Birdlife Partner – The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
African-Eurasian Flyway (AEF)
Part of the £3m RSPB / Birdlife International Flyway Grant
The African-Eurasian Flyway (AEF) is one of the four great global pathways migratory birds use. Stretching from Greenland and the Arctic to southern Africa, the flyway is used by hundreds of millions of land and waterbirds every year, and the habitats within the flyway also support hundreds of non-migratory bird species, many of which are globally threatened. Various human pressures, including habitat destruction and degradation, illegal hunting and trapping and climate change severely impact the flyway.
Working at a flyway scale enables this essential ecological connectivity and builds collaboration across borders, raising our collective ambition, problem-solving together, sharing knowledge and leveraging the power of partnership.
RSPB is the lead partner and will work on the wetlands along the east coast of England, which are of international importance for migratory waterbirds, but many have been degraded or destroyed through ‘reclamation’ for agriculture. Strategic mapping has been carried out to identify sites where habitat restoration or creation might be possible, with Shoreline Management Plans developed. The programme will build on this work by converting these plans and maps into reality, developing a detailed ‘blueprint’ for action. This will involve assessing the political, social and economic context around each site, defining potential non-biodiversity benefits, and working with landowners and other key stakeholders to identify barriers to restoration and ways to overcome these. As a crucial step towards the vision of a greatly enhanced, climate-resilient habitat network along the eastern coastline of England, these interventions will contribute to ongoing efforts to secure natural World Heritage status for this coastline.