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Migratory birds in the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) a review of range countries to strengthen their habitat conservation efforts

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The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change  in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme/ Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS) had organized a meeting of Range Countries to strengthen conservation efforts for migratory birds and their habitats in the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) from 2nd to 4th May, 2023 in New Delhi.

Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey inaugurated the meeting. In his inaugural address the Minister  while echoing the Prime Minister’s call to adopt LIFE (Lifestyle for environment for environmental protection) made at COP-26 in Glasgow  mentioned that :

“…It gives us immense satisfaction that we have taken concrete steps towards his vision with this meeting of the range countries of the Central Asian Flyway to frame an Action Plan. Additionally, adopting a sustainable lifestyle that allows for the co-existence of all life forms, including migratory birds, is critical to ensure their continued existence in the years to come. This aligns with  Prime Minister’s LiFE movement, which calls for a Lifestyle for Environment for environmental protection, and serves as a reminder of our responsibility towards the planet. Through this meeting, we are taking a significant step towards achieving the common goal of conservation and sustainable development in the Central Asian Flyway….”

The meeting was attended by the eleven countries of CAF region including Armenia, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Mongolia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, besides the Secretariats of CMS, AEWA and Raptors MOU, and  representatives of Chief Wildlife Wardens of States, scientific institutions in India, international and national non governmental organizations, and subject experts.

The delegates deliberated and agreed on an institutional framework for the Central Asian Flyway, discussed priority areas for implementation, and agreed on a draft roadmap for updating the CMS CAF Action Plan. The meeting was a critical opportunity for CAF Range States to collaborate and exchange ideas and best practices to ensure the sustainable conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.

The discussions during the meeting also led to the modalities of an institutional framework mechanism with the aim of developing a coordinated approach to the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. There was an overall consensus in the meeting for  further strengthening and formalizing  this initiative. The formalization of the Central Asian Flyway initiative, was seen as a significant step towards the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.

The delegates also undertook a field visit to the Sultanpur National Park, Gurugram, Haryana, to understand the management of bird sanctuary and learn the best practices being adopted in India for management of bird sanctuaries.  

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