Bonn, 7 December 2007 –
During his recent mission to Australia and Brazil, CMS
Executive Secretary Robert Hepworth was able to further
strengthen relations with Australia.
Mr. Hepworth promoted strong and positive relations with
the key CMS actors in the Australian Government, which
plays a vital role in CMS as Standing Committee Chair
and as the Convention’s second largest project donor.
At a meeting in Canberra, Standing Committee Chairman
Andrew McNee confirmed his intention to take a proactive
and comprehensive role in CMS issues.
The election of a new Australian Government is likely
to be a further stimulus for Australian engagement in
CMS and biodiversity as a whole. Discussions were also
held with the albatross and petrels agreement (ACAP) on
how to exploit synergies with the mother Convention for
example on bycatch. As ACAP benefits from office and related
support from the Tasmanian state government, ACAP Executive
Secretary Warren Papworth offered to explore whether a
small CMS office could be accommodated there to serve
as a venue for CMS Parties in Oceania.
During a meeting with Australian NGOs, among them Humane
Society International (HSI), the latter expressed its
interest in establishing good relations with CMS. HSI
will be represented at the forthcoming sharks meeting
in the Seychelles.