Bert Lenten, Executive Secretary, Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Water birds (AEWA)

 Bert Lenten, is the Executive Secretary of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Water birds (AEWA)

He has also been the Acting Deputy Executive Secretary of the Convention on the conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) since July 2009. Currently, he is also strongly involved in CMS. Although AEWA is one of the more recently established Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEA), it has rapidly grown and developed into a very successful and internationally recognized instrument for the trans-boundary, multilateral water bird conservation in the African-Eurasian region. Under Bert Lenten’s leadership, nearly half of the 119 Range States covered by the Agreement area have now joined the AEWA as Contracting Parties.

In 2006, Bert Lenten took the lead in organizing the World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) initiative in close cooperation with CMS, which is a global campaign devoted to celebrating the beauty of migrating birds and for promoting their conservation worldwide. The annual event is one of the most ambitious awareness raising campaigns ever conducted by the AEWA Secretariat and it managed to stimulate 70 unique WMBD activities in 46 countries in 2006 alone. Bert is also one of the founding fathers of the CMS-led Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and the Environment. The Task Force was established to provide a more balanced picture of the role wild birds play in the spread of Avian Influenza.
He has also played a leading role in the development of the African-Eurasian Flyways Project; currently also known as Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project. This US $ 12 million project is currently in the implementation phase. As a Dutch civil servant specialized in forestry and nature conservation, Bert worked for the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality from 1981-2000.

 Mr. Bert Lenten focuses on how the contemporary climate change is affecting migrations patterns, which in turns impacts biodiversity. He explains the area of involvement and the spheres in which the UNEP and CBD work. Mr. Bert then gives an outlook of the major roadblocks faced by the developing countries and the ways to overcome them. He summarizes the dire situation that has recently come about due to the migration of species and their disadvantages. He goes on to tell about a specific example how migration has been successfully averted by the local people in Senegal, which he says can act as an inspiration for our conservational efforts. In the end, Mr. Lenten discusses a program that has been designed to educate communities and make them aware.

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