• Japan Showcases National Partnership Strength at EAAFP Meeting

    The East Asian–Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) Secretariat had the honour of witnessing the lively energy of Japan's National Partnership during a hybrid meeting held from December 7 to 10, 2023.  This event held special significance for our Chief Executive, Jennifer George, who played a key role in crafting the EAAFP National Partnership Guidelines. Masterfully organised by BirdLife International Tokyo on behalf of the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, the gathering brought together a diverse audience, including high-level representatives from national and local governments, passionate NGOs, dedicated academics and researchers, and hardworking site managers and farmers who engaged in lively discussions and knowledge sharing. The meeting wasn't just about words; it was about experience. A pre-dawn visit to a designated Flyway Network Site offered a breathtaking spectacle—hundreds of geese erupting from the mist, ready for their daily forage. Later, a trip to a local rice farm shed light on the unique challenges and admirable efforts of those striving for both sustainable livelihoods and migratory waterbird conservation. Beyond sharing their own experiences, the Japanese participants generously extended their support to other national partners seeking to develop their own National Partnerships. The Secretariat stands ready to facilitate this knowledge exchange and provide any necessary assistance. The Japan National Partnership meeting wasn't just a gathering; it was a testament to the power of collaboration. It showcased the dedication of diverse stakeholders towards a shared goal—protecting the birds that bind us together across the flyway.


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  • 1st EAAFP briefing for the development of guidelines for National/Site Partnership and Sister Site Programme

    1st Webinar Group Photo ©EAAFP Secretariat Starting with the speech of Mr. Robert Kaler, the Chair of EAAFP, the first webinar for Briefing on Development of Guideline/Recommendation for Site and National Partnership and Sister Site Programme was held on 2 July, 2021. Following the Decision 8 and Decision 9 at EAAFP MOP10, the Secretariat has been working with Ms. Jennifer George, project consultant to develop the guidelines strategically and efficiently. It will improve the 1,060 EAAFP FNS relationship among and beyond the network. The following Partners of EAAFP participated in the webinar: 5 Government Partners: Japan, Singapore, RO Korea, United States, Thailand 2 NGOs: New Zealand Miranda Trust and WWT 2 IGOs: ACB and Birdlife (Cambodia) 2 Site Managers from Indonesia Ms. George shared the background and expected outcomes through the guideline development. She highlighted that the FNS flows from relationships, hence securing and strengthening relationships within and between countries is the main purpose of this project. As 1,060 sites are crucial to migratory waterbirds, EAA Flyway holds 149 of those sites which some are twinned as Sister Sites. Ms. George shared the key terms of the guideline: Site Partnership (SP) National Partnership (NP) Sister Site Programs (SSP) Two case studies were presented to share the National Partnership in Japan, and strong Sister Site programs in Singapore. Ms. Tomoko Ichikawa (Presentation file), Ministry of Environment of Japan shared the 3 national networks (Anatidae, Shorebird, Crane), the structure of the NP, and the ongoing meetings in Japan. First, to strengthen cooperation among the Sites, she mentioned that each FNS in Japan belongs to 1 or more of the national networks. Second, she introduced the structure of the NP, where MOE-J carries out activities of the network in coordination with associated organizations. As well as coordinators of each species group network plays a key role publishing newsletters, forming mailing lists, creating Facebook page etc. to exchange information across the national FNS. She highlighted the many meetings well facilitated in Japan, such as the shorebird virtual meeting, the national CEPA WG meeting, the national liaison meeting, and workshops for FNS managers. The effort to share necessary information, encourage and support issues and discussions, and strengthen a cooperative relationship among site managers, local government and NGO all contributes to the excellent NP structure in Japan. Following are some key elements Ms. Ichikawa suggested for a NP: Network species group works well in mobilizing people for active participation and enthusiasm Coordinating cooperative activities Involvement of NGO to secure continuation on past achievements and the implementation of conservation works in the FNS Obtain the understanding of stakeholders by publishing CEPA materials Ms. Ichikawa further proposed some elements for the guideline: Changing the wording from ‘guideline’ to ‘guidance’ or ‘non-binding guideline’ Avoid too detailed and restrictive guideline as establishing a NP depends on the social condition and national stakeholders Highlighting the benefits of a NP The next case study was Mr. How Choon Beng (Presentation link) from National Parks Board, Singapore shared the Sister Site Programs. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve at the center of EAAF requires strong justification to secure the space for birds. Mr. How shared Singapore’s approach of regarding the entire population as the stakeholders. Hence, a shared understanding for the stakeholders to view the site as a national heritage, and a habitat for migratory waterbirds is essential. In support of this, Singapore encourages many programs to connect the people, and to enhance the 4 major MOU with China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and RO Korea. The MOU activities diversifies from school exchange, cross promoting other international sites as a tourist spot etc. As well as the MOU expands from sites to various institutions such as National Institute of Ecology, which Singapore held the 1st EAAF Shorebird Science meeting. Mr. How shared the key benefits of exchanging relationship opportunities, such as increasing research opportunities and sharing capacity building. Hence, the following suggestions were made for the SS Program: Strengthening research and management for capacity building Building target groups Utilizing technology to overcome travel and funding barriers Enhancing promotion and publicity Then the panel and open discussion was facilitated by Mr. Doug Watkins, the Chief Executive of EAAFP Secretariat. Mr. Watkins focused the discussion on three points: Defining the term “National Partnership” How to build relationships with other FNS on the Flyway How to develop more Sister Sites A question was raised by Dr. Piyakarn Teartisup, Thailand government partner of EAAFP, with recommendations regarding twinning sites nationally or internationally. Mr. Watkins encouraged to identify common points for linkage such as shared common species. Ms. Ichikawa supported the idea of common species, as Japan’s NP implementation worked best through species group based. Nonetheless, she highlighted the challenge of language barrier, hence initiated the support needed both locally and internationally. Mr. How also shared that a lot of the decisions in linking a Site comes from informal meetings. Such as, during MOP when small group discussions open it gives an opportunity to hear specific issues, challenges, or preferences on other sites. Mr. Terry Townshend, an advisor to the Beijing government on biodiversity, suggested in support of public engagement “to link sites using tracking studies, where individual birds are named by local schools and tracked between sites.” Finally, Mr. Fnu Aprinto, site manager from Wasur National Park Indonesia, shared despite its desire in building a relationship with other FNS there is a limit in the capacity of initiating this as all decision making is done by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the central government. Mr. Watkins concluded the open and panel discussion that the EAAFP Secretariat encourages the flexibility of the guideline and supports building strong relationship among sites by capturing he human elements on the shared biodiversity. Hence, in moving forward to articulate an effective and strategic guideline, he welcomed Partner’s suggestions in more depth through interviews that would be arranged by the Secretariat. EAAFP Partners can reach out to us through the contact information here: Ms. Jennifer George, Project consultant: [email protected] EAAFP Secretariat: [email protected] 1st Webinar video recording: Proposed Timeline:                    


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  • EAAFP: New Zealand National Partnership Meeting report

    As part of the recent 2021 New Zealand Bird Conference held in Thames the opportunity was taken to have a short informal National Partnership meeting.  Present were Bruce McKinlay (Government representative), William Perry, David Lawrie, Keith Woodley, and Gillian Vaughan (Pūkorokoro Miranda Naturalists’ Trust), David Melville (EAAFP Technical subcommittee) and Phil Battley (Massey University). As part of the conference and side conversations, we discussed ongoing engagement between Pūkorokoro Miranda Naturalists’ Trust (PMNT) and colleagues in DPR Korea. There is a general frustration in New Zealand about the current difficulties of engaging with colleagues in East Asia and this was discussed in the meeting. It is recognized that maintaining face-to-face engagement to protect wetlands In the East Asian-Australasian Flyway is very important but with current travel restrictions almost impossible. Adrian Riegen presented an overview the story of DPR Korea engagement by PMNT at the Conference. The Meeting discussed the future of this work and how to promote engagement with the Government of DPR Korea. As part of the Conference, Phil Battley updated the Partnership meeting on the recent tracking projects of Bar-tailed Godwits from New Zealand to East Asia. His analysis has shown the complexity of decisions made by godwits in determining when and how they migrate.  Phil’s comment was that what we might interpret as an impact of global change could equally be driven by weather events. The current research will be ongoing in New Zealand for a number of years.  Coordination of observations is required. If you wish to read further [here] is a copy of the abstracts for these and other talks at the conference. The Partnership also discussed progress on the World Heritage nominations being led by the Government of the Republic of Korea.  The recent tracking results highlight the use of and importance of the Yellow Sea coast of the Republic of Korea for migratory waterbirds. The meeting was also an opportunity to catch up on the NZ National Wader Count project and confirm the intention to maintain this into the future and look for options to expand coverage.  A major analysis of the data from this project was completed and published in January. It is available here: Distribution and numbers of waders in New Zealand, 2005–2019 and Numbers of bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri) in New Zealand and Australia during the austral summer of 2019–2020. Colleagues from PMNT reported on their ongoing research into the movement of Pacific Golden Plover (also known in New Zealand as Kuriri). During 2020 they were able to track a second Kuriri, ‘Ra’, north via Japan to Alaska, and south via Hawaii and the Solomon Islands as far as Vanuatu before the battery ran out. But in the summer just gone, difficult conditions and tricky birds meant we didn’t catch anymore. Partners were appreciative of the opportunity to catch up and check on progress with our various projects.  At other times of the year, we are spread widely across the country and so organizing such a meeting is a lot more difficult. Article prepared by Bruce McKinlay, New Zealand Representative to EAAFP (From left) Phil Battley, Gillian Vaughan, Keith Woodley, Bruce McKinlay, William Perry, Adrian Riegen, David Melville David Lawrie – Participants in the New Zealand National Partnership Meeting held in June 2021. Photo Courtesy: Michael Szabo.


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  • New Zealand National Partnership Meeting

    Bruce McKinley, New Zealand Government At the recent New Zealand Bird Conference representatives from Pukorokoro Miranda Naturalists Trust (PMNT) and


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  • How to build a site managers network?

    Spike Millington, Chief Executive, EAAFP Secretariat I wrote the last introduction of the Newsletter from the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, and I write this one…


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  • EAAFPの日本国内パートナーシップについて

    Read in English by EAAFP Secretariat  


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  • A presentation on Japan’s National Partnership

    Read in Japanese (日本語)  by EAAFP Secretariat [caption…


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