and Convention on Migratory Species sign agreement to help
save thousands of species
Durban, South Africa, Monday 15 September, IUCN-The World
Conservation Union. The heads of IUCN and the Convention
on Migratory Species (CMS) are signing a landmark agreement
today at the World Parks Congress which is set to strengthen
the conservation of hundreds of species ranging from the
Siberian crane to the Mediterranean monk seal.
IUCN and CMS, also known as the Bonn Convention, have
had a close working relationship in working to conserve
the world’s migratory species since the Convention
was created in 1979. The IUCN Environmental Law Commission
and Programme took the lead in drafting the Convention text
with work starting in 1974.
A Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC), to be signed on Monday
15 September, formalizes the relationship, builds on the
many areas of collaboration that have already evolved and
provides a framework that will make IUCN’s contribution
to implementation of the Convention more effective. It will
be signed by Achim Steiner, IUCN Director General, and Arnulf
Müller-Helmbrecht, CMS Executive Secretary.
The objectives of CMS and IUCN converge in many areas and
there is close cooperation between CMS and IUCN’s
programmes, particularly its Species and Environmental Law
Programmes. Information supplied by the more than 7,000
experts that make up the IUCN Species Survival Commission,
largely through the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species,
is critical to implementation of the Convention.
Mutual activities include providing scientific advice on
the status and conservation needs of migratory species;
carrying our evaluations of proposals to amend the listing
of species on CMS appendices; and providing technical advice
to the implementation of action plans for migratory species.
Several agreements have been developed under the auspices
of the CMS such as those aiming to conserve bats in Europe,
cetaceans of the Mediterranean and Black Seas, seals in
the Wadden Sea, African-Eurasian migratory waterbirds, the
Siberian crane, the slender billed curlew and marine turtles.
“Signing this MoC is a significant step in the commitment
by CMS to strengthen working ties with key international
organizations which will accelerate the pace of implementation
of this important convention. IUCN with its broad global
constituency of governments, NGOs, and a network of 10,000
experts, is an extremely valuable partner,” said Mr
“This is a landmark event that provides further
evidence of the growing cooperation that we are seeing in
the global conservation community. The extinction crisis
must be halted and CMS is vital to protecting the thousands
of migratory species that are a cornerstone of global biodiversity,”
said Mr Steiner.
Transboundary issues such as the creation of protected
area corridors to help the free movement of migratory species
are important to CMS, and are prominent here at the World
CMS works to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory
species throughout their range. It is one of a number of
intergovernmental treaties concerned with the conservation
of wildlife and habitats on a global scale. The Convention
currently has 84 Parties from Africa, Central and South
America, Europe and Oceania.
CMS parties work together to conserve migratory species
and their habitats by providing strict protection for the
endangered species listed in Appendix I of the Convention,
including the Siberian crane, white tailed eagle, hawksbill
turtle, Mediterranean monk seal and Dama gazelle. The Convention
also develops multilateral agreements for the conservation
and management of migratory species listed in its Appendix
II and by undertaking cooperative research activities.
For more information contact:
Anna Knee, Communications Officer, IUCN Species Programme,
tel: 082 858 8083
Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Coordinator, IUCN Species
Programme tel: +41 22 999 0152
Lyle Glowka, Agreement Development Officer, CMS, tel:+49
228 815 2422