40th CMS Standing Committee Presents New Initiatives to Facilitate Work for Parties

Standing Committee 40  © F. RillaBonn,
12 November 2012
- The Chair of the Standing Committee,
Prof. Alfred Oteng Yeboah opened the meeting, one of the
main purposes of which was for the country representatives
to receive an update on activities undertaken by the CMS
Secretariat since the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10)
in Bergen in November in 2011. He was also looking forward
to hear the latest news on the appointment of the new Executive
Secretary by UNEP. CMS Officer in Charge, Mr. Bert Lenten,
expressed his hope that, with the development of a new Strategic
Plan for migratory species, CMS and its instruments would
reach a higher level of prominence with more conservation
activities and more support from the Parties.

After dealing with organizational matters,
regional Standing Committee members reported on their conservation
activities. South and Central America and the Caribbean
highlighted their activities on albatrosses and petrels,
grassland birds, bats, the South Andean Deer, marine turtles,
Andean flamingos and sharks. Norway reported on the Action
Plan on the Lesser white-fronted Goose, bats, raptors and
a study on bycatch. Poland speaking on behalf of the EU
mentioned the facilitation of AEWA’s African Initiative,
work on stranding of harbour porpoises, the impact of power
lines on bats and birds, measures concerning the Aquatic
Warbler as well as marine mammals in the Baltic and the
Black Sea. Oceania’s work focused on the Pacific Cetaceans
and Sharks MoUs, the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses
and Petrels and flyways. Asia mentioned new crane conservation
societies. Africa informed on the meeting on the Single
Species Action Plan on shoebills, initiatives concerning
Sahelo-Sahara Antelopes, priority transboundary projects
for elephants and the workshop on African-Eurasian landbirds.

In his report, the Chair of the Scientific
Council, Dr. Fernando Spina, stressed the importance of
the new online workspace which would be available in January
2013 to improve work during the inter-sessional periods.
Further to his participation in meetings of various conservation
fora, he particularly drew attention to the possible contribution
of CMS to the Intergovernmental Science Platform on Biodiversity
and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which will start its work
in Bonn soon.

UNEP explained its contribution to the
Convention and provided an update on the recruitment of
the Executive Secretary followed by the Secretariat’s
presentation on key activities since COP 10. This related
to the implementation of COP Resolutions, human resources,
conservation, fundraising and the implementation of CMS
instruments. Furthermore the Secretariat presented a document
on an update of activities which have been implemented according
to the short-term outputs of the Future Shape process. With
the development the CMS Family Manual for CMS National Focal
Points, a major project has been initiated in implementing
the capacity building work plan 2012-2014. Regarding outreach
and communication, the Secretariat provided an update of
its activities including species campaigns. The CMS initiative
on information management comprises a new web-based database
which will be linked to the CMS Family website. The online
workspace is designed to facilitate work for the Scientific
Council among others. Partnership activities with a number
of organizations were also on the agenda.

The Standing Committee acknowledged the
efforts made by the Secretariat in terms of mobilization
of resources. Despite major financial voluntary contributions
amounting to more than €1,700,000, the Standing Committee
recognized that the need for more funds remained to support
the numerous activities mandated by COP10 and the MoUs serviced
by the Secretariat. The Secretariat gave an overview on
financial and human resources including the format for a
costed work programme and budget for 2012-2013. In the process,
the Standing Committee approved the extension of contracts
of two Junior Professional Officers (the Associate Information
Officer and the Central Asia Regional Officer) for another

The CMS Family Online Reporting System
(ORS) was presented as a user-friendly tool granting public
access to information on migratory species across the CMS
Family. It will streamline reporting obligations of Parties
in order to better assess the status of implementation of
the Convention and related agreements. The objective is
to adopt the ORS for COP11 in 2014 for its reporting needs.

The Secretariat reported on conservation
activities of its seven Agreements and 14 MOUs, for which
the Secretariat in Bonn provides administrative services.
The conservation plan for sharks, the establishment of the
Saker Falcon Task Force and activities to conserve Central
Eurasian arid land mammals attracted particular attention.

In order to improve the efficiency of Scientific
Council in preparing for the COP, it was decided to decouple
both meetings in 2014. The next meeting of the Standing
Committee will take place in 2013.


Last updated on 16 June 2014