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In this issue:

45th CMS Standing Committee Meeting - 9-10 November 2016, Bonn, Germany

Standing Committee Paves the Way to COP12

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.

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Sigrid Lüber, OceanCare President (left), Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of CMS (center) and  Øystein Størkersen, Chair of CMS Standing Committee during the partnership signature ceremony in Bonn, Germany

CMS and OceanCare Sign Partnership Agreement

CMS and OceanCare signed a Partnership Agreement today to formalize their cooperation to better conserve aquatic and marine migratory species. CMS Executive Secretary, Bradnee Chambers, and OceanCare President, Sigrid Lüber, signed the agreement in the margins of the 45th Meeting of the CMS Standing Committee taking place from 9 to 10 November in Bonn, Germany.

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Zhou Jinfeng and Bradnee Chambers sign CMS - CBCGDF partnership agreement © Aydin Bahramlouian

CMS Signs First Partnership Agreement with Chinese NGO

CMS and the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) signed a Partnership Agreement to formalize their cooperation to better protect migratory animals and their habitats. CBCGDF thereby becomes the first formal Chinese NGO partner of CMS.

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Bradnee Chambers (centre) releases a Common Shellduck at  China Conservation Area for Waterbirds at Tang Shan © Linda Wong

CMS Executive Secretary Visits China

CMS Executive Secretary, Bradnee Chambers has just completed a three-day visit of China, where he met ministry officials, participated in a workshop, attended an award ceremony for children’s paintings and visited two conservation areas.

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Hammerhead Sharks

First Regional Capacity-Building Workshop held in the Caribbean

The CMS Secretariat, in co-operation with the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and the UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP), organized the first Caribbean regional accession workshop from 31 August to 2 September 2016 in Bridgetown, Barbados.

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Bottlenose Dolphin © Steve Geelhoed

Countries Act to Better Protect Whales and Dolphins from Bycatch, Chemicals and Underwater Munitions

Harbour Porpoises, Orcas and Common Dolphins are exposed to many threats. Bycatch, for example, kills large numbers of marine mammals in fishing nets. Ocean energy installations, leaching chemicals and submerged munitions from the two world wars impact their lives.

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The flag of Iraq

Iraq Becomes CMS Party No. 124

CMS welcomes the Republic of Iraq as the 124th Party to the Convention with effect from today. Iraq, a state located in Western Asia, mainly characterized by desert and the important rivers - the Euphrates and Tigris - is the latest Party to have joined CMS.

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© Jens Rydell

CMS Family Attends International Bat Research Conference

The 17th International Bat Research Conference was being held in Durban, South Africa from 31 July to 5 August 2016. The conference will provide a platform for scientific exchange between bat researchers. On this occasion, the CMS Family will be represented by EUROBATS.

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Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) © Michele Mendi

Workshop Identifies Critical Threats to Old World Vultures in the European Region

The second Regional Workshop to develop a Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures (Vulture MsAP) took place from 25 to 29 October at Monfragüe National Park in Extremadura, Spain.

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White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) © Amir Bendov

1st Meeting of the AEWA White-headed Duck International Working Group Takes Place in Madrid

Key Range States from the AEWA populations of the White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) as well as priority countries where the invasive Ruddy Duck occurs came together for the 1st Meeting of the AEWA White-headed Duck International Working Group from 24 to 26 October in Madrid, Spain.

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Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) © Andras Kovacs

African Regional Workshop to Advance the Conservation of Old World Vultures

The first regional workshop to develop a Multi-species Action Plan to conserve African-Eurasian Vultures (Vulture MsAP) took place from 18 to 21 October in Dakar, Senegal. Government representatives, partners and stakeholders met to promote international cooperation in order to halt the recent rapid population declines of vultures - one of the most endangered groups of birds on Earth.

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By Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE (European Eel (Anguilla anguilla)) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Range State Workshop for the European Eel

From 13 to 14 October 2016, CMS and the Sargasso Sea Commission co-organized the first Range State Workshop for the European Eel in Galway, Ireland. The meeting provided a unique opportunity for Range States to discuss the status of eel conservation and management, and to consider any additional instruments of international cooperation.

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Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) © Mike Barth

Good News for Reducing Poisoning Pressures on Scavengers and Waterbirds

The world’s largest conservation event – the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress has adopted an important motion to help make lead ammunition a poison of the past.

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Mongolian Gazelles © Thomas Müller

Way Forward for Safeguarding Central Asian Migratory Mammals

Central Asian ecosystems, home to some of the most spectacular migrations of wild mammals in the world face increasing threats. Thirty experts active in Central Asia convened at the International Academy of Nature Conservation on Vilm Island in Germany to discuss how to advance their common goal of conserving Central Asian mammals and their habitats.

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Trapped bird © Basem Rabia

Task Force Agrees Need for Tougher Penalties, Adopts Zero Tolerance Approach to Curb Annual Slaughter of 25 Million Birds in the Mediterranean

Governments throughout the Mediterranean have agreed the need for tougher penalties and stricter surveillance in order to enforce a new “zero tolerance” policy that seeks to clamp down on the annual slaughter of millions of migratory birds in the region.

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Bonn Convention Joins UN-Day Celebrations

To mark the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations' presence in Bonn, the City celebrated UN Day on Saturday, 29 October on the market square.

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Dunlins (Calidris alba) © Sergey Dereliev,

Wadden Sea Day – Celebrating a World Heritage Site Important to Migratory Birds

To mark Wadden Sea Day 2016 a special event was held on 25 August, focusing on the great importance of the area as a staging post for the millions of birds that seek food and shelter there during their migration along the East Atlantic Flyway.

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© Florian Keil

Key Environment Body Meets in Bonn

The Liaison Group of Biodiversity-related Conventions (BLG), the body that brings together the top officials of seven international treaties dealing with the conservation of the planet’s fauna and flora, held its eleventh regular meeting in Bonn on 23 August 2016.

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Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) © Gerard Lacz/Robert Harding Image Broker

Snow Leopard Day 2016

23 October 2016 was International Snow Leopard Day, which is dedicated to raising awareness for the plight of this iconic species. The Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) inhabits mountain terrains of twelve Range States in Central and South Asia.

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Saiga Antelope (Saiga tatarica) - © Navinder Singh

Signs of Hope for Saiga Antelope after Mass Die-off in 2015

In May 2015, a catastrophic and unprecedented mass die-off caused by a bacterial infection wiped out more than 200,000 saiga antelopes within a few weeks.

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African lion (Panthera leo) © Neil Midlane/Panthera

Saving Lions: Africa Agrees on Ways Forward

In a historic move, representatives of 28 African lion Range States have reached broad agreement to secure the survival of this iconic species in the wild across Africa.

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Snow leopard © Joe Fox

Opinion: Spectre of Extinction Haunts the Ghost of the Mountains

Its silvery coat, spectral appearance and elusive nature have earned the Snow Leopard the pseudonym “the Ghost of the Mountains”. Its numbers are precariously low but concerted international efforts are under way to prevent the species’ extinction.

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