On 13 May, Ms. Eugenie Sage, New Zealand Minister of Conservation, and Mr. Zhang Jianlong, Administrator of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China, signed a new Memorandum of Arrangement to support Shorebird Conservation in China and New Zealand. Mr. Lou Sanson, Director-General of the New Zealand Department of Conservation was also present.
From left: Meng Xianlin (Director General, Department of International Cooperation) and Zhang Jianlong, (Administrator) both from National Park Administration and National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Minister of Conservation Hon Eugenie Sage and DOC Director-General Lou Sanson. Back: Ms Xiao Wangxin, Division Director, National Forestry and Grassland Administration and Bruce McKinlay, DOC Technical Advisor Ecology. Photo credit: Department of Conservation of New Zealand
The memorandum updates a similar document signed in 2016 to reflect the organisational changes which have occurred in China in recent years. It reaffirms the importance of working together to strengthen cooperation of migratory shorebirds in China and New Zealand.
The Memorandum sets out a range of topics for which cooperation is envisaged. These are focused on technical exchange of information and developing strategies to include advance the conservation of migratory shorebirds and their habitats.
This signing reflects ongoing work to cooperate bilaterally between China and New Zealand as well as within the East Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership. Working cooperatively with China to protect wetland habitats for shorebirds like Bar-tailed Godwits/Kuaka and Red Knots/Huahou is a strategic objective for the Department of Conservation. These birds rely on the coastal wetlands in the Yellow Sea to complete a 30,000km round trip from New Zealand to China, then to Siberia and Alaska, before returning to New Zealand each year for summer feeding in the southern hemisphere.