International conference on species conservation strives for better protection of the whale shark, the lion, the chimpanzee & co.
"Their Future is our Future – Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People" is the theme of the international conference on species conservation opening on Sunday in Manila, Philippines. The parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) will convene from 22 to 28 October 2017. Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Environment Ministry, will lead the German delegation. On the agenda are well-known species such as the lion, the leopard and the chimpanzee which are to be added to the convention’s scope of protection. The parties are tasked with agreeing action plans or else adopting alternative protective measures for endangered species like the turtle dove, the African wild ass and the whale shark. On Sunday evening, Germany will receive a prize for outstanding achievements in mitigating the conflicts between renewable energies and migratory birds and other migratory species.
Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter remarked: "The Convention on Migratory Species can contribute greatly to the conservation of terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Habitat loss constitutes one of the main threats to 85 percent of the threatened species on the IUCN Red List. Thus, species conservation always implies the protection of habitats and ecosystems. This is also crucial for densely populated Germany with much of its land area used for agriculture."
Threats to migratory species posed by environmental pollution are on the agenda for the opening day. One aim of discussion is to draw up recommendations for the reduction of underwater noise, which affects whales and dolphins, in particular. Another aim is to better protect marine fauna from plastic waste and to reduce terrestrial pollutants. Special focus will be placed on the protection of migratory birds from multiple hazards on their annual migration routes from breeding to wintering grounds – the key issues include tackling bird-trapping and protecting wintering grounds in Africa.
Background on the Convention on Migratory Species
126 countries and the EU are parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). A Conference of the Parties takes place every three years – this year it is being held in Asia for the first time. The German government is one of the staunchest supporters of the convention, also known as the Bonn Convention because it was signed in Bonn and its Secretariat is located there.