Bonn, 2 December 2009 – UNEP Executive
Director, Mr. Achim Steiner has appointed Elizabeth Maruma
Mrema as the new Executive Secretary of the Convention on
the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)
Secretariat, based in Bonn with effect from 1 December 2009.
The announcement was made today at the 36th Meeting of the
CMS Standing Committee.
In the four months preceding her appointment, Ms Mrema,
the national of the United Republic of Tanzania, served
as Officer in Charge of the CMS Secretariat.
Ms Mrema served for many years as a career diplomat and
senior environmental lawyer at the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) with a particular focus on international
environmental law, compliance and enforcement of environmental
conventions as well as international environmental negotiations.
In 2007, Ms Mrema received the first ever UNEP-wide Best
Manager of the Year Award entitled the UNEP Baobab Staff
Award for exceptional performance and dedication towards
achieving the goals of UNEP.
Just before joining the CMS Secretariat, Ms. Mrema was
the Principal Legal Officer and Chief of the Biodiversity
and Land Law and Governance Unit in the UNEP-Division of
Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC). In this capacity
as well as her capacity as Senior Legal Officer and Chief
of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements Support and
Cooperation at UNEP- DELC during 2005 - 2007 she was also
responsible and focal point in UNEP for the Convention on
Migratory Species and its related Agreements.
Ms Mrema entered on duty on 1 December. She said: “I
am very enthusiastic about taking up this position. CMS
and its related Agreements will work to further enhance
cooperation of biodiversity related international treaties
to fully explore its potential.”
“Our next challenges ahead consist of concluding
an instrument in February 2010 to conserve migratory sharks.
Following special recommendations of the Conference of the
Parties, we intend to initiate similar activities to better
conserve Central African elephants, antelopes, gazelles
and cheetahs in the Sahelo-Saharan region”, she added.
“One of the major tasks ahead of me, which is a priority
to the Parties is the current process on the Future Shape
of CMS. I look forward to working closely with the Parties
on this to ensure that the Convention moves to new heights
once it is completed. The process provides an opportunity
for the Parties to assess and reflect the institutional
and administrative structures to implement CMS and its related
instruments. The objective is to determine better mechanisms
for the management of these instruments in the midst of
challenging priorities to be executed with limited resources.”