Over the last three decades, Australia has played an important role in international efforts to conserve migratory birds of the East Asian - Australasian Flyway (the Flyway). This work began with bilateral migratory bird agreements, which provide a formal framework for cooperation between two countries on issues of mutual interest.
The Australian Government has entered into three bilateral migratory bird agreements. These are:
- Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA)
- China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA) and
- Republic of Korea-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (ROKAMBA)
The first two bilateral agreements relating to the conservation of migratory birds were formed with the Government of Japan in 1974, and the People’s Republic of China in 1986.
The JAMBA and CAMBA agreements list terrestrial, water and shorebird species which migrate between Australia and the respective countries. In both cases the majority of listed species are shorebirds.
Both agreements require the parties to protect migratory birds by:
- limiting the circumstances under which migratory birds are taken or traded;
- protecting and conserving important habitats;
- exchanging information; and
- building cooperative relationships.
The JAMBA agreement also includes provisions for cooperation on the conservation of threatened birds.
Australian government and non-government representatives meet every two years with Japanese and Chinese counterparts to review progress in implementing the agreements and to explore new initiatives to conserve migratory birds.
In April 2002, Australia and the Republic of Korea agreed to develop a bilateral migratory bird agreement similar to the JAMBA and CAMBA.
The ROKAMBA agreement was signed in Canberra on 6 December 2006. The agreement entered into force on 13 July 2007.
The ROKAMBA formalises Australia's relationship with the Republic of Korea in respect to migratory bird conservation and provides a basis for collaboration on the protection of migratory shorebirds and their habitat.
JAMBA, CAMBA and ROKAMBA provide an important mechanism for pursuing conservation outcomes for migratory birds, including migratory shorebirds. However, the bilateral nature of these agreements limits their scope and ability to influence conservation across the flyway. Australia has therefore also encouraged multilateral cooperation for migratory bird conservation through the Partnership for the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.
All migratory bird species listed in the annexes to these bilateral agreements are protected in Australia as matters of national environmental significance under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
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