International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau (IWRB)

Bureau international de recherches sur les oiseaux d'eau et les zones humides (BIROE)
Buró Internacional para el Estudio de Aves Acuaticas y de Humedales
Internationales Büro für Wasservogel- und Feuchtgebietforschung
Mezdunarodnoe Bjuro po Izuceniju Vodoplavujuscih Ptic i Vodno-Bolotnyh Ugodij

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1947, London (UK), by BirdLife International, as a specialist group dealing with wildfowl and wildfowl conservation. Reconstituted 1954 as International Wildfowl Research Bureau. Other language titles also used: Bureau international de recherches sur les oiseaux d'eau -- Internationales Büro für Wasservogelforschung -- Buró Internacional para el Estudio de Aves Acuaticas -- Mezdunarodnoe Bjuro po Izuceniju Vodoplavujuscih Ptic. Listed name adopted in 1971. Registered in accordance with UK law. Ceased to exist, Oct 1995, when merged with Asian Wetland Bureau (AWB) and Wetlands for the Americas (WA) to form Wetlands International.


Ensure conservation of wetlands and wetland biodiversity and promote sustainable use; stimulate and coordinate research involving wetland ecosystems which are among the most immediately threatened by modern developments; provide technical support to Ramsar and Bonn Conventions.

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Technical Department stimulates and coordinates activities throughout the world to promote conservation of wetlands and wetland biodiversity. IWRB coordinates research undertaken by national institutes and individual workers; alerts governments and non-governmental bodies to threats of wetland loss. Monitors waterfowl populations, studying: migration; recruitment; mortality; general biology. Collates information on threatened waterbird species and prepares species and group 'Action Plans'. Also concerned with: wetland and waterfowl management: evolution of wetland sites; conservation of individual wetland sites. Carries out detailed investigations on the status, breeding biology, migrations and movements of various species of waterbirds and the causes affecting their numbers. Censuses include 'International Waterfowl Census', which covers over 100 countries. Initiates recovery plans when populations of key species show long-term decline. Trains conservation personnel, organizes meetings and symposia; prepares publications. Organizes numerous symposia and workshops.

Research Groups (22): Duck (including Nordic/Baltic Survey); Diver/Loon; Ecological Change in Wetlands; Economic Assessment of Wetland Functions and values; Education and Public Awareness; Flamingo; Goose; Grebe; Heron; Hunting; Pelican; Seaduck; Storks, Ibises and Spoonbills; Swan; Threatened Waterfowl; Training for Wetland Conservation; Wader; Waterfowl Ecology; Wetland Inventory and Delineation; Wetland Restoration; Wetlands, River Basins and Water Resources Management; Woodcock and Snipe. Several species-oriented research groups are joint groups with ICBP. Several subject-oriented research groups are joint groups with IUCN.

Promotes sustainable use of wetlands and wetland biodiversity, identifies priorities for conservation, stimulates international cooperation and promotes and supports global conservation conventions. This includes provision of advice in relation to international conservation conventions and on research and conservation projects sponsored by other bodies. Currently developing a global partnership with AWB and WA involving pooling resources and enhancing cooperation. Instrumental in drawing up, 1971, Ramsar (Iran), the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar convention), currently administered by the Ramsar Convention Bureau. Representatives of the Ramsar Bureau meet with those of IWRB, IUCN, ICBP and WWF every 6 months to identify areas for cooperation. Assists secretariat of Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention) in extending the draft Western Palaearctic Waterfowl Agreement to include Africa and provides technical support to the proposed Asian/Australasian Waterfowl Agreement under the Bonn Convention.


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English, French, German, Russian, Spanish.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 5 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 7 non-governmental organizations.
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Information Services

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Members in 46 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Birds, Mammals
    • Birds
  • Geography
    • Ecology
    • Land Type/Use
  • Research, Standards
    • Research
  • Development
    • Sustainable Development
  • Conservation
    • Conservation
  • Harmony
    • Diversity

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on Land



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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