In 2015, the regional workshop on the International Waterbird Census (IWC) in North Africa was held from the 3rd to the 6th of October in Tunis (Tunisia), after a day spent working on the CEPF project.
It was organized by the "Les Amis des Oiseaux" association in the framework of a regional support programme to IWC and wetland conservation in the Mediterranean initiated by the research centre of Tour du Valat, the French National Game and Wildlife Agency (ONCFS), Wetlands International (WI), the French Ministry of Ecology and MAVA Foundation. Representatives of the IWC national coordinators of four of the five African partners (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt) were present: last-minute administrative difficulties prevented the Egyptian partner from joining the workshop.

Topics of the workshop and future perspectives

After a review of the IWCs carried out by the various countries and of the progress of the project, the participants discussed the preparation of the presentation to be made for the next MOP6 of AEWA as well as proposals for development projects for the network. A number of other topics were also discussed, including data sharing and diffusion, training for observers and trainers, the need to standardise working methods and data analysis, and the future scientific paper to be produced jointly on historical data.
The wintering waterbird count data have finally been compiled into a single database, cleaned of existing errors (errors in site names, coordinates, etc.). This database must now be the subject of a charter signed by all the members, which will define the limits of use.
After two days of intense discussions on these different themes, the workshop participants were also able to take advantage of a short training session on data management and use with the Medwaterbirds online data entry tool and on using data to create GIS maps (with QGIS).
The organisers and participants hope that the network will be able to extend to other Mediterranean countries. The workshop ended in a convivial and productive atmosphere, with a presentation to the AAO's partners in Tunisia and their administrative office.

For more informations, download the report of the workshop.
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