Free Flying Wings is a comprehensive conservation program that aims to safeguard the most endangered water birds and their habitats launched by SEE and MCF. With over 100 wetlands that need urgent protection and 24 endangered water birds as its conservation priorities, the program plans to spend the next decade (2016-2026) on building a public conservation network that complements with the government's official system and establishing conservation pilot sites through joint actions initiated by NGOs, enterprises, and the public. It is thus hoped that the program will leverage an input from the government and the public to protect endangered water birds and their habitats in China.
By the end of 2022, it has supported 81 organizations in implementing conservation projects in 117 unprotected areas, safeguarding over 4,000 square kilometers of bird habitats. It has also contributed to the inclusion of 8 sites into the national protected area system, designation of 3 wetlands as internationally important wetland sites, and the establishment of 3 protected areas and 2 wetland parks. The project has collected over 310,000 records of bird surveys, documenting more than 700 bird species. It has recorded over 3,000 threats related to poaching, pollution, and development. Moreover, the project has conducted over 1,400 public participation and science education activities, reaching a cumulative coverage of over 880,000 individuals.