastal Forum (WCF) was kicked off in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province. The Forum was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) of China…


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  • World Migratory Bird Day 2021 October Event – Cambodia

    Event Title : World Migratory Bird Day event in Toul Pantaley Boeung Sna Multiple Used Area, Cambodia Organizer: -General Directorate…


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  • An uncertain time ahead for migratory waterbirds in South-east Asia

    Sandwiched between the land masses of East Asia and Australia, South-east Asia lies near the geographical heart of the East Asian–Australasian Flyway, an important migratory corridor used…


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