Climate-resilient site network in the African-Eurasian flyway
As of: September 2021
For migratory birds, intact wetlands are key ecosystems without which they cannot successfully complete their annual migrations. This project is therefore working with partners to develop a contiguous network of wetland habitats. The focal point of this project is formed by key international habitats along the African-Eurasian Flyway. Apart from working to conserve ecosystems used by species of waterfowl, the project is also addressing improvements to the climate resilience of local communities. Project work is supporting the implementation of relevant provisions in the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA). To achieve targeted improvements to key frameworks and the practical implementation of existing resolutions, insights gained in the project are being shared with relevant structures and co-signatories from AEWA as well as the Ramsar Convention and the CBD.
State of implementation/results
- An updated Critical Site Network (CSN) Tool was launched in December 2018 at the 14th meeting of the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement Parties in Durban (South Africa). The CSN Tool (criticalsites.wetlands.org/…) is a web-portal that presents information about wetland sites of critical importance for waterbirds and the impact of climate change on the water availability in these wetlands across Africa, Europe and West Asia. This is of interest to a wide range of users including national governments, international and local humanitarian and conservation groups as well as the business community.
- A manuscript titled "Climate change exposure of waterbird species in the African-Eurasian flyways" was successfully submitted for publication.
- A landscape approach to disaster risk reduction has been developed by Wetlands International together with CARE-NL. It includes the Climate Resilient Flyways (CRF) work in the Ziway-Shalla sub-basin, Ethiopia, as a case study. This approach shows how to integrate different sectors and interests, allowing wetland landscape climate change adaptation that is beneficial for biodiversity to play a more central role. The approach in this publication is built upon the experiences of the CRF project and will form a base for further guidelines development.
- In the Ziway-Shalla basin, biodiversity is improving. This is achieved by working together with local communities on catchment restoration and nature conservation. By creating new livelihoods for these communities their need to unsustainably use natural resources is reduced.
- At the national scale in Ethiopia, the project supports the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission to advocate for the importance of wetlands in policy. Currently, the Ramsar Convention Ratification Accession Concept is in preparation.
- In Mali, a new law regulating the management of fauna and their habitat has been adopted by parliament which recognizes wetlands and corridors for migration as national wildlife domains (Article 9) and provides for protection of regional and locally important wildlife refuges (Article 10), providing greater support to sustainable management of the Inner Niger Delta and other wetlands.
- As a direct result of the flooded forest conservation and bourgou restoration work under CRF, in 2020 three times more colonially nesting waterbirds were spotted.
- Global events such as World Migratory Bird Day and the International Day of Biodiversity are providing useful platforms to promote greater awareness and support for conservation of wetlands and their biodiversity.
- Project partners engaged the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) processes towards a Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework to promote Nature-based Solutions and to include indicators on wetland biodiversity and connectivity, in line with the CRF project message.
- The project is being implemented in Africa at a time where work on the ground is being hampered by security challenges in Mali and Ethiopia. On top of this, COVID-19 has delayed activities as well.