3 December 2013 - The 41st Meeting of the CMS Standing Committee (StC) was held from 27 to 28 November in Bonn. The Chair, Alfred Oteng Yeboah (Ghana) and Vice-Chair, Øystein Størkersen (Norway) led the Standing Committee through the challenging agenda. In his welcoming address, CMS Executive Secretary Dr. Bradnee Chambers referred to the busy schedule ahead until COP11.
The Convention was facing increasing competition for funding with other MEAs, he said. Importantly more countries had joined CMS recently, but more needed to be encouraged to follow suit. According to Rio+20, MEAs needed to consider further synergies, promote policy coherence and improve efficiency.
The Secretariat updated the StC members on progress made and asked for their guidance on directing its work. The agenda touched on the future shape and progress in implementing Resolution 10.9. This included the reform of the Scientific Council; reviewing the viability of MOUs and agreements; and looking at opportunities to merge common services and areas in the CMS Family.
The Secretariat reported on its core work in key areas such as capacity building, conservation status of species, awareness raising and outreach, resource mobilization, strategic planning, partnerships and the status of the budget and administration of the Secretariat. CMS introduced the “Champion Programme” to seek better funding opportunities for CMS work. For the first time, the CMS Focal Point for North America attended the meeting in person to report on outreach, partnerships and funding raising activities.
New initiatives in communication, in particular selected features of the new CMS Family website and database garnered the interest of the delegates. The CMS Family Manual for National Focal Points was well received as a helpful tool to implement the Convention.
In the context of Resolution 10.9 on Future Structure and Strategies of CMS, the Secretariat provided an update on implementing priority activities. After the biggest project in CMS’s history was completed this year, CMS announced a new phase in conserving Sahelo-Saharan Antelopes: A Management Plan for the Nature Reserve of Termit Tin Toumma will be prepared in consultation with key stakeholders. Standing Committee members appreciated the progress made by CMS Instruments and looked forward to the assessment of MOU viability.
In its report on CMS Instruments, the Secretariat announced the development of an international Action Plan for the conservation of the Argali sheep. The Central Asian Initiative has been developed to conserve migratory mammals and to enhance the implementation of CMS and its instruments in Central Asia. As to streamlining functions within the CMS Family, the Standing Committee requested UNEP to support and fund an analysis on selected shared services with AEWA and other Agreements and MOUs.
Finally, the decision of the Standing Committee was to accept the offers of both Ecuador and the Philippines to host sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention. Ecuador will host COP11 in November 2014 and the Philippines will host COP12 in 2017.
The 42nd Meeting of the Standing Committee will take place immediately prior to COP11 in November 2014.
Photograph courtesy of Francisco Rilla, UNEP/CMS