29 October 2013 - The CMS Family Capacity Building Workshop for African National Focal Points (NFPs) started today in Cape Town, South Africa. The capacity building strategy of the CMS Secretariat aims to strengthen the implementation of the Convention.
Over 40 delegates from 26 Parties in Africa are participating in the workshop. After the initial key note speech by Dr. Ashley Naidoo, Acting Deputy Director General of the Oceans and Coastal Management branch of the Department of Environmental Affairs, the CMS Family Manual was presented for the first time to National Focal Points. This comprehensive reference work has been designed to guide NFPs in fulfilling their role as Party representatives to the Convention. How CMS is implemented in South Africa will serve as an example. A whale watching trip in the Cape Town area will allow participants to learn about local nature management arrangements and ecotourism issues.
As part of the implementation training, discussions will focus on the integration of migratory species into National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) required under the Convention on Biologic al Diversity. CMS COP Resolution 10.18 provides guidelines on how this might be achieved.
Communication and dissemination of information are among the key tasks. Raising public awareness followed by conservation activities can help to set species conservation on the national agenda. Communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) will be developed to become a fully coordinated component of the Parties’ work on conserving migratory species and their habitats.
As the conservation of migratory species requires transboundary collaboration, NFPs will need to initiate and engage in regional consultations to best ensure protection across the species’ range. NFPs will also be trained to better conduct negotiations on topics related to CMS and its instruments in order to represent and highlight the views of their countries at these negotiation meetings.
A Regional Consultation Meeting for African NFPs of CMS on the development of the Strategic Plan for Migratory Species 2015-2023 will be held on 1 November. The joint CMS/AEWA National Focal Point Manual Workshop has been made possible by funding in the framework of the Thematic Programme for Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources including Energy (ENRTP) Strategic Cooperation Agreement (SCA) between the European Commission - DG Environment and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
For further information, please contact Mr. Francisco Rilla, Capacity Building Team Leader at the UNEP/CMS Secretariat, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of Sivuyile Ngaba