Pink-footed Geese © Sergey Dereliev, www.dereliev-photography.com

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Guidance on Implementing Adaptive Management through Harvest-related domestic legal regulations

The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) recognizes harvest as a legitimate use of migratory waterbirds. However, harvesting must not hinder populations’ maintenance at, or restoration to, a favourable conservation status (AEWA, Article II.1); and any use of migratory waterbirds must be based on an assessment of the best available knowledge of their ecology and be sustainable for the species as well as for the ecological systems that support them (AEWA, Article III.2(b)).

The AEWA Action Plan (Annex 3 to the Agreement) requires that the sustainable use of certain populations be conducted within the framework of an international species action plan, which endeavours to implement the principles of adaptive harvest. Also, cooperation of Parties is envisaged, to ensure that their hunting legislation implements the principle of sustainable use as envisaged in this Action Plan, taking into account the full geographical range of the waterbird populations concerned and their life history characteristics. Additional Guidance on setting up flyway-level adaptive harvest management is provided in the AEWA Guidelines on Sustainable Harvest of Migratory Waterbirds.

Based on this mandate the development of model legal approaches and provisions concerning setting harvest quotas, season opening/closure and collection of comprehensive harvest data that allow administrations to regulate goose hunting on an annual basis, has been outsourced in 2017, also including:

  • Review of lessons learned from the experience with the Svalbard Pink-footed Goose and the Taiga Bean Goose population management and the approaches taken by existing laws which implement Adaptive Harvest Management; and the
  • Development of legal model approaches/provisions.

The guidance document was presented and adopted at the 7th Meeting of the Parties to AEWA in December 2018. 

Ms Melissa Lewis © provincie Fryslân