After the successful and speedy conclusion
of the negotiations of the Albatross Agreement under the
CMS, a signing ceremony is to be conducted on 19 June in
Canberra, Australia. All twenty-three Range States
of Southern Hemisphere albatrosses and petrels, have been
The Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels
was established to address the threats posed to albatross
and petrel populations by by-catch in long-line fisheries,
a sense of urgency existed due to the significant numbers
of birds being lost each year. Under this Agreement
21 Albatross species and 7 Petrel species will be protected.
The Agreement on the conservation of albatross and petrels
was finalised after only two negotiating sessions and adopted
by consensus. It is clear from the rapid consensus reached
that there is a high level of international concern about
the conservation status and vulnerability of these species,
and commitment to implement an international instrument
to help return them to a favourable conservation status.
Recognising the importance for the future Secretariat to
be located in the Southern Hemisphere, particularly given
the current focus of the Agreement, Australia offered to
continue Interim Secretariat functions until the final location
of the Permanent Secretariat is decided at the first Meeting
of the Parties. Australia's offer to host the Depository
of the Agreement was also welcomed.
Why do we need an Agreement focused on albatross and petrel
The purpose of the international Agreement is
to establish a cooperative and comprehensive framework and
process to restore albatrosses and petrels to a favourable
conservation status. The Agreement aims to stop or reverse
population declines by coordinating action to mitigate known
threats to albatross and petrel populations.
The key potential benefits arising from the development
of the Agreement may be summarised as follows:
action to mitigate known threats to albatross and petrel
coordination of data collection, analysis and dissemination
of the international and regional conservation status of
albatrosses and petrels and threats to the species; and
·communication of the conservation
status of albatrosses and petrels to relevant international
and regional bodies to promote action.
The conclusion and implementation of a multilateral Agreement
through coordinated and cooperative actions will contribute
significantly to the conservation of albatross and petrel
species and their habitats.
While individual nations are taking measures
to protect albatrosses and petrels, international action
rather than unilateral action is required. Albatrosses and
petrels are susceptible to threats operating throughout
their range and it is unlikely that conservation action
by one nation will be effective. Australia views international
cooperation on aspects of albatross and petrel conservation,
such as exchange of information on threats, would enhance
the prospects for successful conservation measures.
Please find below a link to the website for the Agreement
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels.
The website contains background information
on the Agreement and its development, copies of the Agreement
text in English, French and Spanish, the reports for both
the Hobart and Cape Town meetings in all three languages
and a fact sheet.