The African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) Secretariat and Leica Sportoptics have agreed to work together to further develop and strengthen waterbird monitoring across Africa and Eurasia. Under a three-year partnership, Leica Sportoptics will provide financial support to the Waterbird Fund hosted by Wetlands International as well as annual donations of optical equipment to aid waterbird monitoring work in countries along the African-Eurasian Flyways.

“We are delighted to welcome Leica Camera AG as a champion for AEWA waterbird monitoring for the coming three years. We hope that this will be the start of a long and committed relationship and one that will help trigger further, long-term support by the company for the work of the Agreement.”

Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of AEWA.

Waterbird monitoring is a key aspect of the implementation of AEWA, and significant further investment is needed to improve monitoring capacity in all countries that have committed to protecting migratory waterbirds under the treaty.

The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) is an inter-governmental treaty dedicated to the conservation of migratory waterbirds that migrate along the African-Eurasian Flyway. The Agreement covers 255 species of birds ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle.

A total of 84 countries and the European Union have signed the environmental treaty, which has a geographic range covering 119 countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Greenland, and the Canadian Archipelago.

The high-precision optical devices from Leica Sportoptics are predestined for the requirements of AEWA monitoring. With over 100 years of experience in the manufacture of long-range optics and the development of optoelectronic binoculars, Leica Sport Optics products are definitive in innovation and technology. Specially further developed binoculars from the legendary Trinovid product line, which were already on board during the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, are now available for the official use of the AEWA monitoring network. This will ensure the realistic colour reproduction and highest image sharpness required for scientific work in the field of biodiversity.

The waterbird monitoring work under AEWA is coordinated through the African-Eurasian Waterbird Monitoring Partnership, which supports monitoring efforts in many countries across Africa and Eurasia and will also ensure that the donations resulting from this agreement between AEWA and Leica will be allocated according to the defined priorities for waterbird monitoring development that have been agreed by the Contracting Parties to AEWA.

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