The WLI manager attended the 14th Pan African Ornithological Congress, in Dakar, Senegal, and focussed on the role of wetland centres, and the importance of maintaining networks amongst conservationists. Particularly important was promoting the Migratory Birds for People network (MBP) as we still have to work hard to involve African partners, to overcome communications challenges such as poor internet access in the region.
Thanks particularly to our West African colleagues Abdoulaye, Geoffroy and Gabin, as well as Tim Dodman, and colleagues from centres at Bijagos and Banc d’Arguin who gave excellent presentations at the Round Table Discussion. The event was well attended and generated useful discussions which revealed:
- A huge range of education and engagement activities taking place at wetland centres and sites
- Lack of trained staff and suitable courses for those working to deliver CEPA activities at wetlands site
- Opportunities to improve networking, training and exchange of good practice
The congress was a great opportunity to make good contacts, promote wetland centres and their activities and develop plans to engage better with partners in Africa. We feel optimistic about working with African partners along the East Atlantic Flyway!