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Publications archive - Biodiversity


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 2001-2005 - Brochure

Wetlands International, Ministry of the Environment, Japan
and Environment Australia, 2001

PDF file

to enhance the long-term conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Asia-Pacific region.

Migratory Waterbirds

The cyclical migration of waterbirds across the globe has been long recognised as a natural wonder. Annually, waterbirds fly many thousands of kilometres across a vast range of climates and habitats in response to the urge to nest and to avoid adverse weather conditions. These flights require the birds to replenish their energy reserves along the way.

In meeting the demands of their life cycles, waterbirds depend on high quality wetland habitats in many countries. Rapid human development across the globe has dramatically increased pressure on intertidal and freshwater wetlands and other habitats. This has resulted in degradation, loss, and pollution of wetlands and increased harvest of waterbirds. Efforts to conserve migratory species in one country can only be effective if these are complemented by actions in all countries through which the species moves during its annual cycle.

The Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 2001-2005 builds on the achievements of the previous Strategy:1996-2000 which has been highly successful in promoting international activities related to flyway cooperation for waterbirds and their habitats.


"areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres". Wetlands "may incorporate riparian and coastal zones adjacent to the wetlands, and islands or bodies of marine water deeper than six metres at low tide lying within the wetlands". Based on the text of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar, Iran,1971) (Articles 1.1 and 2.1).


"birds ecologically dependent on wetlands". It includes traditionally recognised groups popularly known as wildfowl, waterfowl and shorebirds/waders. In addition to these groups, there are other birds also dependent on wetlands such as kingfishers, birds of prey and passerines. These birds benefit from efforts undertaken to conserve waterbirds.


"the migration route of a population, species, or group of species of bird, between a breeding area, through the staging sites (passage) and non-breeding area (wintering area)". This Strategy broadly covers the breeding, staging and non-breeding areas of migratory waterbirds using the three major flyways in the Asia-Pacific region.

The key elements of the 2001-2005 are:

  1. Action plans for species-groups and globally threatened species.
  2. Effectively managed networks of sites that are internationally important for migratory waterbirds.
  3. Raised awareness of waterbirds and their link to wetland values and functions throughout the region and at all levels.
  4. Increased capacity of government agencies and non-government organisations to implement conservation actions for migratory waterbirds.
  5. An enhanced knowledge base and increased information exchange for the sound management of migratory waterbirds and their habitats.
  6. Harmonised national and state policies and legislation as a foundation for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats.
  7. Enhanced organisational relationships at all levels to increase cooperation and deliver greater conservation benefits.
  8. Adequate planning and resourcing to implement the Strategy. Strategy

Action Plans and Site Networks

Three Action Plans have been developed under the Strategy - for Anatidae (ducks, geese and swans) in the East Asian Flyway, cranes in the North East Asian Flyway, and shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The key element of these Action Plans is the development of networks of appropriately managed sites that are internationally important for migratory waterbirds -East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Site Network (1996), North East Asian Crane Site Network (1997) and East Asian Anatidae Site Network (1999). These networks of sites and people enable site owners, managers, local people, governments and participating organisations to gain national and international recognition and support for their conservation efforts.

We welcome your active participation in conserving waterbirds and wetlands.

For further information, and copies of the Strategy and Action Plans, contact:

Wetlands International - Asia Pacific

3A39, Block A, Kelana Centre Point
SS 7/19,47301 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Malaysia
Web site:

East Asian Anatidae Site Network