Unlike many other agreements, AEWA has an integrated recognition of the need for conservation, including the sustainable use of migratory species. This is why it remains a very important agreement for European hunters to cooperate in the management of common migratory bird populations. The agreement focuses on bird species that depend on wetlands for at least part of their life cycle and, in their migratory patterns, cross international borders. It currently comprises 254 species.  AEWA allows countries across Eurasian Africa to cooperate to better preserve and sustainably exploit more than 550 bird populations out of a total of 255 species that are ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle. The Intergovernmental Treaty on the Conservation of Migratory Birds in Africa and Eurasia, signed in The Hague (Netherlands) on 16 June 1995, has a geographical scope span over 119 countries. „AEWA has thus helped to promote international cooperation, which is essential to the protection and sustainable management of migratory bird populations and their habitats across borders,“ said Jacques Trouvilliez, AEWA Executive Secretary. It also contains an exciting new film, launched worldwide on the occasion of the anniversary, which highlights the importance of some critical waterbird sites on the African-Eurasian Flyway. Many species of waterfowl migrate long distances as part of their annual cycles. They need good livestock habitat and networks of suitable sites to help them along their migration routes.
Globally, there are several large Flyway systems that link Arctic and northern breeding areas to more southern wintering or non-breeding areas. In western palaearcrite, waterfowl migrate from eastern Canada and Greenland to the south and central Siberia to the east. These birds move in the fall to the south, through Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East to spend the time of non-reproduction in Africa. Other Flyways connect North America to South America and Central and Eastern Siberia to South Asia, Southeast Asia and Australasia. In all of these regions, efforts are being made to coordinate the conservation of migratory waterfowl and their wetlands internationally. In the Africa-Eurasian region, an intergovernmental treaty supports this process. Parties to the agreement are invited to participate in a wide range of conservation measures outlined in a comprehensive action plan. This detailed plan addresses key issues such as species and habitat conservation, human activities management, research and monitoring, education and information, and implementation.
This action plan forms the basis of the work of the AEWA secretariat and committees. JNCC advises the government on the implementation of AEWA, both in the UK and internationally, and participates in AEWA meetings as technical assistance and advice. JnCC has developed the UK AEWA implementation plan and encourages the implementation of the desirable measures identified in it. To this end, it manages, with a number of other organizations, a series of relevant research and investigations.