Barnacle geese in Helsinki on 16th of April 2021

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The annual meeting of the European Goose Management International Working Group under the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds AEWA will be held in Helsinki on 21–23 June 2022. AEWA and its Individual Species Working Groups (ISWG) are important for Finland in terms of the protection and sustainable exploitation of the migratory aquatic and shore birds found in Finland.

The meeting will consider the most recent data on goose population trends and decide on possible further measures with respect to the populations within the mandate of the European Goose Management Platform.

With respect to barnacle goose, the topics to be discussed include the impacts of shooting them under derogations on the development of different populations. For bean goose, greylag goose and pink-footed goose, the member countries where these are being hunted will agree on the future hunting quotas. In Finland, bean goose and greylag goose are counted as game bird species. The majority of the bean geese breeding in Finland are of the subspecies taiga bean goose, for which an international management plan has been introduced. In October-November large numbers of tundra bean goose also migrate across South-East Finland. The topics to be discussed also include damages to agriculture, the budget of the Working Group for the next year and needs for monitoring and research.

The meeting is co-hosted by the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The Finnish delegation consists of the members of the Working Group at the ministries, the Finnish Wildlife Agency and the North Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, and experts and stakeholder representatives from the Finnish Environment Institute, the Natural Resources Institute Finland, the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Southwest Finland and North Karelia, the University of Turku, the Finnish Hunters' Association and BirdLife Finland.

Collaboration aimed to create 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 to ensure sustainable hunting. The species concerned in its work include both species that are declining and ones that are increasing in abundance.

The Working Group is composed of the representatives of the states and experts nominated by them from 16 countries. The European Commission and key European stakeholder organisations in the fields of nature conservation, hunting and agriculture participate in the work as well. The aim of the cooperation is to maintain a favourable conservation status of the goose populations while at the same time reducing e.g. serious damages caused by certain species to agriculture and risks to 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 entire migratory range, i.e. in the breeding, stop-over and wintering sites. The agreement is administered by the UN Environment Programme UNEP. With respect to Finland, it applies both to species that are protected under the Nature Conservation Act and to all aquatic game birds that can be hunted.

Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of the Environment

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