Wildlife & Biodiversity

Speakers highlight importance of implementation at CMS CoP 13

Need to redirect synergies on the ground, they said

By Ishan Kukreti
Published: Monday 17 February 2020

Speakers focussed on getting decisions to translate into action on the ground at the high-level session of the United Nation Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals’ (CMS) 13th Conference of Parties in Gandhinagar on February 16, 2020.

The meeting was attended by members of biodiversity-related conventions like Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (CBD).

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar as well as Minister of State in the environment ministry, Babul Supriyo, also attended.     

“The measurement is difficult when dealing with biodiversity, as opposed to measuring levels of ozone. We have to depend on the indicators already developed,” Ivonne Higuero, secretary general, CITES, said.

“We are failing in our endeavour in implementing decisions on the field. There is a need to redirect synergies on the ground. It’s all about the implementation,” John E Scanlon, special envoy of non-profit African Parks, said. 

As an environmental treaty of the United Nations, CMS provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. It brings together the states through which migratory animals pass, the range states, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.

CMS is the only convention that deals with taking or harvesting of species from the wild. 

“As we face the unprecedented crisis of species loss, 2020 is an important year to step up action to conserve species, protect ecosystems and make meaningful progress towards achieving the sustainable development goals,” Joyce Msuya, deputy executive director at the UNEP, said. 

“We must seize every opportunity we have, and the CMS CoP is a critical milestone in enabling biodiversity to flourish on this planet,” she added.

Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention. 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.

Besides establishing obligations for each state joining the Convention, CMS promotes concerted action among the range states of many of these species.

Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. For this reason, the Convention encourages the range states to conclude global or regional agreements.

“CMS is very important for India. The Convention is at an exciting moment of development and the CoP in India will mark the start of increased attention to migratory species and their habitats,” Javadekar said.

“Migratory birds, mammals and aquatic species are increasingly in danger on their migration routes and countries need to work together to protect them.  For India, caring about these species is part of our ethos to protect all animals and natural life on earth. India is very happy to host CMS COP13,” he added.  

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