Working Group on Flyways

Creation of the Working Group

The Ninth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CMS (COP9) passed two resolutions calling for a review to develop appropriate conservation frameworks/agreements for migratory species to be undertaken during the inter-sessional period to COP10. Resolution 9.2 states that the COP “decides to establish an open-ended working group on global bird flyways within the framework of the Scientific Council to act as a think tank on flyways and frameworks, and tasked with reviewing scientific and technical issues for conservation of migratory birds and their habitats (e.g. UNEP/CMS/Conf.9.27 Future Flyways Policy), and relevant international instruments, initiatives and processes, as the basis for future CMS policy on flyways and contributing to the work on the future shape of CMS”.

Resolution 10.10 “Guidance On Global Flyway Conservation And Options For Policy Arrangements” recognised the excellent work of the Flyways Working Group over the last triennium and “Proposes the continuation of the open-ended Flyways Working Group to review relevant scientific and technical issues, international initiatives and processes, and to provide guidance and input to the conservation and management of flyways at global and flyway level during the intersessional period until COP11, as a basis for CMS policy on flyways; and further requests Parties to provide resources for this work.”


The Flyways Working Group has prepared three major reviews and drafted Resolution 10.10 that was adopted by COP 10 (Nov 2011) during the intersessional period between COP9 and COP10. The first review analyzed the existing CMS and non-CMS administrative arrangements (Review 1); the second covered scientific and technical issues and priority issues related to flyways and management of migratory species and their habitats (Review 2); and the third focussed on future policy options for CMS (Review 3). Updates of the work were presented to the 17th Meeting of the Scientific Council and Future Shape Working Group Meeting.

The group is currently undertaking activities outlined in the Mandate below.


The Flyways Working Group focuses on flyways of all migratory bird species groups covered under CMS: waterbirds, seabirds and land birds (including passerines, raptors, grassland and forest birds).


  • Review relevant scientific and technical issues, international initiatives and processes;
  • Provide guidance and input to the conservation and management of flyways at global and flyway level during the inter-sessional period COP10-COP11;
  • Undertake a review of COP10 resolutions to identify linkages to migratory bird management issues;
  • Develop an integrated work programme for implementation of the Resolution 10.10 and linked activities over the current triennium; and
  • Propose priorities on flyway conservation/management to feed into the draft CMS Strategic Work Plan 2015-2023.

Period of Operation

The Flyways Working Group was set up in late 2009 with activities currently being undertaken in the intersessional period between COP10 and COP11 (2012-14).


Membership should aim to include experts covering all groups of CMS-listed migratory bird species and ensure participation of persons knowledgeable in the interactions of flyways, migratory species and habitat conservation. All members of the Scientific Council are invited to provide representations to the working group. In addition to Councillors, key organizations and invited experts, who can add value to the efforts of the working group, are identified. The number of members should allow the working group to work as effectively as possible.

The working group is chaired by Dr. Taej Mundkur (COP-appointed Scientific Councillor for Asiatic Fauna).


The three reviews carried out by the working group have been published in the CMS Techncial Series, under the title "A Review of Migratory Bird Flyways and Priorities for Management" (CMS Techncial Series Publication No.27), a PDF of which can be accessed here.

Last updated on 16 March 2016