Media release

150 partners meet to talk migratory waterbird conservation

Monday, 13 March 2023

  • Estimated reading time 4 mins

The East-Australasian Asian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), a unique partnership of governments, NGOs, and experts working to conserve migratory waterbirds and their habitats, is pleased to announce the 11th Meeting of Partners (MOP11).

The global migratory shorebird population is experiencing declines of up to 80% over the last 30 years, with every one of the 37 species facing the threat of extinction. Stretching from the Taymyr Peninsula in the far north of Russia and as far east as Alaska and to Australia at the southern-most tip, destruction and degradation of wetland and intertidal habitats along the Flyway is impacting their survival.

With the Australian Government’s goal of ‘no new extinctions’ this is a critical meeting for Australia and flyway partners.

The meeting takes place 12th to 17th March, 2023, in Brisbane, Australia, hosted by the Australian Government and BirdLife Australia, and supported by the Australasian Wader Studies Group. This year’s theme is “We are all part of the East-Asian Australasian Flyway!” brings together over 150 partners and collaborators from across the 18 participating countries to discuss the latest developments in migratory waterbird conservation.

“We are thrilled to bring together our partners from across the Flyway to share knowledge, learn from one another, and plan for the future of migratory waterbird conservation,” said Martine Maron, President of BirdLife Australia, co-host of MOP11. “This meeting is a critical opportunity to engage with a diverse group of stakeholders and strengthen our collective efforts to protect the flyway.”

Established in 2006, the EAAFP aims to conserve migratory waterbirds, their habitats and livelihood of local people depending on them along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF). The Partnership includes government bodies, inter-governmental organizations, INGOs, international organizations, corporations, scientific experts, site managers, and local communities.

The importance of protecting migratory waterbirds and wetlands

The East Asian-Australasian Flyway is home to over 50 million migratory waterbirds of more than 210 species, using various types of wetland habitats to breed, rest and forage. Many of them, such as Bar-tailed Godwit, and Far Eastern Curlew, fly over thousands of kilometres for migration twice every year.

Globally, wetlands are being cleared and damaged, and their water diverted and drained for agriculture or aquaculture, and to make way for development. They’re also threatened by the growing impact of climate change, like increasing droughts and fires, as well as growing pressures from overgrazing and invasive species, and more recently diseases like Avian Influenza.

11th Meeting of Partners encourage synergies to take conservation actions

This upcoming meeting is the first since the establishment of the EAAFP Strategic Plan 2019 – 2028. It will be an opportunity to understand how the Partners are aligning our actions to the strategic plan, and allow participants to share knowledge and experiences, discuss new and ongoing initiatives, and plan for future conservation efforts.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Robb Kaler, Chair of EAAFP said “No single country can conserve all the migratory waterbirds, only if we collaborate and amplify our effort can the waterbirds be conserved and wetlands be sustainably managers.

“I hope that this MOP proves to bolster the effort of the Partnership to continue their tireless work of preservation of migratory birds and their habitats within our precious Flyway.”

Partners and collaborators will contribute to discuss 11 Decision papers, which will enhance efficiency in Partnership operation, including CEPA Action Plan, and establishing the new guidelines of national, site and Sister Site Partnerships. There will also be 11 side events organized to foster collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and strengthening the Partnership in the future, and working towards synergizing the work of EAAFP with Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs) and different regional conservation initiatives and mechanisms.

The week-long meeting will feature presentations from key stakeholders, and interactive side events covering regional collaboration such as ASEAN Flyway Initiatives and Regional Flyway Initiative, allowing partners to exchange ideas and build strong networks to support the partnership’s work. In addition, MOP11 will include a field trip to the Moreton Bay wetland, a Flyway Network Site of the EAAFP, and critical for migratory birds like the Critically Endangered Far Eastern Curlew.

For more information about the EAAFP and the meeting of partners, please visit