Cooperation along the East Atlantic Flyway deepened in workshop on key threats and possible solutions

The Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative and its partners invited representatives from 15 flyway countries to a workshop in Dakar, Senegal, in July 2023. The aim was to discuss the key threats and possible solutions for migratory waterbird conservation along the East Atlantic Flyway, especially considering ongoing and predicted impacts of climate change. “Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and is expected to exacerbate many existing threats faced by our wetland ecosystems”, says Kristine Meise, Flyway coordinator at the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat. “Urgent actions are needed to mitigate the impacts of climate change on coastal wetlands to safeguard the flyway for future generations.”

The in-depth discussion identified numerous human activities that constitute key threats to wetlands and thus the migratory waterbirds connecting the sites and partners. Many threats were shared by several, if not all, the represented flyway countries, highlighting opportunities for collaboration and synergies for regional-level wetland and waterbird conservation. Lessons can be learned from the different strategies dealing with these threats and exchanges in best practice knowledge can help to address threats at a global scale. “The workshop was a unique opportunity to discuss how we can we support each other to have a positive impact on the flyway and highlighted that conservation can only be effective by taking on a global perspective and intensifying international collaboration”, continues Meise. “We are grateful to all staff from Birdlife International Dakar for their immense efforts in organising this workshop and all partners who travelled to Dakar for this important exchange.”