Wildlife & Biodiversity

Many parties to UNEP CoP not paying arrears, flags document

According to the document, 20 countries did not contribute for three or more years  

By Ishan Kukreti
Published: Wednesday 19 February 2020

Dozens of parties to the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) have not paid mandatory contributions, resulting in thousands of euros in arrears.

The CMS secretariat managed to collect only 2,125,476 euros of such contribution for 2019, though 126 members were mandated to pay 2,611,087 euros. It collected 2,168,022 euros for 2018, short of the mandated 2,559,888 euros, according to a document tabled at the budget session of the 13th Conference of Parties (CoP) to the CMS in Gandhinagar on February 18, 2020.

Contributions from 2018 through November 30, 2019, totalled 4,293,498 euros while 712,175 euros remained unpaid. It included payments pending from before 2015, revealed the document presented by Enkhtuya Sereenen of the secretariat. It read: 

313,290 euros was not paid by 41 parties in 2018, while 398,885 euros remained unpaid by 55 parties in 2019.

Twenty countries did not contribute for three or more years, it added.

The issue of unpaid contribution assumed greater relevance in the wake of the CMS CoP at Philippines in 2017. “At the last CoP, it was decided that countries that have not paid contribution for three years or more would not be able to hold office in any of the Convention bodies such as the scientific group, the working group, etc,” Amy Fraenkel, the convention’s acting executive secretary, told Down to Earth.

On February 18, Senegal delegation raised the issue at the CoP. The west African country has unpaid pledges of 537 euros from 2018 and earlier, and of 275 euros from 2019.

An African delegate, on condition of anonymity, told DTE: “The schedule of the CoP was changed. It was supposed to happen in October and the payments were supposed to be made by March. But they rescheduled the CoP to February and many countries were not able to pay.”

“Because parties have arrears, the Secretariat is unable to fulfill requests for research, capacity-building, etc that feed into implementation to handle biodiversity crisis,” said Erica Lyman, an international wildlife law professor at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.



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