The annual meeting of the European International Working Group on the Management of Geese under the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds AEWA will be held in Helsinki from 21 to 23 June 2022. AEWA and its groups Individual Species Working Group (ISWG) are important for Finland in terms of the protection and sustainable use of migratory waterbirds and coastal birds in Finland.
The meeting will review the most recent data on goose population trends and decide on possible further action regarding populations under the mandate of the European Goose Management Platform.
With regard to barnacle geese, the subjects that will be discussed include the impacts of their shooting under derogation on the development of different populations. For bean goose, greylag goose and pink-legged goose, member countries where they are hunted will agree on future hunting quotas. In Finland, the bean goose and greylag goose are considered game bird species. The majority of bean geese breeding in Finland belong to the taiga bean goose subspecies, for which an international management plan has been introduced. In October-November, large numbers of tundra geese also migrate through southeastern Finland. Topics to be discussed also include damage to agriculture, the task force’s budget for next year, and monitoring and research needs.
The meeting is co-organized by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The Finnish delegation is made up of the members of the working group from the ministries, the Finnish Wildlife Agency and the Center for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Northern Ostrobothnia, as well as experts and stakeholder representatives from the Finnish Environment Institute, the Finnish Natural Resources Institute, the Centers for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Southwest Finland and North Karelia, the University of Turku, the Association of Finnish Hunters and BirdLife Finland.
Collaboration to create a mechanism for sustainable management and exploitation of goose populations
The European Goose Management Platform is an important step forward in international cooperation to protect migratory birds and ensure sustainable hunting. The species concerned by his work include both species in decline and those whose abundance is increasing.
The working group is composed of state representatives and state-appointed experts from 16 countries. The European Commission and the main European stakeholder organizations in the fields of nature conservation, hunting and agriculture are also involved in the work. The objective of the cooperation is to maintain a favorable conservation status of goose populations while reducing, for example, the serious damage caused by certain species to agriculture and the risks for aviation.
What is AEWA?
The purpose of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds AEWA is to promote the conservation of waterbirds and their habitats throughout their migratory range, i.e. breeding, stopover and wintering sites. The agreement is administered by the United Nations Environment Program UNEP. As far as Finland is concerned, it applies both to species protected under the Nature Conservation Act and to all waterfowl considered game which may be hunted.
Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of the Environment