What We Do: Regional Conservation

The Regional Conservation Programme aims to support selected African countries to assess the status of biodiversity (species and ecosystems red listing) and to identify the most important places for these species and ecosystems (Key Biodiversity Areas). The goal is to implement appropriate conservation policies and actions to safeguard these priority sites (Protected and Conserved Areas [OECMs]) and to create a network of key stopover sites used by migratory birds by identifying conservation priorities and increasing capacity for conservation along the Flyway (East Atlantic Flyway Initiative [EAFI]).

Flyway Programme


Migration remains one of the most compelling aspects of the avian world. Twice a year, billions of birds migrate vast distances across the globe. Typically, these journeys follow a predominantly north-south axis, linking breeding grounds in arctic and temperate regions with non-breeding sites in temperate and tropical areas. Many species migrate along broadly similar, well-established routes known as flyways. Research has identified four major flyways, with South Africa part of two.


East Atlantic Flyway Initiative (EAFI)

The East Atlantic Flyway is used by millions of shorebirds and landbirds to migrate from their northern breeding grounds in Eurasia to wintering areas in western and southern Africa. Spanning from the Arctic in the north to Antarctica in the south, and encompassing the coasts of Europe, Africa, and the Americas, the Initiative aims to coordinate conservation efforts that promote the protection of key stopover sites for migratory birds.

European Roller Monitoring

European Roller Tagging (2)_BirdLife South Africa

A flagship species for the Flyway, this research aims to implement a long-term monitoring project of European Rollers throughout southern Africa to better understand their migration route. The project will feed into addressing our knowledge gaps of this species, as identified within the Flyway Action Plan for the European Roller, while promoting flyway-wide approach to conservation


Berg River Estuary

Help us spread the word of migratory birds and all we do to help protect them and their habitats.

Site Protection


Key Biodiversity Areas

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity, including vital habitat for threatened plant and animal species in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. BirdLife South Africa has formed a strategic partnership with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) to initiate a KBA Programme, regionally.

Biodiversity Assessment for Spatial Prioritisation in Africa


Only about 5% of African parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have geospatial biodiversity data that can be used to inform wise land-use decisions and policies, as well as to promote conservation actions. The project aims to support and build capacity in African countries to mobilise foundational biodiversity information on the status, trends and pressures on national biodiversity.

Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures


Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs) are conservation initiatives that achieve the effective conservation of biodiversity outside of protected areas. OECMs recognize that conservation efforts can extend beyond traditional protected areas and emphasize the importance of engaging various stakeholders in conservation initiatives. BirdLife South Africa was part of a 3-year OECM pilot project which aimed to identify and assess possible OECMs in the Western Cape.


Regional Partnership

Regional Strategic Partnership

 BirdLife South Africa, in partnership with six southern African BirdLife partners (Royal Society for Protection of Birds, Namibia Nature Foundation, BirdLife Botswana, Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi, BirdLife Zimbabwe, and BirdLife Zambia), has developed a regional work plan which aims to address regional conservation issues through collaborative efforts while also providing support to build capacity within the region.