In 2021, BirdLife International partnered with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership to develop a long-term ‘Regional Flyway Initiative’ to protect, manage and restore at least 50 priority wetlands across ten Asian countries, with an initial financing commitment of $3 billion from the ADB. The initiative will build upon ongoing activities in the region through partnerships with key stakeholders such as national governments, civil society, development agencies and the private sector. This partnership will work together to conserve biodiversity; maximise economic and social benefits; invest in nature-positive, socially-inclusive development; and tackle climate change. This innovative, large-scale approach, in which the benefits of nature are internationally recognised and integrated into decision-making across society, is key to conserving widely dispersed but interconnected sites.
The East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) is a major migratory corridor used by more than 500 bird species across 22 countries. The flyway’s wetlands provide habitat for an estimated 50 million migratory birds, and deliver essential ecosystem services such as flood regulation, food (through fisheries), water resources and livelihoods to millions of people in the Asia-Pacific region. However, many of these wetlands are under substantial pressure from agriculture, unsustainable development and climate change. Migratory species connect diverse wetland ecosystems across national borders, so conservation of these wetlands requires coordinated action.
In 2021, BirdLife International partnered with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the EAAF Partnership to develop a long-term ‘Regional Flyway Initiative’ (RFI). Building on ongoing activities in the region, the RFI will mobilise large-scale financing to support the protection, sustainable management and restoration of at least 50 priority wetlands across ten Asian countries, with an initial financing commitment of $3 billion from the ADB. This will be achieved through an innovative blended financial model that will mobilise investments from private foundations, government bodies and regional development banks, to ensure integration of nature into the financial structures of the region. Priority wetlands will be identified in consultation with key stakeholders, focussing on sites that deliver ecosystem services, support livelihoods, and protect migratory waterbirds. Investment concepts will then be prepared for discussion and consideration for full project development. Local communities will be actively involved at all stages of the project, with a particular focus on women, indigenous people and youth. It is expected that investments to protect and manage these critical wetland sites in the EAAF through the initiative will conserve biodiversity; maximise economic and social benefits; promote nature-positive, socially-inclusive development; and tackle climate change.
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Compiled: 2022 Last updated: 2022
BirdLife International (2022) Scaling up wetland conservation in the East Asian Australasian Flyway by mainstreaming the flyway approach across regional and national agendas. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/09/2023