Participants from 20 countries discussed priority measures for two endangered species

Representatives from over 20 countries and international partner organizations met in Bucharest, Romania during 11-15 November 2019 to attend the 4th Meeting of the AEWA Lesser White-fronted Goose Working Group and 2nd Meeting of the AEWA Red-breasted Goose International Working Group.

Both meetings are kindly being hosted by the Romanian Ministry of Environment at their premises and have been organized in collaboration with our Project “LIFE for Safe Flight” coordinated by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds.

Agenda items included updates on the status and trends of both species as well as on progress made with regard to implementing the respective International Single Species Action Plans adopted under the Agreement. Both groups also discussed and agreed on the most urgent international conservation priorities which will be the focus of fundraising efforts and subsequent implementation during the next four years. Among the important issues discussed were flyway monitoring protocol, results of the ongoing activities in the key range countries funded by the EU Life Project, the prospected impact of climate change on the flyway range and key sites for the species. and the plans for the big autumn survey planned for next autumn in 2020.

The AEWA Red-breasted Goose International Working Group is coordinated by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds and is currently chaired by Ukraine.

The meeting has been organised back-to-back with the Lesser White-fronted Goose IWG and both groups had joined field trip to the The Lake Balta Alba, an SPA and Natura 2000 site for the conservation of Red-breasted Goose, located in the Ramnic Plain in Buzau County. The participants in the field trip, which also included LIFE for Safe Flight partners had the pleasure to witness the first big flocks of Redbreasts – over 2000 Redbreasts had been observed still undisturbed by the hunters and flying in close proximity.

The last day of the meeting of the Red-breasted Goose IWG has been honored with a visit by the new Minister of Environment of Romania, who greeted the participants and the AEWA Secreariat. We hope that the first hand contact of the new Minister in Romania will have a positive boost of the work on and conservation of the Red-breasted Goose in Romania.