Part 1. Introduction





Black-browed Albatross © Chris Wilson

The Waterbirds around the world Conference was held over a four day period from 4–7 April 2004, at Heriot-Watt Conference Centre, Edinburgh.  The Conference, and subsequent publication of this book, could not have happened without the inputs and support of very many people and organisations – who are fully acknowledged below.
The Conference was opened on Sunday 4 April with presentations from Elliot Morley, MP, UK Minister for the Environment and Agri-Environment; Cees Veerman, The Netherland’s Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality; and Max Finlayson, President of Wetlands International; and John Markland, Chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage.  The concluding session on Wednesday 7April received addresses by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Allan Wilson, MSP, Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development, Scotland.
These presentations are given below together with two introductory papers by the editorial team.  The first reflecting on the origins of modern waterbird conservation as context for the 2004 Conference; whilst the second reviews the flyway concept.
A key output from the Conference was the Edinburgh Declaration (published here in English, French and Spanish).  A draft version of the Declaration was sent to participants before the meeting and debated and revised through the Conference.  A final draft was adopted by consensus in the last session of the Conference.
The format of the Conference was a mix of plenary presentations on major themes (here gathered together in Part 2), together with a programme of 22 technical workshops.  These were held in parallel (with up to four running simultaneously).  For the purposes of publication, the outputs from these workshops have been grouped into four sections: Geographic regions (Part 3), Cross-cutting issues (Part 4), Integrated approaches to waterbird conservation (Part 5); and Waterbirds and people (Part 6).