25 October 2013 - The CMS Secretariat organized a full week of meetings to discuss how science can better contribute to the conservation of migratory species. The meetings took place in the city of Formia (Italy) between 7-12 October 2013, at the very kind and generous invitation of the Regional Park Riviera de Ulisse and the Region of Lazio.
The first of these events was the Sixth Meeting of the Chairs of the Scientific Advisory Bodies of the Biodiversity-related Conventions (CSAB), a body that normally meets once a year. It was held on 7 Octoberand was attended representatives of the scientific advisory bodies of CBD, CITES, CMS, the GEF, the Ramsar Convention and the World Heritage Convention, with observers from UNEP/WCMC, IUCN and AEWA. The meeting was co-chaired by Gemedo Dalle Tussie, Chair of CBD’s SBSTTA, and Fernando Spina, Chair of the CMS Scientific Council. The group discussed matters of mutual interest with a view to promoting synergies and closer cooperation. Among the topics discussed were scientific and technical needs for implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the contribution of the various scientific advisory bodies to this overarching framework. Participants also shared their experiences in the operations and structures of their advisory bodies, and updated each other on their activities with respect to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Participants agreed that a closer cooperation at the science level would greatly benefit the implementation of the biodiversity cluster, and committed to work together to that end. The next meeting of CSAB is foreseen to take place in summer 2014.
A Strategic and Planning Meeting of the CMS Scientific Council took place between 9-11 October. At the meeting 20 participants, including the chair and vice-chair of the Scientific Council, the COP-appointed councilors, and the chairs of the Scientific Council working groups, discussed strategic issues on the way to the full meeting of the Council and ultimately to COP 11. This included, pursuant to Resolution 10.9 on the Future Shape Process, brainstorming on how the structure and modus operandi of the Council can be adjusted to better meet the scientific needs and challenges of CMS. Other themes of discussion were gaps in the Convention, including emerging threats and challenges and gaps in the Appendices, criteria for listing species on the Appendices, and cooperation with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Participants also updated each other on progress in the taxonomic and thematic working groups and reviewed the remaining tasks and activities of the Scientific Council for the time up to the COP 11. The next ordinary meeting of the Scientific Council (the 18th) will take place in mid-2014, the precise dates still to be determined.
Other events that took place along the week included an Ad Hoc Meeting on Harmonization of Bird Taxonomy and a Scientific Symposium on the Economic Value of Migratory Species. The whole week was a great success and showed how different organizations can work together for the benefit of migratory species. The city of Formia was a fantastic venue and the Lazio region a very hospitable host. Fernando Spina, Chair of CMS Scientific Council, played a key role in making this week a reality.