CMS has two Appendices. These appendices list migratory species to which the Convention applies. The text of the Convention defines the basic obligations of the Contracting Parties towards species listed on Appendix I and Appendix II. These obligations are quite distinct for the two Appendices, and a migratory species can be listed in both Appendices at the same time, if the circumstances so warrant.
Appendices I and II of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), as amended by the Conference of the Parties in 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2020. Effective: 22 May 2020.
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Summary of the application of CMS to Overseas Territories/Autonomous Regions of Parties and of reservations regarding species in the CMS Appendices.
Appendix I – Endangered migratory species
Appendix I comprises migratory species that have been assessed as being in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range. The Conference of the Parties has further interpreted the term “endangered” as meaning “facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future” (Res. 11.33 paragraph 1). Res. 11.33 also defines a general correspondence between the term ‘endangered’ as defined within CMS and the IUCN Red List Criteria (Version 3.1).
Parties that are a Range State to a migratory species listed in Appendix I shall endeavour to strictly protect them by: prohibiting the taking of such species, with very restricted scope for exceptions; conserving and where appropriate restoring their habitats; preventing, removing or mitigating obstacles to their migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them.
Appendix II - Migratory species conserved through Agreements
Appendix II covers migratory species that have an unfavourable conservation status and that require international agreements for their conservation and management, as well as those that have a conservation status which would significantly benefit from the international cooperation that could be achieved by an international agreement. The Convention encourages the Range States to species listed on Appendix II to conclude global or regional Agreements for the conservation and management of individual species or groups of related species.
In this respect, CMS acts as a framework convention from which separate instruments evolve. The Agreements may vary from legally binding treaties (the Agreements in the proper sense) to less formal instruments, such as Memoranda of Understanding, Action Plans or Species Initiatives, covering to the extent possible the entire migratory range of the species concerned. The development of instruments tailored according to the conservation needs of species and adapted to the requirements of particular regions is a unique capacity of CMS.
Appendices I and II may be amended at any meeting of the Conference of the Parties. Amendments consist of migratory species or their populations being added to or removed from the Appendices. Proposals for amendment can be submitted by any Contracting Party, in accordance with the procedure defined in Article XI of the Convention. The Conference of the Parties decides on the acceptance or rejection of a proposal, taking into account the advice of the CMS Scientific Council. Resolution 11.33 provides guidelines for assessing proposals for the amendment of the Appendices.
An amendment to the Appendices shall enter into force for all Parties ninety days after the meeting of the Conference of the Parties at which it was adopted, except for those Parties that make a reservation. During the period of ninety days before the entry into force of an amendment, any Party may by notification in writing to the Depositary make a reservation with respect to the amendment. A reservation to an amendment may be withdrawn by written notification to the Depositary (the Foreign Ministry of the German Federal Republic) and thereupon the amendment shall enter into force for that Party ninety days after the reservation is withdrawn.