GEF supports major initiative on the African Eurasian Flyway


After nine months' intensive work by Wetlands International, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has recently approved 350,000 USD (matched by a further ca. 300,000 USD) towards the preparation of a major capacity building initiative for the critical wetlands that make up the African / Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Flyway. The project submission was prepared by Wetlands International (-AEME), with support of the UNEP-GEF (one of the three implementing agencies of the GEF).

The full project will support countries in priority capacity building activities to assist the joint implementation of their obligations under the Ramsar Convention and the CMS Agreement on the Conservation of African / Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA). It will be coordinated by Wetlands International, in close cooperation with the Ramsar Bureau, AEWA secretariat and BirdLife International.

The project development phase will take 15-18 months, and will result in submission of the full project brief to the GEF for funding (requesting up to 6 million USD (with 6 million USD matching funds)). It will include reviewing gaps in protected areas, training, communication and management on the flyway. The results of this exercise will then be integrated with a review of best practices from throughout the flyway, to provide a targeted programme of capacity building in the 4 year full project.

The full project will focus strongly on capacity building, through the provision and coordination of information, expertise (training and exchange programmes) and funds to address priority gaps and needs. In addition to these regional activities, there will also be ca. 10 demonstration site management projects. These will aim to demonstrate the implementation of best practice management activities on a range of key sites throughout the flyway. The sites that have already been identified are listed below, and one or two others may still be added for regions not yet covered.

  1. Haapsalu-Noarootsi Bays (Silma NR), Estonia.
  2. Biharugra's Fishponds, Hungary
  3. Nemunas Delta, Lithuania
  4. Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania
  5. Kokorou&Namga wetlands, Niger
  6. Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, Nigeria
  7. Saloum-Niumi, Senegal/The Gambia
  8. Wakkerstroom/Seekoeivlei, S. Africa
  9. Dar es Salaam wetlands, Tanzania
  10. Lake Burdur, Turkey

The coming 18 months will see intensive activity from the project partners in the preparation of this exciting new project, and we look forward to working closely with our national contact points to ensure that the maximum can be achieved from the project.

Go to   for more information.

 -- reported by Simon Nash, Wetlands International AEME (

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