5 March 2012 - At the invitation of the CMS Ambassadors,
a Donors’ Meeting took place in the margins of COP10
on 22 November in Bergen.
The generous hospitality of the German
Government and the entertaining chairing of Stanley Johnson
made this event memorable. Despite times of financial austerity,
CMS received overwhelming financial support from its Parties,
non-member states and organizations.
Australia, Germany, Finland, Norway, United
Arab Emirates (UAE), USA, UNEP and Friends of CMS contributed
to many different initiatives that bring forward the CMS
agenda during the current triennium.
Significant funding from Norway went to
projects that aim at improving the conservation status of
species at critical sites; species affected include the
Lesser White-fronted goose in Azerbaijan, Cross River gorillas
in central Africa, White-eared Kobs in Ethiopia and South
Sudan. At the same time, these initiatives look at how to
contribute to poverty alleviation and how to empower local
communities by for instance addressing the subject of poaching
with the identification of alternative livelihoods for the
local people. This confirms that conservation of migratory
species cannot be fully achieved if considered independently
from the ecosystems of which they are part and people. Work
is well underway to implement these initiatives spanning
The Small Grants Programme (SGP), which
has been almost dormant since 2005, is being revitalized
thanks to the support of Finland and the generous contribution
of UNEP. These resources will allow at least five small
conservation initiatives on the ground per year to be sponsored.
The Secretariat is on the point of launching a call for
projects that will be then reviewed by a pool of experts
selected within the Scientific Council.
The conservation of gorillas and sharks
is also being strenghtened by a considerable volume of funds
from Germany, USA and Australia destined to the coordination
of the two related CMS instruments, the organization of
meetings and implementation of activities on the ground.
For instance, the First Meeting of the Parties to the Sharks
MoU is being organized to be held in September 2012. Among
many other things, the meeting is intended to adopt a Conservation
Plan for sharks.
The CMS Office in Abu Dhabi can ontinue
its operations owing to the renewal of the UAE triennial
grant. This contribution ensures that the good work which
has been done over the last three years will continue, be
further strengthened and that progress on other issues will
be made also in the light of the increase of signatories
to the two MOUs (Dugongs and Raptors) that this office coordinates.
We are indebted to all contributors including
the CMS Ambassadors for convening this meeting and for their
great efforts in promoting the Convention.
This event, which will be certainly repeated,
provides an important example that we all have a share in
the conservation of migratory species and can contribute
in many ways to achieve it.