The Executive Director of UNEP, Klaus Töpfer, will
host the eighth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties
to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)
and associated meetings at UNEP HQ in Nairobi from 16 to
25 November 2005, in accordance with the provisions of Article
7 of the Convention. All contracting Parties to the Convention
have already been formally invited to participate in the
Conference. In addition, non-Party States, as well as governmental
and non-governmental national and international organizations
have also been invited to participate in the Conference
as observers. This is expected to be the best attended COP
in the convention’s history. The agenda and, especially,
the round tables and side events will be connected by the
Conference theme “on the move to 2010”, demonstrating
the common objectives we all share to halt or reduce global
biodiversity losses by that date, as agreed by all governments
at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Convention
on Biological Diversity (CBD) three years ago.
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What is a COP
and what is the importance of the COP for the Convention?
The Conference of the Parties is the decision
making organ of the Convention. Every three years, government
representatives of the Parties meet as the Conference of
the Parties (COP), the policy-making organ of the Convention
which reviews the implementation of the Convention, including
Parties’ National Reports, adopts decisions to improve
the way in which the Convention works, and decides on the
level of resources needed by the Secretariat for the next
financial period. The Convention also empowers the COP to:
- review and assess the conservation status of migratory
species and review the progress made towards the conservation
of migratory species, especially those listed in Appendices
I and II;
- make such provision and provide such guidance as may
be necessary to enable the Scientific Council and the
Secretariat to carry out their duties;
- receive and consider any reports presented by the Scientific
Council, the Secretariat, any Party or any standing body
established pursuant to an Agreement (i.e. a regional
Agreement such as EUROBATS or ACCOBAMS);
- make recommendations to the Parties for improving the
effectiveness of the Convention; and decide on any additional
measure that should be taken to implement the objectives
of this Convention.
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of the 8th COP
- The new Strategic Plan for 2006-2011 prepared by the
Standing Committee and a special Working Group under the
Chairmanship of Oliver Biber of Switzerland, together
with options for funding the Conventions work prepared
by a Working Group under Eric Blencowe of UK;
- Proposals to give extra protection to several new species
by amending the Convention to add them to Appendix I and
II including the Gorilla, several African and Latin American
bird and bat species, a few Mediterranean dolphin species
and a number of other species.
- Reports and recommendations from the CMS Standing Committee
and Scientific Council, with the respective chairmanship
of Eric Blencowe and the long-serving Professor Colin
Galbraith (Scottish National Heritage);
- A special session of the COP in English, French and
Arabic to finalise an Agreement on the Asian Houbara Bustard,
which has been under development for more than 15 years,
under the leadership of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- The presentation of a brand-new agreement (Memorandum
of Understanding MoU) to conserve the West African Elephant
(regarded by many as a distinct species).
- An invitation to the Parties to endorse the “Guidelines
on Sustainable Use” (“CBD Addis Ababa Priciples
and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity”)
already agreed by our partner conventions CBD and CITES.
This would send a verbal signal especially to non-Parties
in the developing world, that CMS Parties have tangibly
committed themselves to a balanced approach which fully
recognizes the value of conservation in providing economic
and social benefits to people, especially in poorer areas.
- Proposals to revitalise the “Global Register of
Migratory Species” a pioneering database created
through funding from our host country, Germany, which
now has the potential to act as a key element in the scientific
and capacity building work of the Convention and its Parties.
- Report on Agreements development including the SE Asian
dugong and South Pacific cetaceans.
- A new outreach and communication strategy for CMS,
and the publication in book form of the joint UNEP CMS/Regional
Seas Small Cetacean Review, which is expected to be a
global reference tool for these migratory marine mammals.
- The launch of an innovative fundraising strategy for
CMS an its Family of Agreements focusing on the private
sector and led by a new body to be called “Friends
- Round tables on Saturday 19 November covering the links
between migratory species, climate change and Africa,
including a range of distinguished contributors.
- A special “Partners” evening on Tuesday,
22 November 2005, when the convention’s NGO and
IGO partners have been invited to give presentations on
specific projects which are covering migratory species.
- An exhibition of posters by Parties, Partners and others
on the Conference theme of “On the Move to 2010”.
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