MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
ON THE CONSERVATION OF SOUTHERN SOUTH AMERICAN
MIGRATORY GRASSLAND BIRD SPECIES AND THEIR HABITATS
The Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development of Argentina
The Vice Ministry of Biodiversity, Natural Resources and Environment of Bolivia
The Ministry of Environment of Paraguay
The Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Agriculture and Fishing of Uruguay
Concerned that the populations of several species of migratory birds inhabiting the grasslands of Southern South America have been subject to a drastic reduction and fragmentation of their habitats and have a delicate state of conservation;
Aware that, according to IUCN, the global conservation status of Numenius borealis and Sporophila zelichi is “Critically Endangered”; that of S. palustris is “Endangered”; that of Alectrurus risora, A. tricolor, S. cinnamomea and Agelaius (Xanthopsar) flavus is “Vulnerable”; and that of Polystictus pectoralis pectoralis, S. hypochroma, S. ruficollis, and Tryngites subruficollis is “Nearly Threatened”;
Noting too that N. borealis, T. subruficollis, A. risora, A. tricolor, S. cinnamomea, S. hypochroma, S. palustris, S. zelichi, and Agelaius (Xanthopsar) flavus have been included on Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) because they are considered endangered and, as a result, CMS Contracting Parties that are Range States of these species must take steps to protect them pursuant to Article III of the Convention;
Noting further that all species mentioned in the preceding paragraph, S. ruficollis and P. pectoralis pectoralis have been included on Appendix II of CMS and, as a result, CMS Contracting Parties that are Range States are to endeavour to conclude agreements where this would benefit the species;
Acknowledging that the species referred to migrate annually between breeding and wintering areas including the grasslands of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay at least during part of the year, and that they depend on the conservation of the habitats found there;
Concerned that the fragmentation of grassland habitats, hunting and illegal capture and/or trade have been the main reasons for the drop in the populations of these species; and
Acknowledging that, although the Range States have endeavoured individually to ensure their conservation, coordinated and concerted actions across the migratory range are still required to prevent the last populations of these birds from disappearing and to improve their conservation status;
DECIDE to work together to improve the conservation status of the species throughout their breeding and wintering ranges. To this end, in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation, they will:
- Provide effective protection for the populations of grassland birds mentioned, and for the habitats upon which their survival depends;
- Develop an Action Plan to protect the species and their habitats, which should guide the conservation actions of the signatories and, which should inter alia include measures to promote co-ordination of these actions, international cooperation, improving the knowledge on these species, management, research, awareness and the exchange of information among the signatories. The Action Plan will be annexed to this Memorandum of Understanding after its endorsement by the first meeting of the signatories;
- Designate respectively in each country a scientific coordinator to serve as a focal point to communicate with the other signatories and to guide the implementation of activities under this Memorandum of Understanding, and communicate the full contact details of this person (and any changes thereto) to the Secretariat;
- Assess the implementation of this Memorandum of Understanding and the Action Plan at regular meetings of representatives of each of the signatories, and persons or organisations technically qualified in the conservation of the species. Such meetings shall be convened by the Secretariat, and hosted by and organised in collaboration with one of the undersigned authorities or a co-operating organisation; and
- Provide to the Secretariat a regular report on their implementation of this Memorandum of Understanding, the format for and the frequency of which will be determined by the first meeting of the signatories. The Secretariat will make available to the signatories the reports received, together with an overview report of progress made to implement the Memorandum of Understanding and the Action Plan. This will be compiled on the basis of all information available.
- This Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement under Article IV, paragraph 4, of CMS and is not legally binding.
- The Action Plan will be an integral part of this Memorandum of Understanding.
- This Memorandum of Understanding is open for signature by representatives of the authorities listed above. It will take effect with three signatures. It will become effective for each subsequent signatory on the date of signature.
- This Memorandum of Understanding will remain open for signature indefinitely, and will remain in effect indefinitely subject to the right of any signatory to terminate its participation by providing one year’s written notice to all other signatories.
- The Memorandum of Understanding, including the Action Plan, may be amended by a consensus of the signatories.
- The original text of this Memorandum of Understanding, in the Spanish and English languages, shall be deposited with the CMS Secretariat, which will act as the depositary. In the event of any discrepancies, the Spanish version will be considered definitive. The working language for all matters related to this Memorandum of Understanding will be Spanish and, for purposes of paragraph 5, English, depending on the Spanish language capacity of the Secretariat.
- The CMS Secretariat will act as the secretariat to this Memorandum of Understanding. It may use the services of any reliable organisation to support the Memorandum’s coordination.
- The implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Action Plan will be subject to the availability of human and financial resources within the respective countries.