4 March 2011 - The Secretariats of the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on the Conservation
of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) met via video
conference between Bonn, Geneva and Nairobi on 2 March 2011
to review joint achievements to date and to map out their
future collaboration. This was the first virtual meeting
of the staff of the two secretariats; video conferencing
being used to reduce the costs and the carbon footprint
of the meeting.
The Secretariats addressed substantive
issues dealing with: individual species; harmonization of
listings on the appendices and nomenclature; preparation
for forthcoming meetings of the governing bodies; and strategic
issues related to biodiversity, sustainable development,
and the interrelationship with other entities and processes.
The issues addressed were both substantive
and administrative, including how the Secretariats could
collaborate with one another during times of high workload,
such as sharing additional ICT support and offering mutual
staff support before and during meetings of the governing
bodies, in order to minimize the financial impact on Parties
to both Conventions; share best practices/experience, and
enhance their efficiency.
The Secretariats mapped out areas of work
where the activities under each Convention complement, or
reinforce, one another, and can benefit from national coherence
and regional cooperation. These include activities related
to the conservation and/or use of African elephants, sharks,
saiga antelopes and gorillas. The Secretariats recognize
the distinct contribution of each Convention as well as
areas of mutual interest. Specific ways of further addressing
discrepancies between the lists of species covered by each
Convention, as well as harmonizing the nomenclature used,
were also addressed.
The Secretariats of CITES and CMS also
agreed to coordinate their work to support their Parties
to contribute towards the revision and updating of the National
Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, as appropriate,
under the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the possible
linkages to Global Environment Facility funding, as well
as to support the work of the Biodiversity Liaison Group
and the Environment Management Group.
Finally, the CITES and CMS Secretariats
agreed to present a revised list of joint activities to
the 61st meeting of the CITES Standing Committee (Geneva,
Switzerland, August 2011), and the 38th meeting of the CMS
Standing Committee and CMS CoP10 (Bergen, Norway, November
2011), as well as to identify areas of mutual strategic
interest to the Parties and their Secretariats, such as
those referred to above.
“We are determined to enhance the
effectiveness of our Secretariats in line with our respective
mandates, and to focus our efforts on how we can better
assist countries to implement their commitments at the national
level. Our collective efforts are a further step towards
achieving these related objectives” said Secretary-General
of CITES, John Scanlon and Executive Secretary of CMS, Elizabeth
Mrema, who co-chaired the meeting.
CITES and CMS were adopted in response to recommendations
of the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment
and they are two of the first wave of global multilateral
environmental agreements concluded in the 1970s (CITES 1973,
CMS 1979). Both conventions contribute to the conservation
and sustainable use of biodiversity, and in particular of
the wildlife species covered by each Convention.