HRH Prince Charles © Dougie Barnett Photography
Bonn, 24 March 2014 - The Executive Secretary of CMS, Dr. Bradnee Chambers, had the rare honour of meeting HRH Prince Charles at Clarence House, the Prince’s official residence, in London on 18 March. Prince Charles is a well-known conservationist and leader of several important internationally initiatives on sustainability including many of those related to migratory species and wildlife. His Royal Highness invited Dr. Chambers and CMS Ambassador Stanley Johnston to discuss issues related to the Convention and its work.
“It was a terrific chance to meet a very influential person who plays a catalytic role in wildlife protection. CMS is less well-known by the public and even some policymakers than CITES and CBD, so it was a chance to explain the importance of CMS in relation to some of the issues in which the prince takes an interest including illegal wildlife trade, poaching, illegal bird trapping and other important conservation questions”, said Chambers. Chambers took the opportunity to explain some of the work that CMS does. The London Declaration on Illegal Wildlife Trade which was agreed last month by several key governments at a meeting over which Prince Charles presided, could be a catalyst for CMS to work with these countries and complement the work of CITES which focuses on the trade aspects. In fact, countries are already required to carry out many of the actions set out in the annex under their obligations as Parties tor CMS.
During the hour-long audience, Prince Charles raised a number of other issues of concern, such as illegal bird trapping in a number of Mediterranean countries. The Executive Secretary and CMS Ambassador were able to brief the prince on the measures that CMS and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) have recently been taking such as convening a workshop in November in Bonn that brought Egypt and Libya in one place with some range states to try to address the issue through an agreed action plan and the formation of an international task force. The Executive Secretary explained that the CMS also has a draft action plan on land birds which would be presented to this year’s COP in Quito, Ecuador and that it was expected that the Parties to CMS would consider a draft resolution on the illegal trapping of birds.
Another bird-related issue in which the prince has long taken an interest is the conservation of albatrosses. In 2002 COP7 in Bonn, His Royal Highness sent a welcoming address where he hailed the new Agreement on the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels (ACAP). He was pleased to learn that the Agreement now has 13 states as Parties and encouraged CMS to increase the membership further. He also recognized the challenge of working with fishing fleets to get practical solution and implementable technologies to mitigate the bird mortality from getting trapped in the gill, trawls and long line fishing nets.
The CMS hopes to be able to involve the prince in its work and help it raise more public awareness, increase its membership and also that of its daughter agreements and work towards concrete actions to achieve the conservation of some of the most endangered and vulnerable species.
Photo credit: His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales addressing the Waterbirds Around the World Conference on 7 April 2004. (Photo: Dougie Barnett Photography)
Last updated on 04 April 2014