The Central Asian Flyway (CAF)
Why in news? The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme/ Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS) had organized a meeting of Range Countries to strengthen conservation efforts for migratory birds and their habitats in the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) in New Delhi.
- The meeting was attended by the eleven countries of CAF region including Armenia, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Mongolia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, besides the Secretariats of CMS, AEWA and Raptors MOU, and representatives of Chief Wildlife Wardens of States, scientific institutions in India, international and national non-governmental organizations, and subject experts.
- The meeting was a critical opportunity for CAF Range States to collaborate and exchange ideas and best practices to ensure the sustainable conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.
- .The formalization of the Central Asian Flyway initiative, was seen as a significant step towards the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.
- The delegates also undertook a field visit to the Sultanpur National Park, Gurugram, Haryana, to understand the management of bird sanctuary and learn the best practices being adopted in India for management of bird sanctuaries.
About Central Asian Flyway:
- The Central Asian Flyway (CAF) covers a large continental area of Eurasia between the Arctic and Indian Oceans and the associated island chains.
- The Flyway comprises several important migration routes of water birds, most of which extend from the northernmost breeding grounds in the Russian Federation (Siberia) to the southernmost non-breeding (wintering) grounds in West and South Asia, the Maldives and the British Indian Ocean Territory.
- The birds on their annual migration cross the borders of several countries. Geographically the flyway region covers 30 countries of North, Central and South Asia and Trans-Caucasus.
- There is an overlap between the CAF and the area of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Water birds (AEWA), which was concluded in 1995, at The Hague, the Netherlands. Sixteen out of the thirty countries encompassed by the CAF are located in the AEWA Agreement Area.
- The CAF covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory water bird species, including 29 globally threatened and near-threatened species, which breed, migrate and winter within the region. Of those populations, over 50 per cent (145 populations) are covered by AEWA.