Migratory birds in the North Pacific region

02/11/2007

Report on Third Conference on Migratory Birds of the North Pacific Region

Yakutsk, 8-13 August 2007

The Third Conference on Migratory Birds of the North Pacific Region was held in Yakutsk on August 8-13, 2007 within the framework of the International Forum on the Study and Conservation of Arctic Wildlife, convened by the Government of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). The Conference consisted of seven sessions, covering: fauna and populations of birds, bird migration, bird ecology, conservation of rare and endangered bird species, diseases and parasites, use of bird resources, and wetlands of international importance, key ornithological sites and specially protected habitats of rare cranes in NE Asia.

In general, the Conference discussed the results and plans for international, regional, and inter-regional scientific cooperation on nature conservation, especially research on the preservation and use of migratory birds and their habitats in the northern Asia-Pacific Region. It also reviewed progress on implementing the decisions of the Second Conference, priorities for the UNEP/GEF Siberian Crane Wetlands Project in NE Asia, integration of research on conservation of migratory birds and their habitats, cooperation between GEF projects in Yakutia, and proposed items for inclusion in the next conference.

A few selected conclusions & recommendations include:

  • Recognition of the impacts of climate change on ecosystems in the Arctic and the need for measures to mitigate global warming in economic planning
  • Renewal of effective protection of federal zakazniks especially for habitats of the Siberian crane and other rare and endangered species in West Siberia, and strengthening of protected area networks in Kamchatka Krai and Irkutsk Oblast and Republic of Buryatia
  • Organization of an All-Russian conference on “Problems of Conservation of Rare Animals” in 2008 to address scientific and practical aspects of harmonizing the Red Data Books at national and regional levels
  • Nomination of staging areas for Siberian Cranes and other migratory waterbirds for the site network under the East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership, and giving international status to Kytalyk through Ramsar nomination. There was general support for strengthened cooperation through this flyway partnership
  • The potential danger of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza dispersal for rare bird populations and people, and the need to build capacity for the surveillance of avian influenza viruses and other locally and globally hazardous diseases in Yakutia, bearing in mind the huge waterbird resources and different flyways that meet in this region
  • The widespread condemnation of attempts to control avian influenza by culling wild birds as contradicting the interests of nature conservation and as an ineffective approach
  • The publication and distribution of guidelines to reduce the risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza spreading on wetlands of key importance for migratory bird species under the UNEP/GEF Siberian Crane Wetlands Project together with other concerned organizations

For further details, please visit: http://www.scwp.info/newsyakutiaaug2007.shtml

The Conference Resolution, containing all conclusions and recommendations, can be downloaded in English and Russian languages from this site.

With best wishes,

Crawford Prentice
International Technical Advisor
UNEP/GEF Siberian Crane Wetlands Project
Email: crawford@savingcranes.org
Project Website: www.scwp.info

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