From 18 to 22 June 2018, government representatives and experts gathered at the Headquarters of the United Nations to discuss the issue of anthropogenic underwater noise in the context of the UN consultative process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-19). CMS Executive Secretary, Bradnee Chambers, delivered an opening statement and brought the CMS Family Guidelines on Environmental Impact Assessments for Marine Noise-generating Activities to the attention of UN Member States.
It is estimated that the Mediterranean hosts almost 10 per cent of the world’s marine biodiversity despite it representing just 1 per cent of the world’s seas. Whales and dolphins are an essential component of the natural heritage of Mediterranean and Black Sea countries and play a key role in maintaining the equilibrium of marine ecosystems.
The “Eyes on the Flyways” Conference, held at the Natural History Museum in Brussels on 24 May, was the concluding event of the LIFE EuroSAP project which set out to tackle the threats facing sixteen endangered bird species in Eurasia. Funded by the EU, LIFE EuroSAP involves 13 partners and covers 16 species the populations of which have been in continuing decline.
In the margins of the 3rd meeting of the Sessional Committee of the CMS Scientific Council being held in Bonn this week, a signing ceremony took place marking the conclusion of a partnership agreement between the Born Free Foundation and CMS. Signing the Agreement on behalf of the Born Free Foundation was the charity’s Head of Policy, Mark Jones.
The third meeting of the Sessional Committee of the CMS Scientific Council is taking place in Bonn this week (29 May-1 June), its first gathering since last year’s Conference of the Parties in Manila. The Sessional Committee will consider strategic and institutional matters such as the Scientific Council’s rules of procedure, the subject areas of the COP-appointees, will review the implementation of its Programme of Work for 2016-2017 and develop the one for the triennium 2018-2020.
Representatives of over 20 Range States of the European Eel (Anguilla anguilla) and a number of IGOs and NGOs met in Malmö, Sweden, to discuss options for a mechanism to enhance international cooperation to conserve the critically endangered species. The meeting, chaired by a representative of the Swedish Government, was hosted by the World Maritime University, which recently celebrated the 35th anniversary of its foundation and is the only UN entity based in the country.
The Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemicals (SETAC) held its 28th meeting in Rome from 13 to 17 May 2018, under the central theme “Responsible and Innovative Research for Environmental Quality”. One of the programme highlights was a special symposium on “Migratory Species at Risk, the Role of Pesticides and other Chemicals”, which took place on 15 May co-organized by CMS and the Wildlife Toxicology Interest Group which operates under SETAC.
Dolphins, whales and porpoises (cetaceans) are fascinating animals that continue to capture the imagination of humans as evidenced by the increasing number of whale watchers taking to the seas in search of a glimpse of these majestic creatures. They are amongst the most intelligent animals on our planet and play a critical role in maintaining marine ecosystem health and therefore human health.. Yet, a dolphin, porpoise or whale is accidentally killed in fishing operations somewhere in the world about every two minutes.
The 4th World Conference on Marine Biodiversity (WCMB-4) held 13-16 May 2018 in Montreal, Canada, showcased marine biodiversity’s key role in sustaining ocean ecosystems. A special session of the Conference was an ideal opportunity to spotlight the ten years of achievement under the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) including its support to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).