- April 2018: Environmental awareness and education project in Mussulo Bay, Angola
- September 2014: Boat building for bird monitoring, Jeta Island, Guinea Bissau
- May 2014: World Migratory Bird Day Celebration, Songor Lagoon, Ghana
- May 2014: World Migratory Bird Day Celebration, Keta Lagoon, Ghana
- January 2014: Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop on the flyway approach, Luanda, Angola
- January 2014: Community waterbird training workshop, Tissana, Sierra Leone
- December 2013: Regional workshop on the management of key sites for migratory birds, Djoudj, Senegal
- June 2013: WSFI activity reports on capacity building and monitoring
- January 2013: Conservation of waterbirds and wetlands in the coastal zone, Kent, Sierra Leone
- January 2013: Training Course, Bubaque, Guinea Bissau
- December 2012: Regional Monitoring Training Course, Diawling, Mauritania
- June 2012: Linking Methods and People, Dakar, Senegal
- May 2012: Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative at the AEWA/MOP5
- February 2012: WSFI and BirdLife CMB project inception meeting in Freetown, Sierra Leone
April 2018: Environmental awareness and education project in Mussulo Bay, Angola
Mussulo Bay is one of the most important waterbird areas in Luanda, but also in Angola. In this area one can find as many resident water birds, as migratory water birds. The latter use Mussulo Bay as a resting area during their long journeys along the East Atlantic flyway, including palearctic birds. Quite a lot of efforts have already been made to protect and conserve this vital area of Mussulo Bay. Several actions have been carried out with the support of the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative (WSFI), including the construction of a waterbird observatory in the Ilhéu dos Pássaros Integral Nature Reserve. Considering the need to extinguish these actions on the entire surrounding area of the Nature Reserve, again with the support of WSFI and Wetlands International, bird counts are periodically carried out throughout the Bay of Mussulo. However, the efforts made, which show certain efficiency and very good results given that the current trend is the recovery of certain lost, illegally occupied or polluted areas, cannot have any effect if there is not the contribution of the riverside population and especially the tourists who constantly frequent this area. It is within this framework that it has proved necessary to carry out activities that could take into account the need to mobilize the riparian population, students, tourists and interested persons to promote the protection and conservation of this important habitat for water birds.
The activities were carried out in Mussulo Bay where two main areas were chosen: the Integral Nature Reserve and the 'Saco dos Flamingos'. However, several awareness-raising and awareness-raising activities have also been carried out at the 'Museu da Escravatura', 'Embarcador do Mussulo' where most tourists are concentrated. Several activities were carried out between December 2017 and March 2018 in these different areas. Most of these activities were carried out between Friday and Sunday, taking into account the availability of most of the participants, the majority of whom are students, but also the attendance of tourists. Among the actions carried out, the collection of waste, mainly in the Integral Nature Reserve, by volunteers was one of the key actions. Indeed, waste collection has been extended to other areas of Mussulo Bay, including 'Saco dos Flamingos'. The results obtained after this campaign are very satisfactory and extremely encouraging.
Download the original report (French)
September 2014: Boat building for bird monitoring, Jeta Island, Guinea Bissau
On Jeta Island the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative supported the building of pirogue (boat) in local style for monitoring mudflats and migratory birds and for the support of the surveillance implemented by the ODZH (Desenvolvimento das Zonas Húmidas na Guiné-Bissau) in local cooperation with the local association DJOTCHETCHENGLAR. The pirogue will also be used for awareness building in local fishery encampments to show the importance of mudflats for migratory and breeding birds.
May 2014: World Migratory Bird Day Celebration, Songor Lagoon, Ghana
The global theme for the celebration in 2014 is “Destination Flyways – Migratory Birds and Tourism”. The theme focuses on the role sustainable tourism can play in conserving one of the world’s true natural wonders, the spectacular movements of migratory birds along their flyways. In the long term, awareness will be created in communities that receive these birds during the migratory journey.
The event was celebrated on 10 May 2014, in two small but highly populated coastal communities (Pute and Totope), located on the narrow sandy strip between the lagoon and the sea. The communities are located in the core zone of the Ramsar site, a significantly important ecosystem type that receive about a third of the migratory bird population that visit the site. Songor is located between latitudes 06° 00’25’’N and 00° 19’E and 05°45’30’’N, 00° 41’40’’ E, and occupies an area of 51, 133.3 hectares.
Though on recess, the kids numbering over 80 came to observe the day to support bird conservation effort. They were involved in cleanup activities between the beach and the lagoon. Tourism thrives in clean and sustainably green environment, while birds visit less polluted sites - this set the tone for the cleanup in the morning that lasted over one and half hours.
The kids then visited the lagoon site to observe the few birds that were feeding. They were taken through step by step in bird identification, data collection and organization, management intervention in bird conservation and the need for their involvement as important stakeholders no matter how young they were. We called them the ‘’second eye’’ of conservation.
They all had a hand on demonstration of the identification equipment. All of them were able to tell the color and local names of the birds they saw by using the telescope and the binoculars.
The kids were refreshed afterwards and promised not to kill or trap migratory or residents birds. The local media was present to cover the program.They were however disappointed that there were only few birds during the date set for the celebration. They suggested that, if could be done during the peak bird season to make the event practical and exciting.
The program was supported by Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative and the Wildlife Division of The Forestry commission. Special thanks to Assemblyman of Pute and the community volunteer at Totope who jointly organized the kids for the program and also Radio Ada, the parents of the kids who provided logistics for the cleanup.
May 2014: World Migratory Bird Day Celebration, Keta Lagoon, Ghana
This year’s World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was marked at Afeadenyigba, a community in Ghana’s Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar site on 10 May 2014. The global theme for this year’s celebration was “Destination Flyways: Migratory birds and Tourism” which highlighted the link between bird conservation, local community development and wildlife-watching tourism around the world. The celebration was funded from a grant, kind courtesy of the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative (WSFI) and supported by the Wildlife Division of Ghana Forestry Commission. The event started at 6.00am and ended at 12.45pm.
Thirty six (36) participants joined and participated in the celebration of the day’s events. They included Nana Kofi Adu Nsiah (Executive Director of Wildlife Division of Ghana Forestry Commission), Richard Agorkpa (Executive Director of Friends of Ramsar Sites), Louis Agbey (Executive Director of LOCEK, an environmental NGO based in Tema), Mr C.C. Amankwa (Ramsar focal person) and selected members of Environmental Clubs, a local environmental organization which works with children to appreciate the benefits of a clean environment.
Speeches were read by Abdul-Kareem Fuseini (Welcome Address), Nana Kofi Adu Nsiah, Richard Agorkpa and C.C. Amankwa.
- The day was preceded by a series of Radio announcements on two local radio stations (Hogbe and Jubilee FM Stations) and sensitization of the public on the significance of the event.
- Press release by the Wildlife Division in Accra on the Migratory Bird Day celebration at Keta.
- On the day of the event, participants were taken through a lecture on the following topics - identifying birds, importance of birds to man, seasons and migrations, flyways ,traditional uses of birds, traditional beliefs and stories about birds, bird harvesting methods and its effect on bird populations, role of the youth in the conservation of birds.
Bird walk: A bird walk was organized from Havedzi to Afeadenyigba, a distance of about 3km. Participants especially the youth were taught i) how to use binoculars to view birds; ii) bird identification and counting.
Closing: The day’s event finally ended at 12.45pm with a commitment from the youth to throw away all their catapults used in hunting and never again kill birds.
Refreshment: All participants were refreshed after the event.
- Nana Kofi Adu-Nsiah – Executive Director of Wildlife Division of Ghana Forestry Commission
- Charles Amankwa- Ramsar Focal person
- Abdul-Kareem Fuseini – Manager, Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar site
- Cornelia Danso – Wildlife Officer, Tourism Development Unit, Accra
- Donkor Iddrissu- Wildlife Protection Officer, Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar site
- Seth Agbanyo – Technical Assistant, Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar site
- Christopher Matsakawo - Technical Assistant, Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar site
- Francis Tsitsikla – Wildlife Guard, Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar site
- Hope Avuletey – Wildlife Guard, Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar Site
- Okyere Samuel- Driver, Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar site
- Sylvester- Driver, Wildlife Division Headquarters, Accra
Friends of Ramsar Sites
- Agorkpa Richard, Executive Director
- Laud Kwame
- Moses Senaki
- Patrick Sadey
- Wisdom Sosu
Living On Concerned Environmental Knowledge (LOCEK), environmental NGO
- Louis Agbey – Executive Director
- Rev Agbeko – Director
Hogbe FM Station
- Patrick DZRAMADO- News reporter
- Jane Quarshie- photographer
Members who participated were from four (4) surrounding communities. They are as follows:
- Elikplim Tsitsikla
- Elikplim Agblosu
- Venunye Sowu
- Patience Kporgbe
- Bienvenu Dzawudo
- Promise Zigah
- Irene Kuvor
- Simon Kuivi
- Bless Wedzi
- Godsway Kportufe
- Prudence Kwame
- Mary Logosu
- Passion Wormegah
- Phedelia Agblor
- Jemima Ahedor
- Grace Amable
Report by: Abdul-Kareem Fuseini, Manager, Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar site
January 2014: Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop on the flyway approach, Luanda, Angola
The international “Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop on the flyway approach to the conservation and wise use of waterbirds and wetlands, and awareness raising for flyway conservation”, a joint initiative of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement and the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative (WSFI) project of the CWSS, took place in Luanda in 27-31 January 2014. It was attended by participants from all five Portuguese-speaking African countries: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé e Principe. Each country was represented by two participants, except for Angola, which had participants from 4 provinces, in a total of 15 people. The lead trainer (Paulo Catry) was assisted by Joãozinho Sá (from Guinea-Bissau), Tim Dodman (WSFI) and Evelyn Moloko (AEWA Secretariat).
The report of the training course can be downloaded here.
January 2014: Community waterbird training workshop, Tissana, Sierra Leone
Five communities in the Satia section of Yawri were trained in water bird identification, habitat monitoring and the use of equipment like binocular, telescope and field guide. 18 people were registered for the training from the five villages from 9-10 January 2014. The training was hosted by the Tissana village community center which was not far from the wetland site.
During the opening day of the programme, a prayer was offered in the Islamic and Christian way. After that, the coordinator of the programme, Mr. Papanie Bai-Sesay, explained the purpose of the training and why the flyways and habitats of the migratory birds need to be protected and how it is going to benefit the communities along these areas. He told the participants that people are desperate to know how these birds feed, where they go, where they breed and how they are protected in different parts along the flyway.
Each year in January Wetland International, WaddenSea Flyway Initiative and Birdlife International are supporting countries along the flyway to carry out waterbird monitoring to get trends of birds visiting each country and also monitoring the threat level at each site. He highlighted the benefit to the community people if these birds and their habitat are protected. Questions were asked if they will form a conservation group and the answer was positive. Protecting migratory birds is a shared responsibility to all partners including communities like this. Some of the benefits are, if the site is well managed:
- Many people will be visiting these communities because of the birds.
- Their local products will generate good income for them.
- Their communities will open to development.
- Investors will build hotels, motel, big business etc
- Employment for the young people etc
The community people were happy to hear these benefits and they thanked the coordinator for these insight and opportunities they will get, if they stop killing birds, collecting eggs of birds and helping in protecting the habitats of the birds. He admonishes them to take example of the No. 2 River community, which is a community based tourism center. He also told them that No. 2 River is one of the best tourism centers around Freetown that is managed by local community. He urged them not to destroy the habitats of the birds, but to see birds as their friends.
Mr Kamara, the Town Chief of Tissana expressed his view on the whole project and thanked the coordinator for his great interest in their communities. He also said the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone should not forget the community, because they did not have any idea on tourism and conservation of birds and the importannce of birds to people in the community. He also expressed interest for future workshop on a broader way by involving more community people on different topics on migratory bird’s conservation, to increase their knowledge on birds and their importance. Most people in these communities like to be part of this training, but because of limited funds, they were able to train just 18 people.
He thanked the programme coordinator and appreciation for the intervention of CSSL, the Wadden Sea and everybody who came with the coordinator. The community elders and youths appreciated the training and expected that this is an opportunity for them to be involved in bird conservation and hence create job opportunities for their youths. They are expecting CSSL to continue with the project, which will help to expose their site to the international world of conservation. They are expecting more coordination and collaboration with the CSSL in project development and implementation.
The participants were trained on birds identification, water bird monitoring and how to use basic equipment for bird watching like binocular, telescope and field guide.
After Lunch the biodiversity officer told the community about benefit of keeping the habitats of birds healthy and admonish them to keep to their promise and CSSL will try to develop some proposals that will keep them moving. The beneficiary said they will take these ideas to the communities they came from and will explain the importance of birds and their habitats.
The facilitator Mr Momoh B Sesay took participants to field work, and they were able to identify different types of water birds. The species they identified were: Whimbrel, Common sand piper, Intermediate egret, Western reef egret, Pink-back pelican, Common ringed plover, Secred ibis, Gray plover, Eurasian Curlew and Little Stint. The attendents were also trained how to fill in the bird form, Wetland forms and Birdlife form at the end of every field work. Participants were divided into groups and members in each group keep changing to create a friendly working environment to all participants.
Eight of the participants together with the counting team were asked to count the Satia section of the Yawri Bay during the 2014 simultaneous water bird count. Three out of the eight prove to be very good in identifying the birds. The expert from the United Kingdom advised us to continue the community involvement especially these guys in water bird monitoring and other activities relating to birds at site level.
December 2013: Regional workshop on the management of key sites for migratory birds, Djoudj, Senegal
The workshop, 14-18 December 2013, had multiple aims, firstly to improve understanding of the flyway approach to conservation and wise use of waterbirds and wetlands among managers and administrators of sites along the western coast of Africa.
Through building capacity of personnel in environmental NGOs and other organisations, who are in position to train others within their sites and countries (training of trainers), the workshop also aimed to be a contributing factor in promoting a large-scale flyway approach to management throughout the area.
Finally, with the aim of promoting cooperation between the targeted groups, the workshop was also a springboard to discuss and explore ways and means to facilitate networking between managers of critical sites and to create a basis for cooperation with partners along the flyway in order to enable other sustainable waterbird conservation activities.
June 2013: WSFI activity reports on capacity building and monitoring
Two reports published on the activities on the monitoring and on the capacity building projects published.
January 2013: Conservation of waterbirds and wetlands in the coastal zone, Kent, Sierra Leone
On 22-26 January 2013, the training course brought together 25 persons comprising 3 from the Republic of Liberia and 22 Sierra Leoneans from NGOs, local conservation groups, tertiary institutions and community representatives, all associated with the coastal zones of Sierra Leone and Liberia to participate in the training course.
The course evaluation indicated that the contents, professional competence of the resource persons and the methods of delivery all created a significant impact in building and strengthening the capacities of the trainees in the principles and practice of flyways conservation. The Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL) as host institution for the course also benefitted from the training in the provision of books and equipment for this work. But in addition to those materials CSSL being the coordinating institution for wetland and waterbird conservation and management in Sierra Leone will be strengthened through professional interactions with persons involved in the network proposed in the recommendations; it will also continue to benefit from the knowledge, skills and experiences of the resource persons who taught that course.
A week before the course and during the course waterbird count and site monitoring was conducted organized on one hand by CSSL and the other as part of the practical lessons for the trainees. Results gained were conveyed to the International Waterbird Census Programme.
During the final session of the course participants were requested to make recommendations which should serve as Action Points for the establishment for the planning and overall governance of the network for wetland and waterbird conservation and management. Several useful recommendations were made which will greatly improve these activities in future. For instance the participants stressed the need for full stakeholder participation including local communities, as well as the free flow of information for more awareness raising and participation. They also emphasized the need for more capacity building in continued training and the provision of needed resources for sustained progress.
The report of the training course can be downloaded here.
January 2013: Training Course, Bubaque, Guinea Bissau
The Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative organized together with the Organização para a Defesa e Desenvolvimento das Zonas Húmidas (ODZH) a training course in capacity building in Bubaque, Guineas Bissau on 12-19 January 2013. The lead trainer Paulo Catry and the national organizers Joãozinho Sá and Hamilton Monteiro were using the WOW Flyway Training Kit and the ONCFS kit to teach 16 trainees monitoring exercises and theoretical contents about flyways, migratory birds, ecology and more.
Additionally field exercises were carried out where the trainees learned to handle the necessary field equipment and to identify and count migratory bird species. The training course report by the lead trainer Paulo Catry which includes recommendations on training and conservation issues can be downloaded here and the ODZH technical report (in French) can be obtained here.
December 2012: Regional Monitoring Training Course, Diawling, Mauritania
Regional training course ‘Monitoring waterbirds and wetlands along the west coast of Africa’ Parc National du Diawling, Mauritania.
From 4-6 December 2012, Mauritania’s Diawling National Park hosted the first regional training course of the West African coastal zone flyways partnership between BirdLife International, Wetlands International and the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative (WSFI). The 30 participants were drawn from a range of Mauritanian agencies, plus government and NGO reps from Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde, as well as international resource persons.
The 3-day course was practical in nature and focused on preparing participants for monitoring the coastal wetlands of West Africa. The main elements included the identification and counting of waterbirds, site inventory and site monitoring, including identifying and recording threats. The training culminated in a practical exercise of field monitoring in a specified area of Diawling, with participants forming monitoring teams themselves, delegating team coordinators and sharing tasks. After this exercise a thorough review of results with all participants took place.
A raging fire in the extensive Typha beds of the park added excitement to the course, and underlined the importance of monitoring in changing environments and accounting for threats. The fire, for instance, presented immediate threats to wildlife and villages, whilst the extensive Typha itself presents a more serious longer-term threat to the ecological integrity of the Senegal Delta.
In follow-up to the training, grants are being provided to countries to assist in carrying out monitoring in January 2013, whilst a major ‘total waterbird count’ is planned for the coastal zone in January 2014. Meanwhile, national training courses will take place in early 2013 in Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Senegal.
Participants found the course to be very useful, and relevant to their work. Zein el Abidin, Conservator of Diawling, considers waterbirds to be strong bio-indicators of the health of wetlands, which are by themselves very important for biodiversity and poverty alleviation.
The training course and other activities are financed primarily by the MAVA Foundation and the governments of Germany and the Netherlands. The organisers wish to thank these supporters, as well as the Mauritanian government for their organisational support, notably the Director of the Diawling National Park.
June 2012: Linking Methods and People, Dakar, Senegal
A successful West-Africa Regional monitoring workshop for Wadden Sea birds in Dakar. From the migratory birds’ perspective, the Wadden Sea is a crucial part of the meta-ecosystem that stretches from its arctic breeding grounds to the wintering areas in West-Africa and even further South. From the Wadden Sea perspective, the role of millions of migratory birds visiting the area during their live-cycle, are crucial to a healthy Wadden Sea ecosystem.
The Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative (WSFI) aims to improve conservation management of both the Wadden Sea and its migratory birds, by enhancing cooperation along the flyway. An important basis for evidence-based conservation management is up-to-date knowledge on bottlenecks along the flyway, the critical phase in the birds’ yearly cycle, and general population trends. Therefore, one of the projects under the umbrella of the WSFI is to establish an International Monitoring Framework for Wadden Sea waterbird populations. Key elements for this framework already exist, but gaps need to be filled and different initiatives to be linked.
Cooperation between the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative, and the West-African ‘Conservation of Migratory Birds’ project of BirdLife International and Wetlands International proves to be succesful. During the first regional monitoring workshop in Dakar, 19-21 June 2012, NGO and Governmental parties from Mauritania to Sierra Leone, where brought together, to work on a regional monitoring strategy. A big step forward is taken by combining the West-African waterbird census of Wetlands International to the Important Bird Area (IBA) Species, Pressure and Site monitoring methodology of BirdLife International. The BirdLife International idea of Local Caretaker Groups is incorporated in the programme. Local people will be trained to carrying out the monitoring, thus aiming to make it a more sustainable regional activity. This new monitoring system for the West-African region can be used as an early warning for Wadden Sea bird populations and ecosystems along the flyway.
May 2012: Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative at the AEWA/MOP5
The Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative (WSFI) has been presented at the 5th Meeting of the Parties of the 'The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds' (AEWA) in La Rochelle, France, on 15 May 2012.
The Wadden Sea is a crucial stepping stone on the migratory route of millions of birds. Now that the Dutch-German Wadden Sea has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Germany and the Netherlands have an enhanced responsibility to strengthen their cooperation with countries along the East Atlantic Flyway for the conservation of migratory birds. The Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative has thus been launched to put this into action. Two projects have been developed under the Initiative aim to increase capacity for migratory bird conservation and monitoring along the western seaboard of Africa. The projects, which run from 2012 to 2014, are funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Dutch Ministry of Economic affairs, Agriculture and Innovation.
The Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative works in close collaboration with other migratory bird conservation projects and initiatives in West Africa, most notably AEWA and the Conservation of Migratory Birds (CMB) project of Birdlife International and Wetlands International. The aims of the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative are to support the conservation of migratory waterbirds in the region, to obtain more detailed monitoring data and to develop a long-term perspective for the cooperation of the Wadden Sea with countries along the whole flyway.
The speakers of the WSFI side event at the AEWA/MOP5 emphasized the importance of African-European cooperation for the conservation of migratory birds along the East Atlantic Flyway.
February 2012: WSFI and BirdLife CMB project inception meeting in Freetown, Sierra Leone
Under the umbrella of the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative two East Atlantic Flyway projects with a West Africa focus have been launched. As follow up of the UNESCO WHC requests (Seville, 2009) and the recommendations of the international flyway workshop in Wilhelmshaven, March 2011, the German BMU (Federal Ministry for the Environment) started a capacity building and management project in November 2011. The Dutch Ministry of EL&I (Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation) in cooperating with PRW (Project towards a Rich Wadden Sea) launched a project focussing on monitoring and research in March 2012. The Initiative is cooperating with AEWA, BirdLife International, Wetlands International and other organisations active in West Africa.
From the outset both projects have tuned their work plans with regard to specific activities, timing, sites and communication to reach a maximum of synergies. Moreover, the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative started at the same time a close cooperation with the on-going BirdLife International CMB Africa Partnership project to mutually initiate, support and carry out capacity building and monitoring activities with enhanced and more flexible opportunities for delivery.
At an inception meeting in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on 6-7 February 2012 the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative and the CMB project agreed on a close cooperation and adopted a common draft action plan. The meeting also provided an opportunity to contact and interview governmental and NGO representatives of the 7 PRCM (West African Regional Marine and Coastal Conservation Programme) countries with regard to planned activities of the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative.
A side event for a joint presentation of all three involved projects is planned at the AEWA MOP5 (5th Meeting of the Parties) in La Rochelle, 14-18 May 2012. The side event will give good opportunities to highlight the new partnership and to communicate and discuss with West African partners and participants about further implementation of the projects.