Global Flyway Partners meeting in Brisbane a great success

Saturday, 18 March 2023

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Global Flyway Partners meeting in Brisbane a great success

On 13 March, the 11th Meeting of Partners (MOP11) of the East Asian–Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) officially kicked off in Brisbane, under the theme We are all part of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Co-hosted by BirdLife Australia and the Australian Government’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water,  and sponsored by Australasian Wader Studies Group and Faunatech, the meeting brought together over 150 participants from 18 national governments, inter-government organisations, international NGOs, site managers, experts and corporates. 

It was the first time that BirdLife Australia has hosted the global Meeting of Partners and the first time this important event had been held in Australia.

Established in 2006, the East Asian–Australasian Flyway Partnership  aims to conserve migratory waterbirds, their habitats and the livelihoods of local people depending on them along the Flyway.  The meeting of Parties is vitally important for parties to  share knowledge, learn from one another, and plan for the future of migratory waterbird conservation. The Brisbane-based event had been   delayed by two years due to Covid-19, which made it even more exciting to finally come together, in person. Discussions focused on the plight of migratory shorebirds and the critical need to collaborate to achieve our shared goal of preserving these precious threatened species.  

 Key decisions, critical for partner collaboration included: 

  • Exciting avenues for youth to participate in EAAFP
  • A consolidated CEPA Action plan to launch, implement and prioritise Guidelines for the EAAFP Sister Site which aims to improve Flyway Site communications. This ambitious plan aims to maintain the most up-to-date version of the “Population Estimates and Trends of Migratory Waterbird Populations for the EAAFP” which is a central portal for shorebird counters.  
  • Budget approvals  
  • Electing new management committee members, resulting in the Australian Government becoming the new Chair and the Cambodian Government taking on Vice Chair  

A conference highlight was a field trip via ferry to Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), off the east coast of Brisbane. International delegates – along with some loyal BirdLife Australia supporters from South East Queensland — enjoyed a full-day of shorebird spotting — including Far Eastern Curlew and Beach Stone-curlew — along with Pheasant Coucal, Silver gulls and Rainbow lorikeets, plus excitingly for our overseas visitors, we saw (in their natural habitat) koalas, kangaroos, manta rays, sea turtles and dolphins. A fabulous day — enjoyed by all.