The Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties
to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
“Their Future is Our Future
Sustainable Development for Wildlife & People”
23 - 28
The Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP12) is being held in Manila, the Philippines, from 23 to 28 October 2017 – the first time that the COP will ever have been held in Asia. The COP will be preceded by a High Level Panel (22 October) which will be moderated by a leading international broadcast journalist and will involve dignitaries and celebrities including executives of international organizations and prominent goodwill ambassadors. On the eve of COP, an Award ceremony under the Migratory Species Champion Programme (Champion Night) will be held (22 October). Several governments, organizations and companies will be recognized as Migratory Species Champions for their long-term support to initiatives that benefit migratory species.
The slogan for the Conference is “Their Future is Our Future – Sustainable Development for Wildlife & People”, links to the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the world’s governments in 2015 to end poverty and hunger, improve health and education, combat climate change and protect oceans and forests. The CMS COP will place particular emphasis on the fact that migratory animals provide vital services that satisfy people’s everyday needs – as a source of food and medicine, as pollinators and seed dispersers, and as a means of pest control. Migratory species can also fire our imagination with their majestic presence and beauty and inspire us with their intrepid journeys across deserts and oceans. COP12 presents an opportunity to place the cause of nature conservation centre stage in the wider debate about the future of the planet and the fate of its residents – human and animal. Delegates will be able to highlight the fact that global efforts to reach SDG will and must be beneficial for people and wildlife.
Mr. Bradnee Chambers
Executive Secretary of the Convention on Migratory Species
Some of the main topics which the delegates will be tackling:
Proposals to amend the Convention’s Appendices
It is expected that Parties will put forward a number of proposals to add species to the Appendices – likely candidates are lions and leopards, giraffes and vultures.
Illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory birds
Millions of birds are illegally taken each year – the last COP set up a task force to examine the problem in the Mediterranean region – solutions identified in that region could be applied worldwide.
A Multi-species International Action Plan will be submitted for adoption to prevent a repeat of the catastrophic collapse in vulture numbers that occurred in Asia.
Species Actions Plans for birds
Tailor-made action plans are being drafted for the Yellow-breasted Bunting, the European Turtle Dove, the Far Eastern Curlew and Baer’s Pochard – all pf which have seen alarming declines in recent years.
The Americas Flyway Framework
CMS is involved in this initiative to coordinate conservation work in the Americas complementing other efforts in the African-Eurasian Flyway (AEWA, the Raptors MOU and the Landbird Initiative) and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership.
Along with bycatch and ship strikes, this is one of the major threats to marine fauna, with animals becoming entangled in discarded fishing gear and ingesting plastics.
Guidance will be presented on appropriate environmental impact assessment of activities generating noise in the marine environment.
Swimming with Cetaceans
Cetaceans are fascinating and understandably people want to find out more about them, but while humans want to see cetaceans up close, we must be sure that the feeling is mutual and that swim—with-cetacean programmes are not unwillingly doing more harm than good.
CMS already has an initiative for Central Asian Mammals and now a similar approach is being proposed for African carnivores such as the lion, the cheetah, the wild dog and the leopard.
African Elephant and the African Wild Ass
The plight of elephants being massacred for the ivory of their tusks is well known – but other animals on the continent are also in serious decline.
The Action Plan adopted nearly 20 years ago will be reviewed – with the successes and set-backs assessed and future actions agreed for the antelope and gazelle species of 14 Range States across North Africa.
Such as climate change, bycatch, the conservation implications of animal culture and sustainable boat-based wildlife watching.
Generating clean and reliable energy is absolutely essential to sustainable development but there are risks too – from the cables that transmit the energy and wind turbines if installations are not appropriately located.
Controversy rages over the question of whether trophy hunting can make a useful contribution to conservation – for some species and some localities, it seems that a case can be made.