Executive Director, Dr Klaus Töpfer, visits Bonn 5 November
to launch ’25 Years of Journeys’ to celebrate
the 25th Anniversary of the Bonn-based Convention on Migratory
Species (CMS) and the new brochure for CMS ‘EUROBATS’
Agreement. He will be the main speaker at the special event
at the Museum Koenig to mark both the retirement of the long-serving
UNEP/CMS chief officer, Arnulf Müller-Helmbrecht and
to welcome the new chief officer of UNEP/CMS, Robert Hepworth
(ex UK) and deputy chief, Lahcen El Kabiri (ex Morocco).
The Anniversary Report ’25
Years of Journeys’ will be officially
launched today in English, French and Spanish, the official
working languages of UNEP/CMS. It covers the genesis of
UNEP/CMS in Bonn, and its growth to cover 87 countries and
a variety of species including seals, whales, bats, antelopes,
marine turtles, albatrosses and many other threatened birds.
Conservation activities of bats are described in the new
brochure of EUROBATS. The main aim of this
Agreement is the conservation of bats throughout Europe.
The strategic goals to reach this objective are the identification
of important sites for bat conservation, surveys of the
status of bat populations and studies of their migratory
Arnulf Müller-Helmbrecht joined CMS as its Executive
Secretary (i.e. chief officer) in 1992, and retired recently.
During his period in office, the number of CMS parties grew
from 39 to 86, and he initiated many of the projects described
in ’25 Years of Journeys’. Before joining CMS
he held a number of posts in the German Federal Ministry
of the Environment, including a period helping to re-organise
the administration of nature conservation work after the
reunification of Germany. At CMS Arnulf initiated the Global
Registry of Migratory Species, an important database for
conservation, in co-operation with the Museum Koenig and
the Centre for Development Research.
The new Acting Executive Secretary of UNEP/CMS, Robert
Hepworth, has more than 20 years of experience in biodiversity
and international conservation in the UK and UNEP. He was
previously Chairman of both the CMS and CITES Standing Committees,
and has chaired the CMS Conference of Parties on three occasions.
Reinforcing collaboration with the federal and city authorities
in Bonn, increasing the Convention’s outreach in Germany,
and engaging new partners from the private and voluntary
sectors are amongst his priorities in his new post. Robert
Hepworth initiated one of UNEP’s flagships –
the global partnership to conserve Great Apes. He hopes
to establish a new CMS Agreement to protect Mountain Gorillas.
They are vital generators of ecotourist income for the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. He is also working
towards concluding new agreements on elephants and marine
The incoming Deputy Executive Secretary, Lahcen El Kabiri,
has considerable experience as a conservation manager in
his home country of Morocco, and in the neighbouring region.
At UNEP/CMS he has taken charge of the Convention’s
flagship project to conserve endangered antelopes in North
The new senior team of UNEP/CMS is already working to strengthen
its collaboration with the federal and city authorities
based in Bonn to improve its outreach to Germany as host
country. This will contribute to strengthening the significance
of Bonn as the home of the Bonn Convention.
here to view the Reception
Programme (PDF Format)