Photo of Elephants by Noel Feans, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 National Legislation Programme: an Overview

 

   What is the National Legislation Programme?

The implementation of the Convention through national legislation and other domestic measures is key to achieve conservation and sustainable management of migratory species. The Conference of the Parties at its 12th meeting (Manila, 2017) adopted Resolution 12.9 and Decisions 12.6-12.9 to establish a National Legislation Programme to strengthen the implementation of the Convention through national legislation and support Parties, if needed, in developing or improving relevant national legislation.

The National Legislation Programme is a supportive, non-adversarial and facilitative activity, established to provide assistance to Parties in complying with CMS provisions, specifically to ensure long-term compliance with Article III.4 a) and b) and III.5 of the Convention.

Article III, paragraph 4 a) and b) and paragraph 5 of the Convention reads as follows:

 

ARTICLE III

4. Parties that are Range States of a migratory species listed in Appendix I shall endeavour:

a) to conserve and, where feasible and appropriate, restore those habitats of the species which are of importance in removing the species from danger of extinction;

b) to prevent, remove, compensate for or minimize, as appropriate, the adverse effects of activities or obstacles that seriously impede or prevent the migration of the species; ...

 

5. Parties that are Range States of a migratory species listed in Appendix I shall prohibit the taking of animals belonging to such species. Exceptions may be made to this prohibition only if:

a) the taking is for scientific purposes;

b) the taking is for the purpose of enhancing the propagation or survival of the affected species;

c) the taking is to accommodate the needs of traditional subsistence users of such species; or

d) extraordinary circumstances so require;

provided that such exceptions are precise as to content and limited in space and time. Such taking should not operate to the disadvantage of the species.

   Documents on the National Legislation Programme

CMS Resolutions

CMS Decisions

CMS Meeting Documents

 

   How does it work?

In line with Resolution 12.9, adopted at the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP12, Manila, 2017), and Decision 13.23, adopted at the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP13, Gandhinagar, 2020), Parties are encouraged to submit to the Secretariat information regarding their legislation and other domestic measures relating to implementation of Article III, paragraph 4 a) and b) and paragraph 5 of the Convention.

To facilitate the process of obtaining information on the Parties’ legislation and other domestic measures relating to the implementation of these provisions, and in accordance with COP12 Resolution 12.9 and Decision 12.6,  the Secretariat has provided:

  1. an Inventory of the Secretariat’s present information on Parties’ current legislation in relation to Article III.5; and             
  2. a Questionnaire to enable Parties to identify whether they have in place adequate legislation relating to the implementation of Article III.4 a) and b) and III.5.

COP13 Decision 13.23 strongly encouraged Parties to submit to the Secretariat information regarding their legislation and other domestic measures relating to implementation of Article III.4 a) and b) and III.5. 

39 Parties have so far submitted the completed questionnaire on Article III.5 to the Secretariat.

The responses in the questionnaires, as well as information from the inventories, contributed to the preparation of Legislative Guidance Materials and a Model Law for the implementation of Article III.5. The Secretariat also provided National Legislation Profiles, including findings and recommended actions, to facilitate the identification of inconsistencies in the implementation of Article III.5. 

According to Resolution 12.9, within six months of having received the findings and recommended actions from the Secretariat, Parties are requested to indicate the procedures, actions and reasonable time frames that are envisaged in response. Following the delivery of this information, Parties are requested to take appropriate measures for effective implementation of Article III.5, in accordance with their indicated procedures and time frames.

The Secretariat, in cooperation with relevant partners, will support Parties, as necessary and subject to the availability of resources, through the provision of, inter alia, guidance materials, model laws, technical assistance and capacity-building workshops in relation to Article III.4 a) and b) and III.5.

 

   Timeline

Directed to Action Time frame
The Secretariat  Share the revised National Legislation Programme questionnaire, including requests for information on the implementation of Article III.4 a) and b) and III.5 10th March 2021
The Parties Submit the questionnaires to the Secretariat, providing the requested information on implementation of Article III.4 a) and b) and III.5 By 3rd May 2021
The Parties Inform the Secretariat about the procedures, actions and reasonable time frames envisaged Within six months of having received the findings and recommended actions relating to implementation of Article III.5 from the Secretariat
The Parties Take appropriate measures to implement Article III.5 In accordance with the indicated time frames and procedures
The Parties Review the implementation of the Review Mechanism At the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties

The Standing Committee will report to the Conference of the Parties on any action taken pursuant to Resolution 12.9. 

 

 National Legislation Programme Toolkit

 

   Inventories

Disclaimer:

“The contents of the inventories are solely based on information submitted by Parties in their National Reports and official Accession documents and they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNEP/CMS. The designations employed in the documents do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the CMS Secretariat or UNEP concerning the legal status of any country, territory, or area, or concerting the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.”