High-level Dialogue to Feed into Post-2020 UN Biodiversity Meeting

Gandhinagar, 16 February 2020 - Outcomes from a High-level Segment taking place on the eve of CMS COP13 will help to ensure that migratory species are prioritized in a new 10-year UN global biodiversity framework. 
CMS COP13 will kick off the ‘super year’ for biodiversity, which will culminate in the adoption of the new framework during the UN Biodiversity Conference in October.
The High-Level Segment will take place in Gandhinagar ahead of CMS COP13. It will feature a special dialogue on CMS priorities for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and engage ministers and senior officials of governments, executives of international organizations and other biodiversity leaders. 
Key messages from the High-Level dialogue will be incorporated into the Gandhinagar Declaration, which will be proposed by the Government of India for adoption during CMS COP13.
The Resolution will be formally transmitted to the second meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (OEWG) in Rome, Italy on 24-29 February 2020, and to the UN Biodiversity Conference in October.
The concept of ‘ecological connectivity’ is the top CMS priority for the Framework, which calls for the protection and restoration of important geographical areas that together support migratory species during their natural lifecycles, such as breeding and feeding.
Two key, related priorities for CMS are that the post-2020 framework includes a commitment by governments to cooperate where necessary to address biodiversity loss including species declines.  International cooperation is at the heart of the Convention on Migratory Species, as migratory species protected under CMS cross political borders, often travelling long distances during their natural migration cycles.  
The High-Level Segment will be held on Sunday 16 February from 14:00 to 18:00 hrs in Seminar Hall 4, Mahatma Mandir Convention Centre.  Following opening remarks from Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of India and Ms. Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary of CMS, there will follow two consecutive sessions. The first will be dedicated to Ministers and other high-level government officials, while the second will engage executives of international organizations. 
The discussion will be conducted in an open roundtable format, to encourage the speakers to engage in an interactive discussion. The event is open to all CMS COP13 participants.

For more information and interviews please contact:

Florian Keil, Coordinator of the Joint Communications Team at the UNEP/CMS and UNEP/AEWA Secretariats, [email protected]
Veronika Lenarz, Public Information, CMS Secretariat, Tel: +91 6359985291, [email protected]

Notes for Editors:

Quotes of participants of the High-Level Segment:
Theresa Mundita S Lim
Executive Director
On migratory species:   
“Migratory species are tangible reminders that all of us, no matter what race, culture, or country we belong to, share the same planet and that we are all interconnected. Their regular presence in the times of the year when we are expecting them to be there, are signs that all is well where they came from, wherever they have been, and where they currently are.  Their survival somehow reassures us of our survival as well, as they continue to support certain ecosystem functions that are vital to us, when circumstances and timing warrants it. Some examples are containing and controlling pests and diseases, keeping us resilient and safe from hunger and disaster by growing and expanding our forests and coastal and marine habitats naturally, or simply just giving us a calming glimpse of nature’s abundance and beauty, a source of inspiration for some, and for others,  an opportunity to earn a living, sustainably. 
But efforts to protect our migratory species will only be successful if we recognize our interconnectedness, and nations do not act alone and independently.
The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) supports cooperation and collaboration among countries to deliver greater and more lasting impact in the continuing global efforts to keep our migratory species safe and allow humanity to continue benefiting from the important ecosystem services that these wildlife resources provide. Our support, in fact, focuses on ten countries in Southeast Asia, or the ASEAN Member States who established the ACB as a mechanism for this stronger collaboration and has since supported sub-regional and regional initiatives to help the member states contribute significantly in meeting global biodiversity targets. 
With the ACB, the countries have committed to work together to protect the remaining biodiversity in the sub-region, including the migratory species which move from within, then across and beyond national boundaries. One initiative that demonstrates appreciation for the value of sub-regional cooperation in conserving migratory species is the creation of the ASEAN Flyway Network (AFN), which facilitates coordinated action for monitoring and protecting migratory waterbirds and the wetlands that support them. AFN is a virtual network of national focal points from the 10 AMS, flyway site managers, and other key stakeholders in the ASEAN region that facilitates regional cooperation in the conservation of migratory waterbirds and the wetlands that support them.”
On migratory species in the post-2020 framework:
“Interconnectivity must be considered one of the important elements of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The idea that the decision to act cannot be made by only one, but several, or all countries, is reinforced by the recognition that all of us are interconnected. Protecting migratory species and their pathways not only during their adulthood but all throughout their life cycle, encourages more countries to work together as one and creates partnerships across sectors and disciplines to address the various threats that affect migratory wildlife. In the process, this will not just lead towards achieving only the species target, but also in meeting multiple biodiversity targets and a number of sustainable development goals as well.”
Ovais Sarmad
Deputy Executive Secretary
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
“Migratory birds reflect the delicate balance of nature and humanity’s relationship with it. This delicate balance, however, is endangered by the ultimate threat multiplier: climate change. It is already destroying ecosystems that these birds, as well as other species, depend on. As nations update and submit new national climate action plans in 2020, we urge them to include measures to protect biodiversity, migratory species and their habitats.”
John E. Scanlon AO
Special Envoy
 “Connectivity is a defining feature of a successful modern economy and of a healthy natural environment. No species, no place, no country can survive in isolation, but as the infrastructure for economic connectivity proliferates, we see ecological connectivity in decline, with migratory animals paying a particularly heavy price. Our future prosperity relies upon a sound economy and a healthy natural environment, and 2020, the ‘super year’ for biodiversity, offers us the opportunity to embed ecological connectivity into our strategies. If not, nature, just like an economy, will start to collapse.”
Rebecca Lent
Executive Secretary
International Whaling Commission (IWC)
“'The IWC welcomes the opportunity to participate in COP13, underscores the productive partnership between our organisations and embraces the theme of connectivity, given the migratory status of so many cetacean populations.”
David Ainsworth
Media Officer
Convention on Biological Diversity
“It is fitting that the ‘super year’ for biodiversity, and our road together for an ambitious global framework in Kunming, begins with and at the Gandhinagar COP. The Convention on Migratory Species, and its species-specific agreements between countries, exemplifies the international cooperation needed to halt and reverse the loss of the world's biodiversity and renew the health and integrity of the ecosystems that ensure our food, water and livelihoods, the stability of the Earth's climate system, and the sustainable future of our planet. I am confident that the spirit of your deliberations and the agreements that you reach this week will set us on the road to a truly transformative global commitment for biodiversity that will build a future of life in harmony with nature.”
Yuan Liu, Francisco Perez
Media Officers 
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
“The biodiversity ‘super-year’ gives Parties the opportunity to take stock and commit to a transformative biodiversity agenda under each of the biodiversity-related Conventions. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals and the Convention on Biological Diversity, for example, share a common vision to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and its components, which is recognised by the respective Parties in their Strategic Visions. Governments, industry, civil society, academia and all citizens working together on shared objectives at all levels will make possible the achievement of the ambitious goals of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The time to act is now; we can no longer ignore the increasing threats to biodiversity from loss of habitats to overexploitation of animal and plant species to climate change.”
Martha Rojas Urrego
Secretary General
Ramsar Convention 
“Migratory species whether birds, fish, turtles and mammals depend on a vast and interconnected network of freshwater, marine, and coastal wetlands, as an important habitat to stopover, feed and breed. Yet currently, wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests. Eighty seven per cent  have been lost in the past 300 years and 35 per cent since 1970.
Wetland conservation, sustainable use and restoration must be at the heart of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. All countries must be encouraged to collaborate across borders and regions, if we are to reach our common biodiversity ambition in 2020 and beyond.”

Last updated on 16 February 2020