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Celebrating 25 Years of AEWA

The United Nations Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer. It has its headquarters here in Germany’s United Nations City.

AEWA’s aim is to protect migratory waterbirds such as ducks, geese, flamingos, cranes, gulls, swans, storks and waders as well as their specific habitats across the borders. It is the largest legally binding agreement under the umbrella of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 

Migratory birds travel long distances across countries and continents between their breeding and wintering grounds. A growing world population, urbanization, pollution, illegal hunting, obstacles such as power lines and unsustainable use threaten the species and cause the loss of many natural habitats. Climate change is increasingly affecting migration routes, timing of migration and individual habitats.

A treaty for the protection of these species and habitats was born in summer 1995, when 54 governments signed the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds at a negotiation meeting in the Netherlands.

The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat was established in Bonn in 2000 and is the Agreement’s coordinating body. Executive Secretary of AEWA is Dr. Jacques Trouvilliez. AEWA’s dedicated team is working from Bonn to coordinate many measures for species and habitat protection, as well as research and monitoring or awareness-raising campaigns around the globe.

Mayor Sridharan congratulated AEWA on 25 years of successful work, adding that it was with gratitude that people in Bonn look up to the sky every autumn around UN Day when the common cranes are passing the city on their way to Africa. He thanked AEWA for the tireless efforts to protect them and many other migratory birds!

To mark the 25th Anniversary of the treaty, the AEWA Secretariat has put together a special webpage highlighting the past 25 years of international waterbird conservation under AEWA.  The page also features a new film that has been launched globally in the anniversary year as well as a collection of Anniversary Statements.

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explanations and notes


  • Giacomo Zucca / Bundesstadt Bonn
  • A. Mittelstaedt

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