ACSHAP1 Doc 1.13 Final
Secretariat of the Meeting
King Edward Terrace
Parkes, ACT 2601
A meeting to discuss a draft Agreement on the Conservation
of Southern Hemisphere albatrosses and petrels was
held in Hobart, Australia, from 10 to 14 July 2000
at the invitation of the Australian government.
All Range States of Southern Hemisphere albatrosses
and petrels, and distant water fishing nations who
interact with albatrosses on the high seas were invited
to participate in the meeting. The following countries
Argentina New Zealand
Brazil Republic of Korea
Chile South Africa
Indonesia United Kingdom
Namibia United States of America
3. The following international organisations
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic
Marine Living Resources
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory
Species of Wild Animals
Commission for the Conservation of Southern
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation
4. Apologies were received from the following
countries: China, France, Japan, Norway, Poland, Portugal,
Russian Federation, Spain, Ukraine and Uruguay.
AGENDA ITEM 1: WELCOMING REMARKS
The meeting commenced at 10:00 am on Monday, 10 July
2000. Mr Stephen Hunter, Head of Biodiversity Group,
Environment Australia, in his capacity as Provisional
Chairman of the meeting, welcomed the participants.
Mr Hunter introduced the Australian Minister for the
Environment and Heritage, Senator the Hon. Robert
Hill, and invited him to open the meeting.
AGENDA ITEM 2: OFFICIAL OPENING
Senator Hill welcomed the participants to the meeting
and encouraged participating countries to continue
their commitment to albatross conservation. Senator Hill
noted a range of issues impacting on seabird populations,
especially longline fishing activities.
Senator Hill also emphasized the importance of habitat
conservation and measures to mitigate marine pollution.
A number of Australian initiatives were presented
to illustrate methods undertaken to address these
issues. Senator Hill stressed the importance of education
and raising community awareness about seabird conservation.
He also noted that a number of countries had implemented
technologies and measures to reduce the incidental
take of seabirds, in particular albatrosses and petrels.
Senator Hill recognised the actions taken by individual
countries to conserve albatrosses but explained that
in Australia’s view regional cooperation in the form
of an Agreement was required to address effectively
the threats to Southern Hemisphere albatrosses. He
stated the success of this meeting would assist in
ensuring the conservation and protection of albatrosses
for future generations.
Senator Hill acknowledged the commitment that countries
and international organisations had made in sending
delegates to this meeting. He congratulated all countries
on their commitment to albatross conservation to date
and on their interest in this Agreement.
AGENDA ITEM 3: REPORT ON THE BACKGROUND
TO THE PROPOSAL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN AGREEMENT ON THE
CONSERVATION OF SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE ALBATROSS AND PETRELS
10. The Provisional Chairperson of the
Meeting, Mr Stephen Hunter, outlined the factors that have
contributed to the development of a draft regional agreement
on the conservation of Southern Hemisphere albatross and
petrels. Mr Hunter outlined known rates of decline for albatross
and petrel species, and illustrated the current inadequacies
in the availability of information on mortality and threats,
including those from habitat disturbance, fishing and marine
11. Also outlined were existing legally binding
and non-binding instruments that are particularly pertinent,
including the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic
Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the Food and Agricultural
Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)’s International
Plan of Action - Seabirds, (IPOA - Seabirds) and the Convention
for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT). The
benefits of these agreements for the conservation of seabirds
were highlighted. Mr Hunter also noted the limitations of
these agreements and the need for a conservation agreement
that specifically addresses the needs of albatross and petrel
12. The rationale for the development of
the Agreement under the Convention on Migratory Species
of Wild Animals (CMS) was outlined. The history of consultations
in relation to such an agreement was also outlined, including
the 1999 meeting of an ad-hoc committee of Valdivia countries
that had identified an incompleteness of scientific data,
and a need to coordinate action and information exchange
and to monitor risk as key concerns for an effective agreement.
Recent resolutions of the Conference of the Parties of the
CMS encouraging the development of such an agreement were
also noted. Mr Hunter also noted the importance of concluding
a successful agreement for albatrosses and petrels in a
AGENDA ITEM 4: OPENING STATEMENTS
13. All delegations and international organisations
thanked Australia for organising and hosting the meeting,
for providing support for including a wide range of potential
range states and for its initiative in advancing the Albatross
and Petrel Agreement. All participants supported the development
of an Agreement for the conservation of Southern Hemisphere
albatrosses and petrels and the important role of this meeting
in doing so.
14. Argentina recalled that its Government
had objected to the United Kingdom’s extension of the application
of the CMS to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South
Georgia (Islas Georgia del Sur), the South Sandwich Islands
(Islas Sandwich del Sur) and their surrounding maritime
areas. At the same time, the Argentine Government reiterated
its claim to sovereignty over these territories.
15. In response, the United Kingdom stated
that it does not have any doubt of its sovereignty over
the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich
Islands and their surrounding maritime areas.
16. The representatives of both delegations
committed themselves to work constructively within the meeting
and to endeavour to ensure that these issues did not detract
from the objective of advancing the development of the Agreement.
17. The United Kingdom noted the limitations
of existing international instruments in respect of the
conservation measures for albatross and petrel species.
The United Kingdom said there is a clear need for an overarching
agreement and indicated it favours the CMS as an appropriate
18. Brazil stated its interest in the consultations
aimed at finalising this relevant agreement, given that
its territory falls within the range of albatrosses and
petrels. It recalled, inter alia, the active participation
of Brazil in negotiations carried out under the scope of
the FAO with regard to the incidental catch of seabirds
during fishing activities.
19. Chile emphasized the issue of financial
and training mechanisms proposed under the Agreement and
asked that the perspectives of developing countries be recognised.
Chile aspired that the financial system should be based
on voluntary contributions.
20. Peru noted the lack of scientific information
available on the conservation status of albatrosses at a
national level and emphasised the need to prioritise conservation
measures in the Agreement.
21. New Zealand recognised the differences
in capacity between countries and urged the meeting to work
together on an agreement that adopts a cost-effective approach.
New Zealand noted that it had recently acceded to the CMS.
Existing conventions; the present draft agreement; and also
the draft Convention for the Conservation and Management
of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central
Pacific (MHLC) shortly to be concluded, would form an important
web of multilateral agreements covering the regional marine
21. Although not a Party to CMS, Indonesia
expressed an interest in learning from the process of developing
an agreement and expressed a wish to cooperate as much as
22. Namibia indicated that, as it had not
attended previous meetings on the subject, its attendance
is intended to increase its knowledge of the Agreement.
23. Korea emphasised the desirability of
voluntary participation that would result in effective implementation
at a regional level and that conservation measures for albatross
and petrel species should take into account the efficient
operation of fishing vessels.
24. South Africa sought the inclusion of
petrel species within an Agreement. South Africa also emphasised
the value of an Agreement for albatrosses and petrels and
the strong relationship between such an agreement and the
principles of sustainable use of natural resources and conservation
which are enshrined within its constitution.
25. The United States of America noted the
special features of albatross and petrel species’ life history
in relation to external threats and emphasized the need
for international cooperation. Its delegation drew attention
to the FAO’s IPOA – Seabirds and its potential relationship
to the Albatross and Petrel Agreement.
26. Australia emphasised the need for a
concerted international approach in order to adequately
address the range of threats facing these species.
27. A number of those delegations present
congratulated New Zealand on their accession to the CMS.
28. The CMS Scientific Council re-emphasized
the importance of taking a co-ordinated and integrated approach,
offering the instruments of CMS to be used as appropriate
for this Agreement. BirdLife International and CCAMLR noted
significant expertise and knowledge of the subject existed
within a number of organizations and that full use should
be made of this resource. CMS and FAO emphasised that it
would be desirable to avoid duplicating the work of other
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
29. The Provisional Agenda was adopted with
minor alterations (Doc 1.1 Rev.1). The meeting
accepted Mr Hunter’s offer to remain as Chair.
DISCUSSION OF THE DRAFT AGREEMENT
30. The meeting made substantial and extensive
advances in the development of a draft Agreement on the
Conservation of Southern Hemisphere albatrosses and petrels.
There was a considerable degree of agreement across the
whole range of issues discussed, although it was recognized
that all decisions and text were ad referendum to
31. Subject to this qualification the fundamental
concepts and values that would underpin an Agreement were
identified and a considerable body of text agreed. The draft
Agreement attached to this report represents the consensus
of the meeting with the following qualifications.
32. Text in square brackets indicates that
further consideration is required by the potential parties
to the Agreement; in addition some reservations by individual
delegations are noted below.
Articles XII to XIII and XV to XIX (Final Clauses)
were not discussed. Despite this, the meeting did
not identify any major areas of difference that would
have a substantial effect upon the wording of these
clauses. However, the Republic of Korea reserved its
position in relation to Article XII (Amendment to
34. The representative of the United Kingdom
noted that some of the potential requirements of this Agreement
address competencies which, for the Government of the United
Kingdom and certain other potential Parties, are exercised
on their behalf by the European Union. He noted that this
is particularly true in relation to fishing activities covered
by the Common Fisheries Policy. The United Kingdom representative
advised in relation to any proposals or provisional agreement
made by their Delegation that these did not imply approval
of any obligations in respect of fisheries management beyond
those already entered into by the European Union.
35. Annex 2 provides an agreed structure
and broad direction for the draft Action Plan to the draft
Agreement. However, because of inconsistencies in the level
of technical support available across delegations, its detailed
contents could not be given close assessment. As such it
does not have the same level of endorsement as the other
parts of the draft Agreement. Accordingly the detail contained
in the draft Action Plan should be regarded as a working
document for further development.
Inclusions of Petrels in the Draft Agreement
36. Petrels are included in the draft Agreement
following the successful nomination by South Africa to list
seven petrel species on Appendix II of the Convention on
Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) in November 1999.
The meeting agreed that the nature of the threats facing
these species is essentially the same as for albatrosses.
Application of the Agreement beyond the
Southern Hemisphere Albatrosses and Petrels
37. The meeting discussed the merits of
developing an agreement that, while dealing in the first
instance with Southern Hemisphere albatrosses and petrels,
would be capable of a later extension to the Northern Hemisphere.
It was agreed that further consultations by potential parties
on this issue would be required.
38. In respect of Article I (Scope, definitions
and interpretation), it was agreed that at the next meeting,
a working group would consider the suitability of the definitions
in the context of an agreement on albatrosses and petrels.
Precautionary Approach / Principle
39. The meeting noted that in the further
development of the draft Agreement potential parties will
need to resolve whether it is the precautionary ‘approach’
or precautionary ‘principle’ which is to be used in the
text of the Agreement. However, the Republic of Korea expressed
its reservation on elaborating the precautionary approach
or precautionary principle.
General Conservation Measures
40. The meeting agreed that there was a
need to harmonize Article III (2) (General Conservation
Measures) and paragraphs 1.1.1, 1.1.2 and 1.1.3 of the draft
Action Plan (General Measures), and that the preferred approach
of the meeting was to replace Article III (2) with the above
paragraphs of the Action Plan. By this means, the fundamental
obligations would appear in the Agreement text itself and
in the preferred format.
41. There was general agreement that Article
IV on Capacity Building could be elaborated in relation
to Article IX and the Action Plan of this Agreement.
Scale of Contributions
42. The meeting agreed that further consideration
be given to the approach that should be taken to setting
a scale of contributions under the Agreement (Article VII
Implementation and Finance). There was general acknowledgement
of the need to consider the differing financial means of
Parties. In that context, some countries believed that the
United Nations Scale would be appropriate. Some countries
pointed to precedents of a different character.
43. Two alternatives were identified for
the process by which a scale of contributions would be adopted.
The first is to settle the matter in the context of finalising
the Agreement itself. The second would be to require the
first Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement to determine
the issue by consensus.
Decision of the Meeting of Parties
44. Participants agreed that decisions
by the Meeting of Parties should be made preferably by consensus
(Article VIII Meeting of the Parties). There was general,
but not unanimous, agreement that where such decisions are
not possible a two thirds majority of those present and
voting would be necessary.
45. In respect of voting, it was agreed
that when a regional economic integration organisation participated
in the taking of decisions, the total number of parties
so participating, in respect of that regional economic integration
organisation, should not exceed the total number of member
states of that organisation which are parties to the Agreement
in their own right and which are present and voting.
Relationship to Current International Agreements
46. There was general concurrence that
the Agreement should complement and support current relevant
international instruments as far as possible.
Implementation of Actions under FAO IPOA
47. Some participants reserved their position
in relation to a proposal that Article III (General Conservation
Measures) specifically provide for implementation of actions
elaborated in the FAO IPOA – Seabirds that complement the
objectives of the Agreement, on the grounds that this would
have the effect of making those actions relevant to the
conservation of albatrosses and petrels legally binding.
Relationship to Convention on Migratory
48. The Executive Secretary of CMS submitted
a paper (Inf 1.5) explaining for the representatives of
the non-CMS Party countries the global importance, role,
instruments and advantages for regional Agreements under
the Convention. The representative of Australia tabled a
paper (Inf 1.4 Rev.1) on potential reasons and benefits
of establishment of an agreement under the CMS. The representative
of Australia indicated that a number of agreements have
been developed under the auspices of the CMS and that these
established agreements do not require that a signatory party
be a member of CMS, nor is there the expectation or pressure
for a party to join CMS.
49. In particular, it was noted that for those
Range States of albatrosses and petrels that are Parties
to the CMS, the development and implementation of an agreement
is consistent with their obligations under Article IV (3)
of the Convention, where Parties ‘shall endeavour to conclude
50. Australia advised that an agreement
established under the auspices of the CMS would provide
the opportunity for some countries to establish links on
a scientific and administrative level with countries that
they would not normally associate with. Furthermore, the
significant ecological benefit gained by establishing an
albatross and petrel conservation agreement under the CMS
was noted. Australia advised that the CMS integrates marine,
terrestrial and species-specific conservation actions, thus
providing this Agreement uniquely with the ability to develop
and implement land-based and marine-based conservation measures
and actions for targeted species. This integration would
prevent the need for more than one agreement for albatrosses
51. Finally, it was noted that the CMS
provides the institutional backing of the United Nations
(UN), as well as other global organizations e.g. the bodies
of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and
Fauna (CITES), the Ramsar Convention, the Global Environment
Facility (GEF) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) amongst
others with their established capabilities, mechanisms and
instruments. An albatross and petrel conservation agreement
developed independently of the CMS would not have access
to the institutional backing and support afforded by the
52. The meeting noted the reasons for establishment
of an agreement under the CMS and agreed that there were
a number of benefits.
Presentations to the Meeting
53. A number of valuable presentations
were delivered during the course of the meeting:
a report on the status of and threats to albatrosses
(Dr. Rosemary Gales);
a collaborative project on the biology of albatrosses
in southern Chile and their interaction with fisheries
(Dr Graham Robertson); and
a report on albatross and petrel mortality in longline
fishing, arising from an international workshop held
in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 11-12 May 2000 (Dr John
Dispute Settlement Procedures
54. The meeting agreed that further careful
consideration will need to be given to the dispute settlement
procedures in the draft Agreement (Article XIV Settlement
of Disputes). In particular, it was agreed that the Protocol
to the London Convention (1972) would be examined as a possible
model to replace the provisions of Article XIV paragraph
55. The meeting welcomed the offer made
by Australia to continue to act as a focal point for the
development of the draft Agreement. It was noted that the
Australian offer of support was available for the current
financial year, until June 2001.
56. The meeting recognised that important
and substantial progress had been made towards the development
of the text of a draft Agreement to conserve albatrosses
and petrels. The wide-ranging discussion had exposed and
clarified relevant issues in the draft Agreement.
57. The meeting urged all participants
to convey the urgency of the need to finalise an agreement
to conserve Southern Hemisphere albatrosses and petrels
to their Governments, other relevant countries and international
organisations, and to support the convening of a formal
negotiation meeting for the Agreement as soon as practicable.
58. Australia offered to facilitate and
provide support for such a meeting. Countries, especially
those in the Southern Hemisphere, were urged to consider
hosting the proposed meeting. The United Kingdom also offered
funding support for the next meeting.
59. It was recognised that all major issues
of significance had been discussed in detail. This had resulted
in very considerable progress with texts. It was hoped,
therefore, that when the new texts were considered by home
Governments, there would be no need for extensive comment
by the countries represented at the meeting on the bulk
of the draft Agreement, although more attention might be
needed by countries which had been unable to attend, or
in respect of the limited number of Articles which had not
been fully discussed.
60. In relation to the matters of detailed
content that require further consideration in the context
of the draft Action Plan, it was agreed that the Chair of
the CMS Scientific Council would act as a focal point. Comment
on the draft Action Plan should be provided by end September
2000. With the administrative support of Australia, a revised
text of the Action Plan will be distributed as soon as practicable
thereafter. Additionally, it was agreed that a technical
meeting of suitably qualified persons to further develop
the content of the draft Action Plan could be held immediately
prior to the proposed negotiation session.
61. The United Kingdom and Argentinian representatives,
on behalf of other delegations, expressed their thanks to
the Australian Government for hosting the meeting and the
energy of its officials in driving forward the proposals
for an agreement. They also expressed appreciation for the
tireless support of the Secretariat and the translators,
for the commitment shown by the presence of major fishing
nations, and to the Chairman for the skill, wisdom and good
humour with which the meeting had been steered to so successful
a conclusion. The Australian delegation concurred.