CMS is pleased to welcome the Dominican Republic as the 125thParty to the Convention with effect from today. The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern part of the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles and has one of the region’s most varied climates, with rain forest conditions prevailing in the coastal and lowland areas. The island is prone to hurricanes which are most likely to occur from August to October, and was badly affected by Hurricane Maria in September this year.
Chimpanzees - which share some 99 per cent of their DNA with us - are in trouble, despite national protection efforts across Africa, says the world-renowned conservationist Ian Redmond. “Although our zoological next of kin with the widest distribution of any ape apart from ourselves, they are an endangered species. Most are declining in number - victims of habitat loss and poaching - and have been extirpated in at least three, possibly five other countries,” he said.
Representatives of governments attending the year’s foremost wildlife summit have today taken a major step towards agreeing to strengthen measures for the conservation of a wide range of migratory species. The Conference of the Parties has today given the green light to add a number of endangered animals to the two Appendices of the Convention. Listing on Appendix I requires governments of Parties to protect the species while Appendix II calls for international cooperation to ensure that the conservation status of a species is favourable.
UN Environment’s Executive Director, Erik Solheim conveyed an upbeat message when he addressed delegates on the third day of the CMS Conference of Parties. On the prospects for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, his final rallying cry echoed Barack Obama’s election slogan “Yes We Can”.
Last month, an international team of scientists and explorers reported an unusual find: two large chunks of polystyrene lyingon ice floes in a previously inaccessible part of the Arctic Ocean. The surprise discovery – hundreds of miles from land – is the first time plastic debris had been recorded in the area, which is usually covered in sea ice. Tim Gordon, the expedition’s lead scientist, said it confirmed just how far plastic pollution had reached.
At a ceremony held during the CMS COP and presided over by CMS Executive Secretary, Bradnee Chambers, four countries became members of CMS Memoranda of Understanding while the WWF and the Peregrine Trust became cooperating partners to the Sharks MOU and Raptors MOU respectively. Burkina Faso signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia becoming the 58th Signatory to do so.
The giraffe may be given international protection under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), which meets next week in Manila, the Philippines. Reaching up to six metres tall, Africa’s graceful giants are the world’s tallest animals and once roamed throughout the continent’s savannah regions in large herds. Today, giraffe live under threat in fragmented populations across sub-Saharan Africa. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), numbers have plunged by almost 40 per cent over the past 30 years.
TRACKS – the Inflight Magazine for CMS COP12, now available as extended online version
The extended, online version of the COP12 “inflight magazine”, TRACKS is now available on the CMS website. It contains all the material in the printed edition which was distributed to all COP12 delegates as well as some additional features, articles and stories.