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Hong Kong's Mai Po Inner Deep Bay and Singapore's Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve join forces to establish sister wetland sites

To celebrate the World Migratory Bird Day on May 13, Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), National Parks Board of Singapore (NParks), WWF-Hong Kong, and WWF-Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish Mai Po Inner Deep Bay (managed by WWF-Hong Kong) and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (managed by Nparks) as Sister Sites under the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP).
This year’s theme of World Migratory Bird Day is focused on water and its importance for migratory birds. Wetlands are important ecosystems that filter water and provide ecological functions to wildlife and human beings. Hence, securing the integrity of the wetland ecosystem is essential. The four organisations will deepen their collaboration to support the conservation of these wetland sites and the migratory shorebirds that use the sites, maintaining and enhancing the ecological value of the two important wetland sites.
The Mai Po Inner Deep Bay has been recognised as a Wetland of International Importance under the prestigious Ramsar Convention since 1995. First opened in 1993, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve was officially gazetted as a nature reserve in 2002. Both wetlands are ecologically connected as internationally important staging and wintering sites for many species of migratory birds.
This MoU covers several key areas of commitment by all participants, including assisting each other in the continuous development and management of the two sites, the exchange of expertise and training to enhance protection and conservation work, collaboration on future research, management training and public outreach and education, and the cross promotion of the sites, such as through international events.
Dr Leung Siu-fai, Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation said, “Tomorrow is World Migratory Bird Day which aims to raise awareness on the conservation of migratory birds and the wetland habitats they depend on. The conservation of migratory birds especially requires collaboration across the region. The MoU demonstrates that Hong Kong and Singapore are committed to the conservation of wetlands and migratory waterbirds through closer collaboration.”
Ms Nicole Wong, CEO of WWF-Hong Kong said, “WWF-Hong Kong has been managing Mai Po Nature Reserve in collaboration with AFCD since 1983. The MoU with Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve lays the foundations for a future partnership that will improve the management of both wetlands, allow for the exchange of expertise and knowledge, and secure an integrated network of wetland ecosystems for migratory shorebirds.”
Dr Leong Chee Chiew, Commissioner of Parks & Recreation and Executive Director, National Parks, Gardens and Nature Reserves of the National Parks Board of Singapore said, “International cooperation is key to supporting migratory shorebirds as they require multiple refuelling stops on their long-distance travels to roost and feed. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Mai Po Inner Deep Bay serve as two important sites along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. This MoU will strengthen the partnership between the two wetlands, and the National Parks Board will continue building cross-border collaboration on the conservation of wetland sites to protect these shorebirds and their habitats.”
"WWF-Singapore recognises the significance of both these wetlands for migratory birds. This transnational collaboration between NParks, AFCD, WWF-Hong Kong and WWF-Singapore will enable more opportunities for protection and conservation work. We also look forward to amplifying the conservation efforts of habitats and species in these wetlands through our upcoming contribution to educational programmes in Singapore," said Mr R. Raghunathan, CEO of WWF-Singapore.
Black-faced Spoonbill at Mai Po Nature Reserve
© Allen To
Black-faced Spoonbill at Mai Po Nature Reserve
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
© David Li
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

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