Asian Waterbird Conservation Fund

Posted 14 December 2022
© Bingrun ZHU
The Asian Waterbird Conservation Fund (AWCF) was established by WWF-Hong Kong in July 2005 to provide financial support for projects at sites of importance for migratory waterbirds (including seabirds) in Asia of the East Asian – Australasian Flyway (EAAF). In late 2019, the AWCF was reformed and two new grants, the WWF Dr Lew Young Grant and the Asian Flyways Initiative Grant (AFI Grant), were set up to extend the support from the EAAF to the Central Asian Flyway (CAF). The goal of the two new Grants is to support projects on the ground in Asia that will lead to the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the EAAF and CAF, particularly through partnership with the local community at the site.

About the WWF Dr Lew Young Grant

Dr Lew Young was a passionate conservationist dedicated to the conservation of Asia’s wetlands and waterbirds. As part of the WWF-Hong Kong team managing Mai Po Nature Reserve from 1991 to 2008, he was actively involved in the designation of the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site, as well as launched the wetland management training programme and created education programmes for students and visitors.

In 2008, Dr Young was appointed Senior Regional Advisor for Asia and Oceania for the Ramsar Secretariat and provided support on the strategic development and effective implementation of the Convention. Dr Young joined the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership Secretariat as Chief Executive in 2018, during which time he developed the 2019-2028 Strategic Plan and DPR Korea joined both the Ramsar Convention and the Partnership.

On 5 March 2019, Dr. Young passed away while on a work trip to develop conservation actions for the intertidal wetlands of the Yellow Sea in Beijing.

In 2019, WWF-Hong Kong set up the WWF Dr Lew Young Grant in honour of his dedicated work and major contribution to wetland conservation.The maximum amount of the grant is US$10,000 per one-year project.

About the AFI Grant

In 2019, WWF established the Asian Flyways Initiative to coordinate among the various organisations and stakeholders to ensure that both the EAAF and the CAF are conserved so that ecologically connected stepping-stone corridors can be sustained for long-distance migratory birds, and the wetlands are managed for nature and people.

To provide support to the conservation work of wetlands and migratory birds in these two flyways, WWF-Hong Kong established the AFI Grant. The maximum amount is US$5,000 for one-year projects or US$5,000/year for multiple-year projects (2-3 years).

More information about the AFI can be found here.

Supported Projects in the past:

  • Public awareness campaign to enhance the conservation of migratory shorebird and their habitat at Chao Mai Marine National Park, Trang Province, Southern Thailand
  • Capacity Building & Community Based Waterbird Conservation Activity in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh
  • Support of HUN Club's conservation and public awareness activities in W Mongolia

  • Conservation Education on Waterbirds and Habitat with focus on the Inner Gulf of Thailand

  • Capacity Building for Local NGO's on Migratory Shorebirds Conservation in North Sumatra
  • Community-based Initiative in Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and Coastal Wetlands in Nanhui Dongtan, Shanghai, China
  • Community Based Waterbird Monitoring and Conservation in Cox’s Bazar Coastal Areas, Bangladesh.

  • Establishment of Waterbirds Conservation Stewardship through School and Community-based Education and Interpretation
  • Capacity Building for Village Leaders on Migratory Shorebirds Conservation in Sumatra Utara-Indonesia

  • Continued Conservation Education and Public Awareness Activities on Waterbirds and Lake Wetlands at Shengjin Lake in Anhui Province in China.
  • Local Radio for Bird Protection Awareness Raising in Xuan Thuy Ramsar Site, Vietnam.

  • Community Participatory Co-management of Waterbirds and their Habitat through Promotion of Sustainable Behavior and Livelihood in Tumuji Township
  • Migratory Waterbird Conservation and its Habitat in Deli Serdang District Sumatra Utara Province: Phase I
  • Promoting community support and involvement in conservation of the endangered Red-crowned Crane and other rare waterbirds at Hui River National Nature Reserve, Inner Mongolia, China

  • Capacity Building for Waterbird Monitoring at Important Sites along the China Coast
  • Monitoring and community awareness of Critically Endangered Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri wintering at Liangzi lake, Hubei
  • Potential Flyway sites monitoring and raise awareness of local people in The Inner Gulf of Thailand
  • Conservation and sustainable management of migratory waterbird habitat at Dashinchilen Tsagaan Wetlands, Mongolia
  • Enhancing conservation of wetlands critical to threatened waterbird in Southern Negros Occidental, Philippines
  • Involvement of local community in the long term Dauria Transboundary Russian-Mongolian-Chinese Monitoring and Management Waterbirds Network (step first: Russian territory)
  • Significance of West Kamchatka, Russia for waterbirds conservation on East Asian-Australasian Flyway with special focus to shorebirds
  • Management of an important breeding and migration site for waterbirds in Mongolia (Dashinchilen Tsagaan): Phase 2
  • Globally threatened waterbird conservation in the coastal areas of Bangladesh
  • Dongtai Tiaozini Sandbanks Survey and Conservation in Jiangsu Province, China

  • The monitoring and protection propaganda of Baer’s Pochard in Taibai Lake, Jining City, Shandong Province 
  • Waterbirds training, survey, monitoring, and awareness focused on EAAF bird flyway in Malaysia
  • Protecting the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and other shorebirds on Nan Thar Island, Myanmar
  • Conservation and Community Awareness of the Critically Endangered Eastern Subpopulation of Dalmatian Pelicans in Mongolia

  • Training surveyors and protectors of Black-necked Crane in Nianbaoyuze, Qinghai Province 
  • Waterbird conservation through improving public awareness and pasture management of Mongol Daguur Special Protected Area, Mongolia
  • Advocacy and awareness promotion on wetland and migratory waterbirds in Mundok Migratory Bird Reserve Area, DPR Korea
  • Conducting waterbird survey and protection work in the coastal wetland of Jiaozhou Bay National Marine Park, Qingdao, Shandong Province. 
  • Publication of the second edition of “National Wetland Inventory of DPR Korea”  
  • Activities for conservation of great knot in Mundok Migratory Bird Reserve Area, DPR Korea
  • Celebration of “World Migratory Bird Day 2019” in Mundok Migratory Bird Reserve Area, DPR Korea
  • Public awareness raising through edition of documentary film “Mundok Migratory Bird Reserve”·
  • Regional situation analysis on the poaching of migratory birds in Southeast Asia (Myanmar)

WWF Dr. Lew Young Grant
  • Towards an informed conservation action plan for seabirds in the Philippines
AFI Grant
  • Endangered migratory shorebird monitoring, advocacy, and capacity building for local partner at Pantai Cemara, Tanjung Jabung Timur, Jambi, Indonesia
  • Waterbirds training, survey, monitoring, and awareness focused on farmers of agriculture ponds in Banyuasin Peninsular, South Sumatra, Indonesia
  • Nesting ecology and conservation of lesser adjutant stork (Leptoptilos javanicus) in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Nepal
AFI Grant
  • Development of documentary film “Kumya Migratory Bird Reserve”, DPR Korea
  • Conserving Lianyungang’s migratory waterbirds, Jiangsu Province
  • Protecting the spoon-billed sandpiper and other migratory waterbirds through strengthening the capacity building of Local Conservation Groups
  • Understanding the role played by Akshi Beach, Alibag, Maharashtra, West Coast of India and safeguarding the site for migratory shorebirds by developing ethical tourism framework with involvement of the local community

WWF Dr. Lew Young Grant
  • Building capacities for seabird research and conservation in the Philippines
AFI Grant
  • Investigating the threats on the breeding Baer’s Pochard and the related conservation actions in Nanyang Lake, Shandong Province
  • Investigating the population demography and foraging ecology of Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel breeding on Chilbaldo Islet, Republic of Korea

WWF Dr. Lew Young Grant
  • Conserving the Unprotected Wetlands of Teluk Air Tawar-Kuala Muda Coast through Multistakeholder Advocacy, Experiential Training and Community-based Ecotourism for a New Flyway Site
AFI Grant
  • Mapping Migratory Waterbirds Poaching on the East Coast of Aceh Province, Indonesia
  • Conserving Migratory Shorebirds through Monitoring, Habitat Assessment, and Outreach Activities at the Only Spoon-billed Sandpipers Site in Indonesia
The next application deadline will be on 3 Mar 2024.

Application guidelines

Application form

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