CMS Ambassadors are eminent personalities well known and respected in the conservation or media worlds for their work relating to environmental management and the conservation of threatened migratory animals.

They are selected by the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) on the basis of their outstanding achievements in the field, and asked to accept the CMS Ambassadorship, both in recognition of their accomplishments and as a commitment to promote the cause of the CMS and its agreements, namely the conservation of migratory species and their habitats.

Ambassadors help generate public awareness and understanding of environmental causes, as well as inspire broad, positive, committed action in support of UNEP's mandate and priorities.

CMS Ambassadors will promote the conservation of migratory species through their work using their existing and other networks, thus contributing to the enhancement of knowledge of the public and decision makers worldwide about the animals and the threats they face.

Each Ambassador has a unique set of skills and interests. The purpose of having several different ambassadors is to enable each one to contribute in their own way, according to their strengths, capabilities and interests.

Definition and Selection Criteria

To ensure consistency and high standards in the selection, designation and involvement of prominent individuals in the work of the CMS Family, CMS follows these guidelines, which are based on the approved criteria of the United Nations Secretary-General and apply to the Secretariat, and the Funds and Programmes at all UN agencies.

  • Individuals who are invited to serve as CMS Ambassadors shall:
    1. Possess widely recognized talent in the environment, arts, sciences, literature, entertainment, sports or other fields of public life:
    2. Be persons of integrity who demonstrate a strong desire to help mobilize public interest in and support for the environmental cause as a whole and for the purposes and principles of CMS, and who demonstrate the commitment and proven potential to reach out to significant audiences, including decision makers;
    3. Exemplify good environmental credentials in their work, life and/or advocacy work, and must be passionate, inspiring and caring towards the environment
    4. Possess the personality and dignity required for such high-level representative capacity;
    5. Be influential beyond their national borders, thus having the ability to promote the values of the CMS Family internationally;
    6. Be knowledgeable about CMS’s goals and activities and be able to articulate them; and have not engaged with or endorsed products, organizations or causes that conflict with the values of the CMS Family, UNEP or the UN.
  • Only the Executive Secretary may designate Ambassadors.  However, the CMS Secretariat will inform the Executive Director of UNEP of his intention to designate an individual as Ambassador before any commitment is made, not less than four weeks prior to the announcement of the designation. 
  • CMS Ambassadors will not be considered as staff members and may not be appointed to an established post or office in the CMS Family. Therefore, they shall not be granted a UNEP “Letter of Appointment” but issued instead a “Letter of Designation” by the CMS Executive Secretary.
  • The “Letter of Designation” shall set out their terms of reference, length of designation, and their status and entitlements.

Role of CMS Ambassadors

  • CMS Ambassadors may, at the invitation or request of the Executive Secretary, as appropriate, engage in public advocacy; fundraising where authorized and in accordance with the applicable regulations, rules, policies and procedures of the UN; and in public awareness activities. They may participate in certain other pre-approved events such as the Conference of the Parties and meetings of other bodies. 
  • Refrain from any activity incompatible with the purposes and principles of UNEP and the United Nations;
  • Exercise good judgment and discretion in all matters relating to the performance of their functions for the CMS Family;
  • Obtain guidance on their specific activities from Secretariat staff assigned to liaise with them.
  • CMS Ambassadors will be expected to actively promote CMS, and where appropriate, its agreements and MOUs through a range of activities, according to their particular skills and interests.

Terms of Reference to be adapted to the individual profile of an Ambassador