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Highlights for Tuesday, 2 December 2008

On Tuesday, CMS COP 9 resumed in a plenary session, chaired by meeting Chair Fernando Spina (Italy), to consider reports by CMS agreements, states and partners. In the afternoon, the Committee of the Whole, chaired by Vice-Chair Alfred Oteng-Yeboah (Ghana), met to discuss the 2006-2008 and 2009-2011 budgets and flyway conservation.

CMS Executive Secretary Robert Hepworth introduced the budget for 2009-2011. He noted that the option of a 5.5% increase over the 2006-2008 budget total is a “zero real growth” option that includes contributions from new parties and is adjusted for inflation and other factors. He said this option could include two new junior posts, given the strength of the euro. He pointed out that the second option of a 9% increase per year would include four new posts and a full online reporting system for parties. One regional group requested a 0% increase option.

As an introduction to the flyways discussion, Franz Bairlein, Director of the Institute of Avian Research Vogelwarte Helgoland, Germany, addressed the importance of migratory bird conservation at the flyway level. Douglas Hykle, CMS Senior Advisor, introduced the UNEP-GEF Siberian Crane Wetlands Project, a twenty-million dollar GEF-funded project that is closely associated with the CMS Siberian crane MOU. Claire Mirande, International Crane Foundation, said the Project aims to establish a network of critical sites. Noting that the Project’s GEF support will end in 2009, she called for a long-term funding mechanism. Several national managers of the Siberian Crane Wetlands Project presented national perspectives. Executive Secretary Hepworth then presented a policy paper on future flyways, as well as related policy options included in the resolution on priorities for CMS agreements.

In the evening session of the budget working group, chaired by Paul Delduc (France), many delegates expressed concerns with budget increases, given the current global economic situation. The option of a zero nominal growth budget was mentioned. Others commented that their main concern was being able to justify any increases in the budget, and asked for clarifications on, inter alia, the inflation rate used in calculations, the increased costs of the Secretariat’s information technology services, and changes in staffing costs. Discussions continued into the night.
 
Plenary
Mali
Lamine
Bourama Nigate (Mali)
Lamine Sebogo (IUCN)
Guinea-Bissau
Nigeria
Mahamat Massan Idriss (Chad)
Kaoussou Diombera (Guinea-Bissau)
Fidelis Omeni (Nigeria)
Barry Baker
Harriet Gillett
Barry Baker (CMS Scientific Councilor for by-catch)
Azin Fazeli (Iran)
Pan
Committee of the Whole
Speaker 1
Speaker 2
Speaker 3
Franz Bairlein (Director, Institute of Avian Research Vogelwarte Helgoland, Germany)
Claire Mirande (International Crane Foundation)
Qian Fawen (National Project Manager, UNEP/GEF Siberian Crane Wetlands Project, China)
Awards
Bakytbek Duisekeyev (Kazakhstan - left) receives recognition of his country's participation in the Western/Central Asian Site Network for the Siberian Crane and Other Waterbirds from Robert Hepworth (Executive Secretary, CMS)
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