Statement by Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals on World Environment Day 2020

This year’s World Environment Day theme, “Time for Nature”, reminds us that our lives, culture, society and economies are inextricably linked to a healthy planet where nature can thrive.  Migratory species are an essential component of ‘biodiversity’ – the variety of life on Earth - and provide direct benefits, such as pest control, pollination and seed dispersal, as well as forming the basis of sustainable tourism and wildlife watching, which generate significant revenues and employment for millions of people around the world.

The first-ever UN global biodiversity assessment1, released last year, warned that we are losing species at an unprecedented rate, and that 1 million species could face extinction in our lifetimes.  The drivers of this loss include habitat destruction and fragmentation, and overexploitation of wildlife.  These same drivers have been linked to infectious diseases in humans that originate in wildlife. 

The Convention on Migratory Species provides a unique platform for countries to work together to address these threats. CMS addresses both the conservation and management of wild species of migratory animals, as well as the conservation of their habitats.

The entire world is at a crossroads.  If we continue in the same direction, we will run out of options. It is that simple.  It is high time we make the shift to a different path.   We have an incredible opportunity to rebuild our economies and lifestyles in a way that respects nature, so that it can continue to support biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth, and our own lives and future. Let’s get on the right path.

1 The IPBES #GlobalAssessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services:

Last updated on 05 June 2020