19. December 2009

Wexford Declaration

The Wexford Declaration on the conservation of the Greenland White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons flavirostris)

REALISING THAT the entire world population of the Greenland White-fronted Goose breeds in Greenland and winters in Ireland and the United Kingdom and that a significant proportion migrates through Iceland;

AWARE THAT the world population of the Greenland White-fronted Goose currently numbers only 30,000 individuals with about two thirds of this total wintering in two localities, and that within the last decade the population has numbered less than 18,000 individuals;

CONSCIOUS THAT individual Greenland White-fronted Geese exhibit a high degree of site fidelity, and that during recent years the disappearance of some local populations have caused a retraction of the traditional range and that other flocks remain vulnerable;

NOTING THAT many natural and semi-natural habitats, used by Greenland White-fronted Geese are threatened by loss, degradation particularly on their staging and on their wintering areas, and that uncontrolled hunting of the Greenland White-fronted Goose occurs while on migration;

AND FURTHER NOTING THAT the characteristic breeding biology and social behaviour of the Greenland White-fronted Goose, indicates vulnerability compared to other geese;

WELCOMING recent increases in some sections of the population and noting recent ecological adaptability of the bird;

TAKING ACCOUNT of the draft International Conservation Plan discussed at the Wexford Workshop in March 1992;

RECOGNISING THAT Greenland, Iceland, Ireland and the United Kingdom must take joint and equal responsibility for the conservation of the Greenland White-fronted Goose and recognising that farmers, hunters and conservation organisations have a role to play in achieving this objective;

The participants at the Greenland White-fronted Goose Workshop adopted the Declaration and recommended the following actions:

1. That Greenland, Iceland, Ireland and the United Kingdom agree and implement long-term co-operative measures, including an International Plan for the conservation of the Greenland White-fronted Goose.

2. That Greenland, Iceland, Ireland and the United Kingdom develop and implement national conservation plans including site plans or statements for the Greenland White-fronted Goose.

3. That Ireland and the United Kingdom take further steps, where necessary, to protect wintering areas and in particular traditional ones, of the Greenland White-fronted Goose.

4. That Greenland, Iceland, Ireland and the United Kingdom work to achieve closer integration between environmental policies and human uses, especially agriculture.

5. That Greenland, Iceland, Ireland and United Kingdom ensure that any hunting is carried out at a sustainable and equitable level taking account of the influence of disturbance so that the survival and distribution of the population are not jeopardised.

6. That Greenland be congratulated on the listing of exceptionally extensive areas of the breeding range under the Ramsar Convention.

7. That Ireland be congratulated for bringing together the range states and other interested parties and for offering to act as co-ordinator for follow-up action.

Wexford, Ireland
6th March 1992

Following a meeting between representatives of the range states of the Greenland White-fronted Goose at the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention at Montreux in June 1990, the first International Workshop on the conservation of the Greenland White-fronted Goose was held in Wexford, Ireland, from 4-6 March 1992 and was organised  by the National Parks & Wildlife Service of the Office of Public Works in Ireland in association with the International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau (IWRB).  The workshop which discussed a draft international plan for the conservation of the Greenland White-fronted Goose was attended by 50 specialists, including representatives of governments, international bodies and non-governmental organisations from each of the range states.