In early December 2012, the International Crane Foundation co-organized with Beijing Forestry University an international crane workshop in Beijing and Hunan Province, China. The workshop, “Crane Protection and Sustainable Agriculture,” included side sessions on the Crane Conservation Plan and development of a global cranes and powerlines network. Over 100 participants from ten countries participated in the meetings, which were attended by ICF staff from China, India, Russia, South Africa and the United States.
Following the workshop, the international Crane Specialist Group developed a Call for Action for the “Protection of cranes and wetlands through sustainable agriculture in Northeast Asia.”
Following are the action items outlined in the document (view the full Call to Action):
• 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.