• Kyodo

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A four-day environmental workshop to discuss the preservation of migratory birds and wetlands ended Thursday in Okinawa, with the approval of a new five-year plan that includes surveys on cranes and storks in all their habitats in East Asia in 2004.

The 2001-2005 strategy, approved at the end of the International Workshop for the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy, also includes an action plan designed to protect endangered birds, including the Saunders’ gull and black-faced spoonbill.

Included in the survey on the cranes will be their wintering grounds in Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture.

The new plan, an update of one drawn up in 1996, will be implemented after its final approval in January 2001 at a meeting of the Wetlands International-Asia Pacific, a nonprofit organization working for wetland preservation.

Kojiro Mori, head of the Environment Agency’s Wildlife Division, said people in the Asia-Pacific region are now more conscious of the issue.

“For all the parties concerned, the conservation plan can no longer be ignored,” he said.

The workshop was sponsored by Japan’s Environment Agency, Environment Australia and Wetlands International.

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