MEMBERS of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have outlined the next steps for the conservation of migratory birds that navigate along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF). At the sidelines of the 10th Meeting of the Partners to the EAAF in Hainan, China earlier this month, members of the ASEAN Flyway Network (AFN) and the EAAF raised the need to, among other points, increase capacity “for technically sound and effective surveys and monitoring of migratory birds and the flyway” sites, “financial support for regular surveys,” and expanding cooperation from government and non-government groups outside the conservation community. “Besides supporting a quarter of global bird diversity, the Southeast Asian region is an integral part of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, hosting more than 15 globally threatened migratory waterbirds… Close coordination beyond national borders is vital in ensuring the adequate protection of these birds,” Mr. How Choon Beng from the National Parks Board (NParks) of Singapore is quoted in a statement released by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB). The establishment of the AFN was facilitated by the ACB through the project “Improving Biodiversity Conservation of Wetlands and Migratory Waterbirds in ASEAN Region–Phase I.” The project is being supported by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund and is led by Singapore, through the NParks. The AFN has “site managers” from Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The resting and feeding areas of migratory birds along the EAAF are under threat due to land conversion, agriculture, mining, and urban development, among other disturbances.