The Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative: Work Plan 2019-2023

The Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative: Work Plan 2019-2023

The Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI), is a project of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council. AMBI is designed to improve the conservation status and secure the long-term sustainability of declining Arctic breeding migratory bird populations. Through conservation of a shared natural and cultural resource, AMBI will have a positive impact on societies for whom migratory birds are a source of livelihood and spiritual inspiration.

The 2013 Arctic Biodiversity Assessment found that many Arctic migratory species are threatened by overharvest and habitat alteration outside the Arctic, especially birds along the East Asian-Australasian flyway. AMBI provides implementation of Recommendation #8 of the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment to reduce stressors on migratory species range-wide, including habitat degradation and overharvesting on wintering and staging areas and along flyways and other migration routes.

AMBI organizes activities across four flyways:

  • African-Eurasian;
  • Americas;
  • Circumpolar.;
  • East Asian-Australasian.

AMBI has brought together experts from across the globe to develop workplans for each of the above flyways that address priority conservation needs of AMBI priority species in each respective geography. Actions proposed by AMBI are designed to bring added value to ongoing conservation programs, or to address issues that are currently underrepresented. While each of these flyway workplans are intended to stand alone, there are several crosscutting themes that are relevant for all flyways. At an implementation meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland, AMBI representatives and experts identified four cross-cutting actions that need to be implemented in all flyways, and which are reflected in this workplan:

  1. Increase data sharing and standardization along and across flyways,
  2. Assess cumulative effects on Arctic-breeding migratory bird populations including climate change, pollution, shipping, fishing, infrastructure development, habitat loss, and harvest,
  3. Support conservation actions for Arctic-breeding migratory birds in non-Arctic countries through coordinated cooperative efforts with embassies and other diplomatic efforts, including supporting on-going actions and initiatives, and
  4. Support the sharing of experiences and expertise between wetlands that support Arctic-breeding migratory bird populations.

It is important to note that while the plans address certain issues and focal species, AMBI is interested in conservation of all Arctic breeding migratory bird species, and, in future, the species and issues of focus may change as needed to address new or worsening conservation concerns. Indeed, AMBI may take advantage of unexpected opportunities to advance Arctic breeding bird conservation, should they arise.

This document builds on the AMBI Workplan 2015-2019 (referred to in this document as AMBI Phase 1), its mid-term evaluation, and subsequent expert consultation.

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