The Eighth Meeting of Partners (MOP8) of EAAFP was held on 16-21 January in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan, hosted by Kushiro City and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan. Of EAAFP’s 34 Partners, 29 attended the meeting, including representatives of 16 of the 17 Country Partners. With members of Working Groups and Task Forces, and observers, the total number of participants reached 130, the highest attendance at an EAAFP MOP so far.
The Meeting was opened by the Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Environment, Ms. Hinako Takahashi and the Mayor of Kushiro City, Mr. Hiroya Ebina and welcomed four new Partners since MOP7 in Alaska in June 2013: Myanmar, Vietnam, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity.
Flyway Network Site certificates were presented to new sites in Australia, Japan (2), Mongolia, Myanmar (3) and Thailand (2). Partners and Working Groups/Task Forces presented reports of activities and workplans. For the first time, EAAFP has a consolidated Partner work plan, which will form the basis of activities until the next MOP and will be reported on there. The Meeting included a Special Session on Minimizing Bird Strikes from Wind Turbines, a Participatory Workshop on Communicating the Partnership and presentations on many aspects of flyway conservation, communication and research.
The Ministry of the Environment, Japan and Kushiro City hosted a field trip to Kushiro-shitsugen Wetlands and Akkeshi-ko Lake on 18 January and participants were rewarded by thrilling encounters with graceful Red-crowned Cranes and magnificent Steller’s Sea Eagles.
The Meeting concluded with decisions on the establishment of a Financing Committee, an independent review of EAAFP to take place in late 2015 and the creation of Task Forces for Eastern Curlew and Black-faced Spoonbill, as well as adopting recommendations on Flyway Network Site reporting. Additional statements were endorsed on Spoon-billed Sandpiper and the Arctic Migratory Bird Initiative and preparatory groups were set up on illegal harvest/unsustainable hunting, reviewing the definition of migratory species under EAAFP and creating a South East Asia network. Existing Working Groups and Task Forces were active in nominating Chairs and Coordinators, as well as developing revised terms of reference and action plans. The MOP was followed by Symposium for Kushiro City citizens on the promotion of local activities for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats.
For more information: EAAFP MOP8 page
Photos of EAAFP MOP8: EAAFP Flickr