Raptors memorandum of understanding adopted by Central Asian nations

Samarkand, Uzbekistan, February 2024 – The Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan have signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia, marking a significant step forward for raptor conservation across the region. The moment was celebrated in Samarkand during a ceremony attended by Altyn Dala Conservation Initiative staff alongside government and civil society representatives. 

The memorandum serves as an instrument for intergovernmental cooperation under the Bonn Convention, facilitating coordinated action for the conservation of Afro-Eurasian migratory birds of prey throughout their range. Since its inception in 2008, it has been signed by 61 countries. 

However, this positive development is juxtaposed with a sobering new report on the State of the World’s Migratory Species, revealing extensive declines in CMS-listed species, including populations of Steppe Eagle. Despite the challenges highlighted by the report, the commitment of Central Asian signatories to study and protect the region’s birds of prey is a crucial step forward.

Within Kazakhstan, priority next steps include updating data on the numbers of Steppe Eagle and Saker Falcon, strengthening legislative standards to prevent bird of prey fatalities on power lines, intensifying measures against illegal Saker Falcon trade, and investigating the causes behind the decline in the numbers of carrion birds.

We are optimistic that the COP will yield meaningful decisions regarding the countries’ commitments to protect migratory birds, and look forward to ongoing, transboundary cooperation. 

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