UN SUMMIT ON MIGRATORY SPECIES: CMS COP-13
Context: The 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), an environmental treaty under the aegis of United Nations Environment Programme, is going to be hosted by India during 17th to 22nd February 2020 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
The 12th COP of CMS was held in Manila, Philippines from 23rd-28th October 2017 and the First COP of CMS was held in Bonn, Germany from 21 – 26 October 1985.
KEY INFORMATION India, as the host, shall be designated the President for the next three years. The Government of India is Signatory to the Convention on Conservation of Migratory wild Animals (CMS) since 1983. The Government of India has been taking necessary actions to protect and conserve migratory marine species. A total of 7 species that include Dugong, Whale Shark, Marine Turtle (two species), have been identified for preparation of Conservation and Recovery Action Plan. THEME: The theme of CMS COP13 in India is, “Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home.“ LOGO: The CMS COP 13 logo is inspired by ‘Kolam’, a traditional artform from southern India. In the logo of CMS COP-13, Kolam art form is used to depict key migratory species in India like Amur falcon, humpback whale and marine turtles. MASCOT: The mascot for CMS COP13, “Gibi – The Great Indian Bustard” is a critically endangered species which has been accorded the highest protection status under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The Indian sub-continent is also part of the major bird flyway network, i.e, the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) that covers areas between the Arctic and Indian Oceans, and covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory water bird species, including 29 globally threatened species. India is home to several migratory species of wildlife including snow leopard, Amur falcons, bar headed Geese, black necked cranes, marine turtles, dugongs, humpbacked whales, etc. and has signed non-legally binding MOU with CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016). WHAT ARE MIGRATORY SPECIES? Migratory species of wild animals are those species which move from one habitat to another during different times of the year, due to various factors such as food, sunlight, temperature, climate, etc. The movement between habitats, can sometimes exceed thousands of kilometers/miles for some migratory birds and mammals. A migratory route will typically have nesting sites, breeding sites, availability of preferred food and requires the availability of suitable habitat before and after each migration. ABOUT CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES OF WILD ANIMALS The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, also known as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention, is an international agreement that aims to conserve migratory species within their migratory ranges. It is the only global, and United Nations-based, intergovernmental organization established exclusively for the conservation and management of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species. The Agreement was signed in 1979 in Bonn, Germany under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme, the Convention entered into force in 1983. As of September 2019, there were 129 Member States to the Convention. The convention is concerned with conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale. The depositary is the government of the Federal Republic of Germany. COVERAGE OF SPECIES UNDER CMS The CMS Family covers a great diversity of migratory species. The Appendices of CMS include many mammals, including land mammals, marine mammals and bats; birds; fish; reptiles and one insect.
- Appendix I – Threatened Migratory Species: Migratory species which are threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention. Parties that are Range States to Appendix I species are obliged to afford them strict protection. CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them.
- Appendix II – Migratory Species requiring international cooperation: Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. These species, either individually or by taxonomic group, are the basis for establishing instruments – regional or global – under CMS. For this reason, the Convention encourages the Range States to conclude global or regional Agreements.
ABOUT CONFERENCE OF PARTIES OF CMS
The Conference of the Parties (COP) of the CMS acts as its principal decision-making body. It is composed of all States Parties to the Convention, as well as any observers that wish to participate in the proceedings of the Conference. COPs are held at least every three years. The CMS Secretariat acts as the Convention’s coordinating body. The CMS Secretariat is provided and administered by the United Nations Environment Programme. The Secretariat has based in Bonn, Germany since its creation, but was relocated to the United Nations Campus in Bonn in 1998. Additionally, since 2009, the Secretariat also maintains an out-post office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates which oversees implementation of the MOU on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia, and the MOU on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their range. The office is hosted by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi. The current acting Executive Secretary of the Convention is Amy Fraenkel.
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