CMS Working Group for the Prevention of Poisoning of Migratory Birds Establishes a New Strategy and Activities until 2020

Bonn, 8 March 2017 - Two important avian-related meetings took place back to back in Toledo, Spain, in February 2017: the Overarching Workshop to develop a Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures (Vulture MsAP) and the 2nd Meeting of the Preventing Poisoning of Migratory Birds Working Group (PPWG). Both meetings were organized by the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO), the BirdLife International partner organization in Spain, and generously supported by the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha.

The PPWG was established in 2011, based on CMS Resolution 10.26, and is made up of a group of international experts who have the task of developing and facilitating concerted efforts, actions and procedures to prevent poisoning of migratory birds.  The main sources are insecticides, rodenticides, poison-baits, veterinary pharmaceuticals and lead pollution from ammunition and fishing weights and other sources. The goal of the 2nd Meeting of the PPWG was the development of a Programme of Work for the next intersessional period, agreeing on a strategy for future reporting mechanisms and coordination of the group, and discussing the establishment of a Task Force on lead and its terms of reference. Thirty-four experts from government authorities, scientific institutions and NGOs attended the meeting.

During the two-days session, breakout groups of the experts present compiled drafts for the Programme of Work in relation to the different sources of bird poisoning. Based on CMS Resolution 11.15 and Guidelines to Prevent the Risk of Poisoning to Migratory Birds annexed to it, the group formulated actions for the members of the PPWG, national authorities and international partners for implementation for the period until 2020.

The Working Group discussed topics for a potential follow-up resolution on poisoning of migratory birds to be submitted to CMS COP 12 (Manila, Philippines, 23-28 October 2017) for adoption.  SEO/BirdLife Spain agreed to take over the interim coordination of the PPWG until COP12, until a more permanent arrangement can be set up. Potential funding mechanisms for the permanent coordination of the PPWG were discussed, but need further strategic elaboration. As another major outcome of the meeting, the process for the creation of a Task Force on lead was discussed. This Task Force will involve representatives from international organizations and agreements, conservation NGOs, ammunition and hunting sector representatives and scientific and technical experts. The PPWG will be further consulted by the CMS Secretariat on the specific terms of reference and meeting intervals. SEO/BirdLife will also coordinate this group on an interim basis.

In the course of the meeting, the participants had the opportunity to visit Cabañeros National Park and to observe several species of vultures and eagles.

In conclusion, the 2nd Meeting of the PPWG was a successful major step for launching new targeted activities on an international level to tackle poisoning of migratory birds.

For more information please contact Mr Tilman Schneider at    

Last updated on 08 March 2017