Mauritania, Senegal and Russia commit to better cooperation for migratory waterbird conservation

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Park Directors from Mauritania, Senegal and Russia signed an agreement committing them to work together for the sustainable management of migratory waterbirds in critical wetlands within the three countries that are connected by the East-Atlantic Flyway. The agreement was the result of Wetlands International’s ‘From the Arctic to Africa’ initiative to protect waterbirds flying between Africa and the Arctic. The signing took place at a flyway exchange programme that brought representatives from Mauritania and Senegal to the Arctic.

On a visit to Nenetsky State Nature Reserve in Russia, Mr. Daf Sehla Daf the Director of Diawling National Park and Mr. Ibrahima Diop the Director of Djoudj National Park, joined with Mr. Stanislav Zolotoy the Director of Nenetsky to sign a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a formal collaboration between the three parks. The Memorandum was signed on 9 June 2014, witnessed and endorsed by his Excellency Governor of Nenets Autonomous Region Igor Koshin, as well as Wetlands International.


Supporting critical wetlands


Millions of waterbirds migrate each year along the East Atlantic Flyway, spanning an area from the Russian Arctic to South Africa. This flyway is formed by a chain of coastal and inland wetland sites, which the birds use for breeding, staging, moulting, and non-breeding (northern wintering) or as stopover for resting. It includes many internationally important Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance, World Heritage and Natura 2000 sites as well as nationally and locally important wetlands.


Djoudj National Park (Senegal) and Diawling National Park (Mauritania) in the Senegal River Delta are the most important non-breeding and stop over areas on the East Atlantic Flyway south of the Sahara while Nenetsky Nature Reserve in Russia is one of the most important breeding areas. These three critically important wetlands are closely linked through the migratory birds that depend on them.

From the Arctic to Africa initiative

The agreement and exchange visit are part of our From the Arctic to Africa initiative to protect wetlands and waterbirds along the East Atlantic Flyway. In February a three member Russian delegation visited the Djoudj National Park in Senegal and saw the non-breeding areas of migratory birds that breed in the Arctic and learned about local park and water management issues, ongoing restoration efforts and the , role of local communities, including in ecotourism activities.

This June visit by the Senegalese and Mauritanian park directors supported by project managers from Wetlands International to the Nenetsky has given them a new appreciation of the polar habitat that serves as the breeding grounds of their birds – and the need to work together to manage them.

Details of the agreement


The aims of the agreement are to work together to support and contribute to:

  • Sustainable management of waterbird habitats;
  • Monitoring and management of shared migratory bird species for their conservation on the East Atlantic Flyway;
  • Cooperation among relevant countries along the flyway and the implementation of relevant international or regional conventions and partnerships;
  • Joint research activities and share knowledge and experiences on the conservation and management of natural resources.

In order to achieve these ambitions, the parties agreed to:

  • Facilitate exchange visits and the transfer of know-how between experts and site managers
  • Exchange, assess and disseminate the monitoring data collected on migratory birds
  • Seek partnerships with regional, national and international organisations to promote and enhance conservation
  • Explore a sustainable financing mechanism to support activities to implement the agreement


View the Memorandum of Understanding

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Watch the television news story in Russian

Read the news stories in Russian: Story 1, Story 2

News article on the exchange visit to Senegal: Africa website, Russia website

For more information, contact:

Merijn van Leeuwen

Wetlands International Head Office

[email protected]

Tel. +31 318 660910

This initiative is made possible by funding from the Arcadia Fund