Protection of cranes and wetlands through sustainable agriculture in Northeast Asia
Declaration from International Workshop, “Crane Protection and Sustainable Agriculture,” December, 2012
Understanding that we face a global crisis in crane and wetland conservation;
Recognizing that most of the world’s cranes are on a trajectory to extinction, raising concerns around unsustainable agricultural practices, wetland degradation and loss;
Understanding that in concert with wetland conservation, sustainable agricultural development can harmonise the growing need for food production with ensuring a future for wetlands and cranes in an era of climate change and declining food and water security;
Recognizing that the lives of cranes are interwoven with human culture in large part because of their reliance on farmlands, and that cranes and farmers are both vulnerable to uncertain futures, over 100 participants from 11 countries met in Beijing and Yueyang, China, to seek solutions through sustainable agriculture.
Accordingly, participants at the International Workshop “Crane Protection and Sustainable Agriculture” call for the following actions:
• Make wetland protection part of agricultural development;
• Implement agricultural policy to minimize harmful effects such as chemical inputs, soil erosion, water management, fire, and livestock where they affect crane habitats;
• Provide financial and political support to all nature reserves to integrate management of wetlands and cranes with adjacent agricultural lands;
• Identify and disseminate solutions to reduce damage by cranes to crops;
• Minimize conflicts with farmers by increasing roosting and feeding areas to reduce concentration of cranes into a few sites;
• Conduct research to test water and land management programs designed to benefit cranes and farmers, and incorporate results into policy;
• Enact and enforce laws against deliberate and accidental poisoning of water-birds, including cranes;
• Promote crane-related sustainable tourism and cultural activities that provide local economic benefit;
• Increase communication among farmers, government agencies, researchers, reserve managers and consumers regarding experiences with crane conservation in agricultural landscapes locally, regionally and internationally.