More than 125 countries have given the green light to a higher conservation status for migratory species.
The Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP12) in Manila, the Philippines, which concluded on 28 October 2017, achieved ground-breaking successes in species conservation. Over thirty new animal and subspecies were added to the CMS Appendices and will thus receive protection under the international convention. These include endangered species such as the giraffe, leopard, lion and chimpanzee. The African wild ass, which is critically endangered and of which there are approximately only 200 remaining in the dry regions of North East Africa, will be afforded complete protection. The convention is paying greater attention to African carnivores. Through a joint Africa-wide initiative led by CMS and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), concrete steps will be taken to protect the leopard, lion, wild dog and cheetah. Shark species in sharp decline such as the angelshark and the whale shark will receive greater protection in future.
Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks commented, "The at times hard negotiations that the German delegation reported on, have shown that there is a high level of interest worldwide in animal species. The conservation status has been successfully increased for many species. To this end, the outcomes in Manila will strengthen cooperation on global species conservation. I strongly believe that these outcomes have laid the foundations for many promising implementation projects and conservation measures."
Other important decisions taken at the conference include:
- The establishment of a compliance review mechanism for the convention. In addition to the Parties and the Secretariat, NGOs can also submit potential breaches to be reviewed.
- Measures for the prevention and reduction of underwater noise - whales and dolphins will benefit in particular from these.
- New activities to combat the illegal taking or killing of birds.
Background on the CMS
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) was signed in 1979 in Bonn by the first Parties and has since been known as the Bonn Convention. The CMS Secretariat is also located in Bonn. 125 countries and the EU are Parties to the convention. A Conference of the Parties takes place every three years – this year it was held in Asia for the first time. Migratory species that moves across and beyond borders and continents require international cooperation to effectively combat the wide range of dangers they face.