Birds do not recognise international boundaries – attempts to conserve birds in South Africa may be in vein if those same birds, whilst undertaking annual migration or even local movements, fall foul of the plethora of threats facing this group in southern Africa. Recognising this, BirdLife South Africa, with the support of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, has reached out to regional BirdLife partners in with the aim of improving collaboration between BirdLife partners on key conservation issues affecting threatened bird species. Assistance has been provided to partners in the areas of corporate governance, financial and project management as well as proposal development. Partnership development work was not only limited to Zimbabwe with several large, multi-country proposals being completed, focusing on key threats such as attempting to ameliorate the wide ranges of threats decimating the regions declining vulture populations. Work has been undertaken as far afield as Angola and has varied greatly in nature from the development of birding tourism development in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe to the drafting of legislation to protect avifauna in Mozambique. A key funder of the partner development work in southern Africa is the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Partner development in southern Africa
The East Atlantic Flyway Initiative
In addition to providing support to BirdLife partners in the region, BirdLife South Africa has volunteered to be a member of the East Atlantic Flyway Task Force. The taskforce has been mandated to consult with BirdLife partners and plan, help fundraise for and coordinate the implementation of the initiative across the regions. In addition, the taskforce coordinates stakeholders undertaking monitoring work on the flyway and collaborates with existing programmes such as the Arctic Migratory Bird and Wadden Sea Flyway initiatives. BirdLife South Africa has played an instrumental role in the development of policy documents as well as a framework for the initiative and the coordination of activities amongst BirdLife partners in the southern hemisphere.