Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 18 No. 14
Friday, 20 September 2002
HIGHLIGHTS FROM CMS COP-7
THURSDAY, 19 SEPTEMBER 2002
The Plenary met briefly in the morning to
consider the draft report of the Credentials Committee and admission
of additional NGOs. Following the Plenary, the Committee of the
Whole (COW) met in morning and afternoon sessions to continue
reviewing implementation of the Strategic Plan for 2000-2005,
address measures to improve the conservation status of Appendix I
and II species, and review Article IV agreements (Appendix II
species), the synthesis of Party reports, and the budget. In the
evening, a working group met to consider the Strategic Plan.
Credentials Committee Chair Tatwany briefed the
COP on the Committee’s draft report, noting that the credentials of
33 Parties had been accepted thus far. He indicated that the
Committee would continue to review credentials documents.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
STRATEGIC PLAN FOR 2000-2005: COW Chair
Ignacio invited further comments on the review of implementation of
the Strategic Plan for 2000-2005 (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.10). Reporting on
the work of the Performance Working Group, the UK stated that
specific targets had not been set due to a lack of firm baseline
data. The COW established a working group to refine the Strategic
Plan, improve performance indicators, and agree on a procedure to
review the Plan.
CONSERVATION STATUS OF APPENDIX I AND II SPECIES:
CMS Deputy Executive Secretary Hykle introduced documents on
measures to improve the conservation status of Appendix I and II
species (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.8). John O’Sullivan, Birdlife
International, described progress made on the conservation of the
Ruddy-headed Goose, Houbara Bustard, Great Bustard, Slender-billed
Curlew, Siberian Crane, Aquatic Warbler, Ferruginous Duck,
White-headed Duck, White-winged Flufftail and Blue Swallow. He
stressed the need for increased efforts by Parties regarding the
Humboldt Penguin, Andean Flamingo, Lesser White-fronted Goose and
Lesser Kestrel, and called for more concerted action and the
development of a strategic approach for the coming triennium. He
recalled pending recommendations to list the Black-faced Spoonbill,
the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, and the Chinese-crested Tern in Appendix
William Perrin, CMS Scientific Councillor for
cetaceans and other marine mammals, described concerted action for
the La Plata Dolphin, Marine Otter and Mediterranean Monk Seal. He
recommended expanding the list of species and noted Australia’s
intention to develop a regional agreement for the great whales of
the South Pacific region.
Roseline Beudels, on behalf of Pierre Pfeffer,
CMS Scientific Councillor for terrestrial animals, outlined
concerted action regarding the South Andean Deer and Sahelo-Saharan
Antelopes, and supported adding the Snow Leopard to the list of
species that would benefit from concerted action.
Colin Limpus, CMS Scientific Councillor for
marine turtles, highlighted the impact of commercial fishery
by-catch on marine turtle populations, particularly the Leatherback
and Loggerhead Turtles. He underscored the difficulty of addressing
the cultural use of turtles by coastal communities.
SPAIN noted progress on lowering the populations
of the invasive Ruddy Duck species and called for promoting
conservation projects for the Atlantic Monk Seal. ZIMBABWE stressed
the need for more concrete action on Appendix I species, such as the
Lesser Kestrel, while FINLAND described domestic actions for Lesser
White-fronted Goose conservation. SENEGAL supported concerted
actions for Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes and African Elephants. BENIN,
SAINT LUCIA, NIGERIA and others stressed the need to address the
effect of coastal and beach development on marine turtle
populations. UGANDA noted difficulties in protecting migratory bird
species on private lands. MOROCCO highlighted ongoing rehabilitation
projects for antelope habitats and recommended cooperation for the
implementation of action plans concerning the White-headed Duck and
the Monk Seal. THE ROYAL SOCIETY FOR THE CONSERVATION AND THE
PROTECTION OF BIRDS (RSCPB) highlighted activities relating to
Mediterranean turtles and cetaceans. Scientific Council Chair
Galbraith stressed benefits from cooperative actions and called for
listing of new species. Hykle highlighted consensus on a new
procedure for developing review reports for potential Appendix I and
Delegates established a working group to draft a
resolution on concerted actions for species proposed for Appendix I
and II listing.
REVIEW OF ARTICLE IV AGREEMENTS:
Agreements already concluded: During a review of these
agreements (UNEP/ CMS/Conf.7.9.1), the Secretariat of the Agreement
on the Conservation of Seals in the Wadden Sea noted the development
of a revised Seal Management Plan and drew attention to population
reductions due to a virus outbreak. The EUROBATS Secretariat
welcomed the doubling of its membership to 26 in the past four
years, highlighted the inclusion of an amendable appendix to the
Agreement, and encouraged the conclusion of bats agreements for
other regions. The ASCOBANS Secretariat explained that a recovery
plan had been finalized and opened for signature. The ACCOBAMS
Secretariat highlighted the establishment of sub-regional
coordination units and capacity-building activities.
AUSTRALIA, providing Interim Secretariat
functions for the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and
Petrels, expressed optimism that the Agreement would enter into
force in 2003.
On the 1993 MOU concerning Conservation Measures
for the Siberian Crane, Hykle noted that new, comprehensive
conservation plans were recently developed. He also highlighted that
the 1999 MOU concerning Conservation Measures for Marine Turtles of
the Atlantic Coast of Africa has 19 signatories out of 25 Range
States. He said the success of the 2001 MOU on the Conservation and
Management of Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean
and South-east Asia is dependent on voluntary contributions.
Regarding the 1994 MOU concerning Conservation
Measures for the Slender-billed Curlew, BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL
explained the difficulties encountered in studying this rare bird.
CMS Executive Secretary Müller-Helmbrecht noted that there are
already ten signatories to the 2000 MOU on the Conservation and
Management of the Middle-European Population of the Great Bustard.
He informed delegates that all four Range States have signed the
2002 MOU concerning the Conservation and Restoration of the Bukhara
Deer. Bert Lenten, AEWA Executive Secretary, said that AEWA may
expand to include more species and new regions, but called attention
to its staffing shortage.
Development of future agreements: Regarding
future agreements (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.9.2), SAUDI ARABIA reported
developments relating to the Houbara Bustard, noting planned
meetings to consider a draft agreement. ZIMBABWE raised concern over
falconry. Reporting on developments on the Aquatic Warbler, BIRDLIFE
INTERNATIONAL expressed hope that a draft MOU would be finalized by
the end of 2002. The COW endorsed the convening of a workshop to
finalize the MOU, cooperation with the Secretariat, and a request
for financial assistance.
SOUTH AFRICA reported developments concerning the
Sand Grouse, highlighting ongoing implementation of domestic
conservation plans, and the expected finalization of a MOU by the
end of 2003. GERMANY reiterated the Range States’ commitment
regarding measures on sturgeons, but said that development of a MOU
is deferred until clarification of CITES’ policy on the issue.
Concerning marine turtles, Hykle drew attention to, and the COW
endorsed, ongoing discussions for an instrument on marine turtles of
the Pacific Sea. BANGLADESH suggested increasing financial support
to local communities for using turtle-excluding devices.
On marine mammals, Perrin highlighted, and the
COW endorsed, the Scientific Council’s approval of an action plan on
small cetaceans and manatees in tropical West Africa; a draft
regional agreement on small cetaceans in South-East Asia; and
proposals for training courses and workshops on cetaceans in the
Indian Ocean. GUINEA and others
supported the development of
an instrument for whales and manatees of the West African coast.
BANGLADESH, PAKISTAN and
INDIA called for more attention to
cetaceans of the Bay of Bengal, River Dolphins and Elasmobranch
Dolphins, respectively. AUSTRALIA invited other dugong Range States
to discuss the possibility of a regional instrument.
BELGIUM proposed, and the COW supported, a
meeting of the Sahelo-Saharan Working Group to develop an agreement
on Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes. The COW also endorsed the
development of MOUs for the Saiga Antelope, the Mongolian Gazelle,
and the African Elephant in Western and Central Africa. NIGERIA
called for a workshop on African Elephants. At the suggestion of
Scientific Council Chair Galbraith, the COW requested the Council to
gather more information on bats and to report the findings to COP-8.
SYNTHESIS OF PARTY REPORTS AND PROPOSED FORMAT
FOR NATIONAL REPORTS: Hykle and UNEP/ WCMC introduced documents
on the synthesis of Parties’ reports (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.6.1) and on
the proposed format for national reports (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.6.2). UNEP/WCMC
highlighted the low response rate and lack of information on some
Appendix I species. He noted, inter alia, that the new format
would facilitate harmonization of reports under various conventions,
and would encourage detailed responses. He recommended the inclusion
of detailed guidelines for each section, space for "miscellaneous
comments" and a section on protected areas. MONACO noted, inter
alia, difficulties in listing obstacles to migration, and
suggested adding space to indicate lack of relevance of some issues.
DENMARK, on behalf of the EU, welcomed efforts to standardize
reports and expressed hope that the new format will encourage
Parties to submit regular reports. CHILE welcomed the possibility to
learn about ongoing activities in other countries and within various
agencies. BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL called for conclusions and
proposals on the basis of the information received. The COW approved
31 December 2002 as a deadline to submit reports.
FINANCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS:
Hykle introduced the documents on financial and administrative
matters (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.13.1 Corrigendum and Addendum) and noted a
proposed 38% increase in the triennium budget. He explained that
unlike the budget adopted at COP-6, funding for implementation
measures, conservation measures and agreement development is
included in the core budget, which accounts for a major portion of
the budget increase. He also noted that the budget provides for one
additional staff post. The EU said the proposed increase in budget
is unrealistically high and questioned prioritizing the creation of
a new staff post at the expense of new conservation projects. The
COW established a working group to consider the budget.
The Strategic Plan Working Group met in the
evening, appointing Olivier Biber (Switzerland) as its Chair.
Participants commented on the objectives set out in the Review of
Implementation of the Strategic Plan 2000-2005 (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.10).
Several Parties supported modifying the objective on focusing and
prioritizing conservation actions for migratory species to include a
cross-taxonomic focus and to refer to regional issues and emerging
threats. Parties also discussed merging the objectives on enhancing
global membership in the CMS through targeted promotion of the
Conventionï¿½s aim, and on improving the implementation of the
Convention. Another meeting will be held to consider these matters
IN THE CORRIDORS
The proposed budget increase was brought to the
attention of participants late Thursday, with some questioning such
a significant rise. A budget working group scheduled for Friday
lunchtime seems likely to see delegates call for further
clarification, although a number of participants pointed out that
appropriate financial commitments are essential if the CMS is to
implement its increasingly ambitious agenda. As one delegate
commented, "species proposals arenï¿½t so controversial, but the
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE: The COW will meet in
morning and afternoon sessions to discuss, inter alia: review
of implementation of the Information Management Plan, GROMS,
proposals for amendment of Appendices I and II, institutional
arrangements, and financial and administrative matters.
WORKING GROUP: A Budget Working Group will
meet at lunchtime in the Plenary Hall.