Standing Committee Paves the Way to COP12

Bonn, 14 November 2016 – the last full meeting of the CMS Standing Committee for the triennium 2015-2017 took place in Bonn from 9 to 10 November, setting the scene for next year’s CMS Conference of the Parties (COP12) which will be held in Manila from 22 to 28 October at the kind invitation of the Government of the Philippines.

The meeting – the Standing Committee’s 45th – heard reports on the implementation of a number of Resolutions adopted at COP11 in Quito such as the synergies within the CMS Family, the Strategic Plan for Migratory Species 2015-2023, the revision of the template for proposals for the amendment of CMS Appendices, and on the CMS Programme of Work.  Updates were presented on recent developments arising from the CITES COP and on the recent joint CMS-CITES workshop on the African Lion.  The Committee’s advice was sought on a number of issues including elections to the Sessional Committee of the Scientific Council and the preparation of the budget proposals for 2018-2020.  The Committee also endorsed the decision of the Budget Sub-Committee to allow a withdrawal to be made from the Convention’s Trust Fund on the advice of the Secretariat.

The representatives of the Philippines updated the meeting on progress regarding preparations for COP12, confirming that the venue would be the Philippines International Conference Centre in Manila on Luzon Island in the north of the country.  Plans were well advanced for the High Level Segment that would precede the COP.  The COP logo and promotional video would also be finalized soon and the Standing Committee did see a preview of the latter.

“I was heartened to see so many representatives of NGOs, such as BirdLife International, Born Free and WWF attending and actively participating in the meeting.  I was also delighted to be able to welcome official observers from the United Arab Emirates, one of the most recent new Parties to the Convention.  The UAE has long been involved in the work of CMS, providing invaluable support through hosting and funding the office in Abu Dhabi responsible for implementing the MOUs on raptors and dugong.”  
Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of CMS

Ceremonies were held at which Partnership Agreements between CMS and two NGOs - the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) and OceanCare - were signed – see the separate articles posted on 9 November and 10 November for more details.

Also taking place on the two days preceding the Standing Committee was the second meeting of the Working Group on the Development of a Review Process for CMS.  Fulfilling the mandate given by the Conference of Parties at COP11 through Resolution 11.7, the Working Group, chaired by Australia, has compared the review processes of eight other multilateral environmental agreements. Based on the best practices and lessons learned examined at its first meeting, the Working Group developed options of a review process for CMS for consideration of the Conference of Parties next year.  

The fourth meeting of the Strategic Plan Working Group took place in Bonn from 7-8 November 2016. It reviewed progress in the implementation of the tasks assigned to it by COP11, notably the development of indicators for the Strategic Plan for Migratory Species, and a Companion Volume providing guidance on Implementation for the Strategic Plan.  The meeting agreed on a work plan towards the delivery of these products to COP12 for its consideration and endorsement. The meeting also received reports on the implementation of other related mandates, notably the revision of the National Report format in respect of assessing implementation of the Strategic Plan, the establishment of a register of sub-targets identified by CMS-family instruments and other stakeholders and relevant synergies and partnerships.

The report of the meeting will be posted on the Standing Committee pages of the CMS website in due course.

Last updated on 24 November 2016