CMS Executive Secretary Robert Hepworth
visited Rome 14-15 February 2008 to further preparations
of the 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP9)
on 1-5 December 2008 in the Italian capital and to promote
collaboration with Food and Agricultural Organisation
Italy has expressed its willingness to contribute in
several ways to the organisation and success of COP9.
As delegates from over 100 parties will participate, logistical
support during the conference is paramount. CMS and the
Government of Italy are proceeding with the organisation
of COP, including the negotiation of the Host Country
Agreement and the development of a joint campaign for
the COP. Italy is also working on several technical inputs
to the COP including a national atlas of migratory species
with a focus on birds. Given its particular interest in
shark conservation measures in the Mediterranean Sea,
Italy expressed interest in supporting the second meeting
on a CMS agreement on migratory sharks, which may now
be held in Rome immediately after the COP.
The shark meeting could also receive special support
from FAO. Mr. Hepworth met senior FAO representatives
and agreed on closed co-operation between the two organizations
in preparing for the meeting. FAO suggested that CMS might
want to attend the next meeting of Regional Fisheries
Management Organisations (RFMOs) in 2008.
The Executive Secretary also met Jim Butler, FAO Deputy
Director General, who welcomed the continuing co-operation
between CMS and FAO as co-conveners of the Science Task
Force on Avian Influenza. In subsequent meetings with
senior FAO officials, several other issues were identified
for possible co-operation between the two agencies. A
partnership agreement will now be prepared for signature
during the COP in Rome.