Following the successful SPREP meeting in Samoa (see below)
CMS Executive Secretary Roberth Hepworth visited Canberra/Australia
on 20 September in order to meet key Australian Government
officials and the Oceania region and raise the profile of
the Convention. The executive Secretary met with Mr. Conall
O’Connell, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Environment
and Heritage (DEH) who re-iterated support for a CMS Memorandum
of Understanding (MoU) on the conservation of Cetaceans in
the Pacific, for a separate Pacific Marine Turtles MoU and
a Dugong MoU. Robert Hepworth thanked him for the assistance
provided by Australia to the Convention, and especially towards
staffing needs of the Memorandum of Understanding concerning
Conservation Measures for MarineTurtles of the Indian Ocean
and South-East Asia (IOSEA) and for the continuous support
offered to negotiating CMS agreements in the region.
Mr. Hepworth and Mr. O’Connell discussed a number
of other issues of interest to Australia, including planned
partnership for the East Asian flyway.
Australia is to organize another meeting on dugongs in 2006.
Mr. Clinton Dengate (DEH) told the Executive Secretary of
his hopes that this will allow range states to finalise
the text for a Dugong MoU under the Convention. Robert Hepworth
emphasised the importance of getting the maximum attendance
including Pacific Islands states at the final meeting and
suggested that a back-to-back arrangement with the next
Meeting of the Parties to IOSEA should be considered.