« CSOs and wetlands » project, supported by the AFD🠉

The first phase of the project

In 2018, the Mediterranean Waterbirds Network (MWN), in collaboration with the Mediterranean Alliance for Wetlands (MAW), created a capacity-building project for civil society organisations (CSOs) in seven countries in the Mediterranean basin: Algeria (ANAO), Jordan (RSCN), Libya (LSB), Lebanon (SPNL), Morocco (GREPOM and SPANA), Tunisia (AAO/BirdLife en Tunisie and WWF NA) and Turkey (ORC). This project was supported by the French Agency of Development (AFD) (2018-2022) and the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) (2019-2023). With the support of FFEM, two other countries could be involved: Albania (INCA) and Montenegro (CZIP).
ANAO: Association Nationale Algérienne d'Ornithologie; RSCN: Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature; LSB: Libyan Society For Birds; SPNL: Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon; GREPOM: Groupe de Recherche pour la Protection des Oiseaux au Maroc; SPANA: Société Protectrice des Animaux et de la Nature; AAO/BirdLife en Tunisie: Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux"; WWF NA: World Wildlife Fund North Africa; ORC: Ornithological Research Center; INCA: Institute for Nature Conservation in Albania; CZIP: Centar za zaštitu i proučavanje ptica.
The aim of this project was to ensure that wetlands were better taken into account in development and land-use planning decisions in the southern and eastern Mediterranean, by relying on the partner associations of the two networks. Through this project, the partner CSOs were given the opportunity to carry out micro-projects in their own countries to implement concrete conservation or awareness-raising actions, as well as to receive training on themes chosen by mutual agreement between the partners, all this while improving scientific knowledge on waterbirds and strengthening international collaboration between the partner associations.
The aim of all these activities was to strengthen the capacities of the partner organizations, so that they could gain in prestige, legitimacy and competence, and thus have a greater say in decisions concerning the management and protection of territories and species in their respective countries, working directly with decision-makers.
For further information, click here.

The second phase of the project

Since 2023, this project has been continuing with a second phase, which made it possible to engage a new partner in Albania (AOS), as well as two new countries: North Macedonia (MES) and Serbia (BPSSS). This new phase enabled partner associations to receive further training (on 8 themes, in the form of webinars and training courses), to deepen their knowledge of certain rare North African species, and to acquire tangible information on illegal hunting in 8 Mediterranean countries, in order to provide concrete solutions.
AOS: Albanian Ornithological Society; MES: Macedonian Ecological Society; BPSSS: Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia.

Photos: ©Hichem Azafzaf

Monitoring of illegal hunting activities🠉

Illegal hunting of waterbirds (as well as other species) has long been observed during winter counting.
Large numbers of theoretically non-huntable species are sometimes captured or killed during migration or wintering. Several studies on these activities have been carried out by BirdLife over the years: see here or here.
Not all countries have the same rules and legislation. Even within a given country, it is often complex for those involved in illegal hunting to define or understand why what they're doing is illegal. This is why the MWN is starting a protocol-based monitoring of these activities during wintering waterbird counts: by taking advantage of the large number of volunteers in the field, it's possible to obtain a large amount of confirmed data in a short amount of time. What's more, alongside this field monitoring protocol, our partners raise awareness and provide information to those involved and to the general public.
The 8 countries involved are: Albania (AOS), Algeria (ANAO), Libya (LSB), North Macedonia (MES), Morocco (GREPOM), Serbia (BPSSS), Tunisia (AAO/BirdLife en Tunisie) and Turkey (ORC). Since 2023, four of the eight countries taking part in this project have begun field-testing the protocol; by 2024, all eight countries have set up monitoring systems as well as informed and raised awareness in potential or actual hunters.
Communication and/or advocacy actions will be organized for these 8 countries in the coming years: stay updated by following the news on this website or on the MWN's Facebook page.

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