The East Asian–Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) Secretariat had the honour of witnessing the lively energy of Japan's National Partnership during a hybrid meeting held from December 7 to 10, 2023. This event held special significance for our Chief Executive, Jennifer George, who played a key role in crafting the EAAFP National Partnership Guidelines.
Masterfully organised by BirdLife International Tokyo on behalf of the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, the gathering brought together a diverse audience, including high-level representatives from national and local governments, passionate NGOs, dedicated academics and researchers, and hardworking site managers and farmers who engaged in lively discussions and knowledge sharing.
The meeting wasn't just about words; it was about experience. A pre-dawn visit to a designated Flyway Network Site offered a breathtaking spectacle—hundreds of geese erupting from the mist, ready for their daily forage. Later, a trip to a local rice farm shed light on the unique challenges and admirable efforts of those striving for both sustainable livelihoods and migratory waterbird conservation.
Beyond sharing their own experiences, the Japanese participants generously extended their support to other national partners seeking to develop their own National Partnerships. The Secretariat stands ready to facilitate this knowledge exchange and provide any necessary assistance.
The Japan National Partnership meeting wasn't just a gathering; it was a testament to the power of collaboration. It showcased the dedication of diverse stakeholders towards a shared goal—protecting the birds that bind us together across the flyway.