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Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP14)

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    23rd Feb, 2024

Context

The 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP14) concluded in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. 

What is the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals?

  • Also known as the Bonn Convention, it is an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme. 
  • It was signed in Bonn, Germany, on 23 June 1979.
  • It provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. 
  • CMS has two Appendices. 
    • Appendix I: It lists endangered migratory species and includes prohibitions regarding the take of these species.
    • Appendix II: It lists species that have an ‘unfavourable conservation status’ (as per the conditions set out in the Convention) and encourages range states to draft range-wide agreements for conservation and management of these species.
  • CMS COP14: It was the first major intergovernmental biodiversity meeting since the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2022.
    • The theme of this conference is “Wildlife Knows No Borders.”

Key-Takeaways of the Conference

  • CMS Appendices: The parties agreed to adopt listing proposals for 14 migratory species and several other resolutions for global wildlife.
    • The 14 species are Eurasian lynx, Peruvian pelican, Pallas’s cat, guanaco, Laulao catfish, Balkan lynx, Lahille’s bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise, Magellanic plover, bearded vulture, Blackchin guitarfish, Bull ray, Lusitanian cownose ray and Gilded catfish.
  • The State of Migratory Species Report 2024identified 399 species that could be listed in either the Appendices of the CMS-listed species. 
  • The Parties also extended ongoing efforts to safeguard species already included in concerted actions, such as the giraffe, antipodean albatross, Atlantic humpback dolphin and others. 
  • Central Asian Flyway for migratory birds: After two decades of efforts, the COP14 played a key role in giving recognition to the Central Asian Flyway for migratory birdsthat stretches from Siberia all the way to the Maldives. 

Central Asian Flyway

  • A flyway is a geographical region within which a number of migratory bird species complete their annual cycle.
  • Countries: The Central Asian Flyway is a major migratory route for birds, covering 30 countries from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean.
    • Of these 30 countries, 11 have come on-board for coordinated efforts to save migratory birds within the Central Asian flyway.
    • These eleven countries are India, Armenia, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Mongolia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
    • Other than these eleven countries, more nations must also come on-board for the formalisation of complete Central Asian Flyway within one single mechanism. 
  • Insects: Observing the insect decline and its potential threats to migratory insectivorous animals, the COP14 also endorsed a new scientific report on the same. 
  • Samarkand Strategic Plan: A new, science-based Samarkand Strategic Plan for Migratory Species for the period 2024-2032. The SPMS Vision Statement sets out Six Goals: improvement of the conservation status of migratory species; maintaianing and restoring the habitats and ranges of migratory species; and eliminating or “significantly” reducing threats affecting migratory species.
  • Bycatch and illegal taking of meat: The meeting of the Parties also saw the strengthening of the mandate to take bycatch and aquatic wild meat. The bycatch and illegal taking of meat is a major concern for small cetaceans such as dolphins, sharks, marine turtles and seabirds.
  • Action plan for aquatic species: The COP also introduced three action plans for aquatic species, such as Hawksbill turtle, Angelshark, Atlantic humpback dolphin were also adopted.
  • Terrestrial species: In case of terrestrial species, new species specific ranges were table such as the transboundary jaguar initiative and the Sahelo-Saharan megafauna, based on the successful initiatives under the CMS Central Asian Mammals Initiative. Action Plans for critically endangered migratory species such as dama gazelle and addax were also included. 
  • Cheetah introduction: Uzbekistan also announced plans to introduce cheetahs in the country. 
  • Zoonotic disease: To address the concerns about zoonotic diseases — diseases transmissible to humans from animal contact — from the COP14, under the leadership of International Union for Conservation of Nature, saw the launch of One Health Central Asia project. 
  • Light pollution: The CMS COP14 also saw new guidelines presented for mitigating the impacts of light pollution on migratory species. It also strengthened measures for illegal and unsustainable killing of migratory species and resolutions and endorsements on climate change and its effects on migratory wildlife. 
  • Global Partnership on Ecological Connectivity: To address the destruction, degradation and fragmentation of natural habitats among wild life, the COP14 took an initiative — Global Partnership on Ecological Connectivity (GPEC) — to “protect and connect natural areas” to ensure that key areas of migratory species are identified, protected and connected. 

Champion Plus

  • The Government of India has been awarded Champion Plus for its contribution to the conservation of migratory birds in the Central Asian Flyway.
  • The Central Asian Flyway encompasses at least 279 populations of 182 migratory waterbird species, including 29 globally threatened and near-threatened species, which breed, migrate, and winter within the region.
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