In the March newsletter, I talked about the benefits of “good news stories” and highlighted the increase in the global population of Black-faced Spoonbills (which species, incidentally, had a record breeding season nearby to the Secretariat’s office at Namdong Reservoir, raising 150 young). This summer witnessed another success story with the record breeding season for the critically endangered Chinese Crested Tern on the Jiushan Islands off in China, with 25 pairs successfully fledging 16 young, representing a doubling of the population in the last five years. It is particularly encouraging that this was a cooperative endeavor between the Xiangshan local government, Zheijiang Birdwatching Society and Birdlife International, inspired by the intrepid Simba Chan, not to mention other national and international partners involved in the restoration effort. This kind of collaborative model can inspire activities under the newly-formed China Coastal Wetlands Conservation Network, which also aims to bring together government and civil society partners.
I would like to report back on the status of two important decisions from MOP8 in Japan. A Finance Committee to look at sustainable funding options for EAAFP has met several times since January and members are developing some concept and option notes. In addition, preparation for the Independent Review of EAAFP, looking at the governance, structures and mechanisms of the Partnership, is almost complete, with the Terms of Reference finalized and call for consultants underway. 2016 promises to be an important year for EAAFP, leading up to MOP9 in January 2017.
Finally, we are receiving very limited input for the newsletter from partners and so we are considering moving back to a three-monthly schedule. Of course the website and facebook pages will continue to be updated regularly.