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Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) launch a Flyway Training Kit

Date Published: 18 May, 2010
Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) launch a Flyway Training Kit

The KWSTI Principal, Prof. George Owiti, poses with a copy of the WOW Flyway Training Kit. With him from left: Mrs. Meike Frestschmar of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Edoardo Zandri of UNEP and Mr. Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General RAMSAR at the UNEP Headquarters during the launch.

The Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) project, the largest international wetland and waterbird conservation initiative ever to take place in the African-Eurasian region, on 14th May 2010 launched an innovative Flyway Training Kit at a special presentation during the fourteenth meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

The kit which consists of a set of widely reviewed, locally owned, flexible and practical modules on wetland and migratory waterbird conservation was a joint initiative by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Wetlands International, Birdlife International and Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

The Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI) Principal, Prof. George Owiti, was at hand at the launch to officially present the first copies of the Flyway Training Kit to the representatives of Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNEP/GEF, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and to the Secretariats of the of the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS), African -Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), and the Ramsar Convention who are all committed to the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their critical habitats.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Owiti termed the new Flyway Training Kit as ‘a unique resource in flyway-scale conservation’ and thanked all the stakeholders involved in making the project realisable.

Biirdlife International Africa Patnership Secretariat had sub-contracted KWS through an MOU to deliver the output of establishment of a basis for strengthening decision making and technical capacity for wetland and migratory waterbird conservation.

Other KWS officials involved in the project were Senior Scientist, Forest Conservation, Mrs. Jane Wamboi who is also the Capacity Development Officer for the East and Southern Africa region and Dr. Judith Nyunja, Senior Scientist, Wetlands.

Each training kit includes three modules with comprehensive text, case studies and exercises supported by ready- to-use presentations tailored to specific target groups as well as accompanying CDs with a range of additional material.

The kit is designed to assist in targeted trainings that can be customized by topic as they relate to flyway conservation, wetland management and migratory waterbird conservation.
Key to implementation of the WOW project are four Regional Centres located across the African-Eurasian region which co-ordinate regional activities and link to field-based work. 

The Middle East WOW Regional Centre is hosted by Birdlife Middle East in Amman, Jordan and the Central Asia and Caucasus States are serviced jointly through the Wetlands International Russia Programme in Moscow and the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The Regional Centre for Western and Central Africa is located at the Wetlands International Africa Office in Dakar, Senegal while the Eastern and Southern African Region is covered by the Birdlife Africa Partnership Secretariat Office in Nairobi, Kenya. Prof. Owiti of KWSTI is the Chairman of the Training Board for the Eastern and Southern Africa hub.

The WOW Project contributes significantly to several of the CBD 2020 targets, including establishment of representative “flyway” networks of protected areas and wider landscape, national capacity building, awareness raising and integration of biodiversity values into national planning and strategies, and preventing extinction of threatened species.

Over 45 participants from 17 countries representing Government Agencies, NGOs, donors, Intergovernmental and UN Agencies, attended the presentations made by representatives of the WOW partners.

The area covered by the initiative includes all 118 Range States of the UNEP-administered African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement, covering all of Africa, all of Europe, South-West Asia (including the Middle East and Central Asian States), Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago.

By Dennis Kibet

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