9 November 2007 – The 32nd Meeting of the
CMS Standing Committee took place on 8-9 November at the
UN Campus in Bonn.
Executive Secretary Robert Hepworth and Dr. Christiane
Paulus, representing the German Federal Ministry for the
Environment welcomed the participants to the meeting.
The UK retired from the Chair after 5 years of service.
Australia, the previous Vice-Chair, was elected to the
Chair. Ukraine was elected as Vice-Chair.
The Committee welcomed recent news of the accession of
Cuba and Iran to the Convention. This will raise the total
number of CMS parties to 106, with several further accessions
expected before the next COP at the end of 2008.
CMS staff presented highlights of the conservation programme
during the last year. Seven new CMS species agreements
were negotiated including a binding mini-treaty on Gorillas,
and the first ever Agreement for native American bird
species. The Secretariat also reported on the budget,
fundraising activities and progress made in the development
of partnerships. There was a special presentation on the
Task Force on Avian Influenza where Parties supported
a scientific and policy statement to be submitted to several
MEA meetings and the IUCN Conference during 2008. Flagship
CMS projects, such as the Year of the Dolphin and the
Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes were presented to participants
and progress welcomed. Several members of the committee
took the floor to congratulate the Secretariat in the
progress which had been made in 2006-7.
During the meeting, several participants offered further
support to the Convention. Saudi Arabia agreed to give
high priority to finalising the text of the draft Houbara
Bustard agreement for circulation to Range States. UNEP
offered to work with the Secretariat and Parties to identify
possible further co-operation with CMS at Regional Level,
using the network of UNEP Regional Offices. IFAW offered
to provide a full time officer to support the CMS Secretariat
for 12 months, the second NGO to do so (WDCS are already
providing staff support under an agreement with CMS).
The Chair of the Scientific Council delivered a report
regarding ongoing conservation and focusing on various
problems faced by Sahelo-Saharan antelopes as a result
of hunting activities in Niger. The regional representatives
reported on activities regarding the implementation of
an excursion for Committee members on the Rhine, the Executive
Secretary and UNEP’s representative, Ivonne Higuero,
introduced the first printed version of the new CMS Family
Guide, or “Encyclopaedia” (available
The members considered papers on two major topics –
one on the future organisation of CMS and the other a
Strategic Review of Flyways. They established a Working
Group to map the way forward on CMS organisation for the
next COP in 2008. Several members of developing countries,
including Africa and Latin America, supported the idea
of small CMS regional nodes, but others believed that
more time was needed to review all available options for
addressing the need to extend the Convention’s capacity.
On Flyways, the Committee agreed to publish a scientific
and conservation review in early 2008 and to prepare a
paper with policy recommendations for the next COP.
At the end of the meeting, the Secretariat presented
a draft agenda for COP 9. The 33rd Meeting of the Standing
Committee will be held in Rome immediately before the
COP in November/December 2008.