A new Partnership Agreement between HSI Australia (Humane Society International Australia) and the CMS Secretariat was signed on 15 November 2011 in Bonn. By doing so, CMS has expanded its cooperation with this partner with a view to jointly pursuing shared targets.
HSI Australia is part of an international organization working to protect wildlife on a global scale. It provides support and advice on policy development and trade issues as well as promoting local capacity building and community education.
CMS Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema had this to say while signing the Agreement: “CMS and HSI Australia pursue common goals in the conservation and sustainable use of migratory species. This requires enhanced and concerted actions on different levels involving all actors.”
HSI Australia has been active in supporting the conservation of marine species such as cetaceans, sharks, sea turtles and dugongs which are covered by CMS instruments such as Memoranda of Understanding (MoU). It has been engaged with the Agreement on Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) from the very beginning with a view to reducing bycatch resulting from longline fisheries operations. HSI Australia is also engaged with the Shark MoU. With respect to gorillas, HSI Australia being a partner of the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) is particularly interested in wildlife crime and law enforcement issues.
HSI Australia has a special emphasis on biodiversity policy and implementation to protect habitats critical to the survival of many endangered species. Climate change mitigation and the protection of carbon sinks such as rainforests, wetlands and areas of high biodiversity value is another focus of their activities. The organization has been attending international wildlife meetings to fight threats to marine species, including the last two Conferences of the Parties to CMS.
The new Partnership Agreement establishes a framework for cooperation on developing and implementing CMS Agreements, Memoranda of Understanding and action plans. HSI Australia will support this endeavour by providing scientific information and share relevant data.
In addition, both parties may develop a Joint Work Plan with specific activities of mutual interest. CMS and HSI Australia confirm that seabirds, sharks, marine turtles, dugongs and gorillas are of mutual interest but cooperation would not be limited to these species.