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Governments agree to step up action for migratory animals

The 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) COP took place in Quito, Ecuador in November with a record attendance – nearly 1,000 delegates were registered and unprecedented media interest was attracted in part by the High Level Ministerial Panel discussing the two approaches: the rights of nature and the green economy and in part by an agenda packed with interesting topics, staking out CMS’s position as one of the key actors in the international biodiversity field.


Norway, the EU and Monaco presented three proposals for extending the species coverage of the Convention by advocating the addition of the Polar Bear, the Mediterranean populations of Cuvier’s Beaked Whale and the European Eel respectively. The Whale is particularly susceptible to harm from underwater noise, and its inclusion on Appendix I passed with no opposition. Sharks, rays and sawfish accounted for 21 of the 32 species put forward; these mainly frequent tropical waters but there were other species of European interest listed, such as the Great Bustard, all populations of which now appear on Appendix I, and the European Roller.


Sweden joined the ranks of the CMS Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks and both the Czech Republic and Switzerland signed the Birds of Prey MoU, bringing membership of these two instruments to 38 and 48 respectively. The commitment shown by the governments of Germany, Monaco and Australia was recognised at the inaugural Migratory Species Champions Programme event, where certificates were presented to the heads of the national delegations concerned.


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