AEWA: Guidelines on Sustainable Harvest of Migratory Waterbirds

    If populations of migratory waterbirds are to be maintained in a favourable conservation status, it is essential that any exploitation of these populations be carried out on a sustainable basis. Article III, paragraph 2 (b) of the Agreement requires that Parties ensure that any use of migratory waterbirds is based on an assessment of the best available knowledge of their ecology, and is sustainable for the species as well as for the ecological systems that support them.

    More specifically, in paragraph 4.1.1 of the Action Plan, Parties are required to co-operate to ensure that their hunting legislation implements the principle of sustainable use as envisaged in the Action Plan, taking into account the full geographical range of the waterbird populations concerned and their life history characteristics.

    The present guidelines promote the establishment of ‘harvest frameworks’ at both international and national levels, and identify a series of steps to assist Range States in adopting a sustainable approach to the harvesting of waterbirds. These steps include, for example, the introduction of procedures to maintain high standards amongst hunters; the commitment to and the support of international harvest management or the adjustment of harvest frameworks to address national objectives.

    A series of twelve Conservation Guidelines, which deal with inter alia, species and habitat management and management of human activities has been developed to assist the Parties in the implementation of the AEWA Action Plan.

    Guidelines 2, 6 and 10 were revised by the AEWA Technical Committee and adopted by the 5th Meeting of the Parties to AEWA (MOP5) in May 2012. In addition two newly developed Conservation Guidelines; Guidelines on How to Avoid or Mitigate Impact of Electricity Power Grids on Migratory Birds in the African-Eurasian Region and Guidelines for the Translocation of Waterbirds for Conservation Purposes: Complementing the IUCN Guidelines were adopted by MOP5. The revised and newly developed guidelines will be published in due course.

    For more information please see:

    Press release