Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 18 No. 12
Wednesday, 18 September 2002
THE SEVENTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE
CONVENTION ON MIGRATORY SPECIES OF WILD ANIMALS:
18-24 SEPTEMBER 2002
The seventh Conference of the Parties (COP-7) to
the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild
Animals (CMS) convenes from 18-24 September 2002, in Bonn, Germany.
CMS COP-7 was preceded by the 11th meeting of the CMS Scientific
Council, held from 14-17 September, and the 24th meeting of the CMS
Standing Committee, which took place on 17 September. It will be
followed by the second Meeting of the Parties (MOP-2) of the
African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), which convenes from
25-27 September. The Global Register of Migratory Species’ (GROMS)
Geographic Information System (GIS) and database training workshop
is scheduled to take place from 20-21 September.
The agenda for COP-7 includes consideration of:
implementation of the CMS Information Management Plan; the proposed
format for national reports; measures to improve the conservation
status of Appendix I species; development and guidelines on the
harmonization of future agreements; review of implementation of the
Strategic Plan for 2000-2005; proposals for amendments to Appendices
I and II; and financial and administrative arrangements.
The agenda for AEWA MOP-2 includes amendments to
the Agreement and Action Plan; a report on the Global Environment
Facility’s (GEF) African-Eurasian Flyway project; AEWA’s
international implementation priorities for 2000-2004; phasing-out
lead shot for waterbird hunting; adoption of the conservation
guidelines; and institutional and financial arrangements.
Participants will also discuss international single species Action
Plans for the Sociable Plover, Great Snipe, Dark-bellied Brent
Goose, and Black-winged Pratincole.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CONVENTION ON MIGRATORY
Migratory species are vulnerable to a wide range
of threats, including habitat shrinkage in breeding areas, excessive
hunting along migration routes, and degradation of their feeding
grounds. In the early 1960s, organizations such as the World
Conservation Union (IUCN) began to highlight the problems associated
with migratory species.
In 1972, the United Nations Conference on the
Human Environment recognized the need for countries to cooperate on
the conservation of animals that migrate across national boundaries
or between areas of national jurisdiction. The West German
government called for negotiation of a convention based on an IUCN
draft, which resulted in the CMS. The Convention was designed to
allow for expansion and revision of commitments and to provide a
framework for the future negotiation of species-specific
sub-agreements that would address the problems unique to particular
migratory species. The CMS, also known as the Bonn Convention, was
adopted in 1979 and entered into force on 1 November 1983. With the
recent accession of Libya to the Convention in June 2002, the CMS
now has 80 Parties.
The CMS recognizes that States must be the
protectors of migratory species that live within or pass through
their national jurisdictions, and aims to conserve terrestrial,
marine and avian migratory species throughout their ranges. The
Convention constitutes a framework through which Parties may act to
conserve migratory species and their habitat by: adopting strict
protection measures for migratory species that have been
characterized as being in danger of extinction throughout all or a
significant portion of their ranges (species listed in Appendix I of
the Convention); concluding agreements for the conservation and
management of migratory species that have an unfavorable
conservation status or would benefit significantly from
international cooperation (species listed in Appendix II); and joint
research and monitoring activities.
At present, more than 85 endangered migratory
species are listed in Appendix I of the Convention, including the
Siberian Crane, White-tailed Eagle, Hawksbill Turtle, Mediterranean
Monk Seal and Dama Gazelle. Parties that are Range States of such
species must endeavor to conserve and, where feasible and
appropriate, restore those habitats that are necessary to remove the
threat of extinction. These States must endeavor to prevent, remove,
compensate for or minimize the adverse effects of activities or
obstacles that impede or prevent migration, and prevent, reduce and
control factors that are endangering or are likely to further
endanger the species. The CMS prohibits the taking of species listed
in Appendix I, although it provides exemptions for scientific
purposes, improvement of propagation or survival of the species,
traditional subsistence use, and extraordinary circumstances.
The CMS provides for the development of
specialized regional agreements for species listed in Appendix II.
To date, six agreements and six memorandums of understanding (MOUs)
have been concluded. The six agreements are the: African-Eurasian
Migratory Waterbirds Agreement (AEWA); Agreement on the Conservation
of Seals in the Wadden Sea; Agreement on Small Cetaceans of the
Baltic and North Seas (ASCOBANS); Agreement on the Conservation of
Bats in Europe (EUROBATS); Agreement on Cetaceans of the
Mediterranean and Black Sea (ACCOBAMS); and Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels. The six MOUs are:
Conservation Measures for the Siberian Crane; Conservation Measures
for the Slender-billed Curlew; Conservation and Management of Marine
Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia;
Conservation Measures for Marine Turtles of the Atlantic Coast of
Africa; Conservation and Management of the
Middle-European Population of the Great Bustard; and the
Conservation and Restoration of the Bukhara Deer. These agreements
and MOUs are open to all Range States of the species, regardless of
whether they are Parties to the Convention.
The operational bodies of the CMS include the
COP, the Standing Committee, the Scientific Council and a
Secretariat provided by UNEP. The COP meets every two-and-a-half to
three years to review and amend Appendices I and II. To date, the
COP has met six times.
COP-5: The fifth meeting of the COP convened
in Geneva, Switzerland, from 10-16 April 1997. COP-5 added 21
species to Appendix I and 22 species to Appendix II, and adopted a
resolution identifying the Lesser Kestrel, Andean Flamingo, Puna
Flamingo, Lesser White-fronted Goose and Mountain Gorilla as species
for concerted actions. It also adopted resolutions endorsing draft
guidelines for the harmonization of future agreements, and detailing
financial and administrative manners. The COP endorsed an Action
Plan for selected migratory birds listed in Appendix I and II,
cooperative actions for Appendix II species, development of an
Action Plan for the Great Cormorant in the African-Eurasian region
and progress on the Agreement on the Conservation and Management of
the Houbara Bustard.
COP-6: The sixth meeting of the COP was held
in Cape Town, South Africa, from 4-16 November 1999. COP-6 adopted
resolutions on: institutional arrangements; financial and
administrative matters; by-catch; information management; Southern
Hemisphere Albatross conservation; and concerted actions for
Appendix I species. Seven species were added to Appendix I,
including six rare birds, as well as manatees of the marine areas of
Panama and Honduras. Thirty-one species were added under Appendix
II, including dolphins of South-East Asia, seven species of petrel,
a number of sturgeon and paddlefish species, and the Whale Shark.
Recommendations were approved on cooperative actions for various
Appendix II species, including Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes, the African
Elephant, Houbara and Great Bustards, and Marine Turtles. Five
additional Range States signed the MOU on the Conservation of Marine
Turtles of the Atlantic Coast of Africa.
AEWA MOP-1: The first Meeting of the Parties
(MOP) of the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) met in Cape
Town, South Africa, from 7-9 November 1999. AEWA MOP-1 established
the permanent AEWA Secretariat and Technical Committee, adopted a
budget for 2000-2002, expanded its Action Plan to include all AEWA
species and adopted Conservation Guidelines.
AGREEMENTS AND MEMORANDUMS OF UNDERSTANDING:
Since COP-6, one agreement and three MOUs have been concluded under
the CMS. The MOU on the Conservation and Management of the
Middle-European Population of the Great Bustard was opened for
signature on 5 October 2000. To date, it has been signed by Hungary,
FYR Macedonia, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Greece, Austria,
Slovakia, Ukraine, Albania and Croatia.
The Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses
and Petrels was opened for signature in Canberra, Australia, on 19
June 2001. The Agreement has been signed by Australia, Brazil,
Chile, France, New Zealand, Peru, the United Kingdom and Spain. It
is expected to enter into force in 2003.
The MOU on the Conservation and Management of
Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East
Asia was concluded in Manila, the Philippines, at a meeting held
from 19-23 June 2001. To date, 11 States have signed the MOU:
Australia, Comoros, Iran, Kenya, Myanmar, the Philippines, Sri
Lanka, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.
The MOU entered into effect on 1 September 2001.
On 16 May 2002 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the
Environment Ministers of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan
signed the MOU for the Conservation and Restoration of the Bukhara
AEWA TECHNICAL COMMITTEES: The AEWA Technical
Committee has met three times since the Agreement entered into
force: in Bonn, Germany, from 23-24 October 2000; Le Sambuc, France,
from 5-7 November 2001; and Arusha, Tanzania, from 27-28 May 2002.
The Committee has considered, inter alia: the GEF Flyway
project; Implementation of the International Implementation
Priorities for 2000-2004; a proposal for a resolution on phasing-out
lead shot for hunting in wetlands; amendments to the Action Plan; a
review of the Conservation Guidelines; and a joint work programme
between the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the CMS and the AEWA.
CMS SCIENTIFIC COUNCIL: The Scientific
Council has met twice since COP-6, in Edinburgh, Scotland, from 2-4
May 2001, and in Bonn from 14-17 September 2002. The Council was
briefed on activities undertaken by the Secretariat and relevant
work of other Conventions. They also considered proposals for
listing various species in Appendices I and II. These were mostly
non-contentious, although information gaps and technical questions
were raised regarding a number of proposals relating to whale
species. The Council arrived at a majority view that it could not
advise the COP to support these specific proposals at this time. It
also reviewed its modus operandi. The Council is expected to
reconvene in 2004.
STANDING COMMITTEE: The 24th meeting of the
CMS Standing Committee took place on Tuesday afternoon, 17 September
2002 to discuss administrative issues.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
OPENING CEREMONY: CMS COP-7 will open at 9:00
am with the signing of the CMS Headquarters Agreement between the
CMS Secretariat and the Federal Republic of Germany in the Plenary
Hall of the Bundeshaus International Congress Centre. Keynote
speakers will include the German Environment Minister Jï¿½rgen Trittin.
The CMS-AEWA joint opening ceremony will then commence at 9:30 am.
PLENARY: The CMS COP-7 Plenary will convene
at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm to discuss administrative matters, including
rules of procedures, elections, agenda, establishment of committees,
and admission of observers. There will also be reports from the
Secretariat, the Standing Committee, the Scientific Council, and the
MOU SIGNING CEREMONY: A number of MOUs
between the CMS Secretariat and other institutions will be signed
during an official ceremony starting at 6:00 pm in the Plenary Hall.