Highlights for Monday, 1 December 2008CMS COP 9 opened today in Rome, Italy. Participants met in plenary in the morning for a high-level opening ceremony and to consider administrative matters as well as reports by Convention and agreement bodies.
During the high-level opening ceremony, statements were made by: James Butler, Deputy Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization; Executive Secretary Hepworth; His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco; Stefania Prestigiacomo, Italian Minister of Environment, Land and Sea; Fabio De Lillo, Environment Counselor to the City of Rome; and Chris Butler-Stroud, International Chief Executive Officer of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS). Delegates also watched a video message by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. Coverage of this high-level ceremony can be found here.
Delegates elected Fernando Espina (Italy) as COP 9 Chair and Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana) as Vice-Chair. Plenary discussed an overview of the Secretariat’s activities, as well as reports by the Depositary, the Standing Committee and the Scientific Council.
The Committee of the Whole (COW), which was chaired by Vice-Chair Oteng-Yeboah, met in the afternoon to discuss three key policy issues: climate change, highly pathogenic avian influenza and migratory marine species.
The first Meeting of the Parties (MOP 1) to the Gorilla Agreement resumed in the late afternoon for a brief session, chaired by MOP 1 Chair Samy Mankoto (UNESCO). Delegates discussed: action plans on the eastern and western lowland gorillas; financial and administrative matters; monitoring and reporting; and establishing the Technical Committee. The two action plans were adopted, and text on the budget was approved. Delegates decided to reconvene the meeting on Wednesday, to adopt revised draft resolutions and discuss remaining pending issues
From left to right: His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, Robert Hepworth (Executive Secretary, CMS), and Stefania Prestigiacomo (Minister for Environment, Land and Sea, Italy).
Muembo Kabemba (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Maria Mbengashe (South Africa)
Michel Perret (France, on behalf of the EU)
Saulo Ceolin (Brazil)
Christiane Paulus (Germany)
Committee of the Whole
Ravandra Bihari Lal (India)
Andrew McNee (Australia)
Ndeye Sene Thiam (Senegal)
Aboubacar Oulare (Guinea)
Nick Davidson (Ramsar Convention)
Marie-Christine Grillo (ACCOBAMS)
Crisantos Obama (Equatorial Guinea)
Ian Redmond (GRASP)
Germain Kombo (Congo)