Convention on conservation of migratory species

The Bonn Convention or the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) aims to conserve the terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their habitat range.

Convention On Conservation Of Migratory Species

CMS is an intergovernmental treaty which was concluded under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which deals with the protection and conservation of wildlife and their habitats throughout the world.

There are 126 parties to the Bonn convention and has membership from Africa, Central America, South America, Europe, and Oceania. The CMS convention was signed in Bonn, Germany in 1979, it and came into force in 1983.

Bonn Convention is the only Global convention which specializes in the conservation of migratory species and their habitats and migration routes. It compliments and cooperates with several International organisations, NGOs, media and private sector members etc.

Appendix I

  • The migratory species which are facing the threat of extinction are listed in Appendix I of CMS convention.
  • The parties have to strictly protect these animals, and they have to conserve and restore the places where they live, and mitigate the factors causing obstacles to their migration and have to control other factors which can endanger them.
  • The convention promotes concerted measures and actions among the range states of these species.

Appendix II

  • The migratory species which need or can benefit significantly from International cooperation are listed under Appendix II of CMS convention.

To ensure conservation of migratory species, the parties will take the following steps:

  • They will promote, cooperate and support research activities related to the migratory species.
  • They would provide immediate protection and conservation to the species which are included in Appendix I.
  • They would conclude agreements which cover the conservation and management of various migratory species included in Appendix II.

CMS as a Framework convention

  • Agreements can range from legally binding treaties to less formal Memorandum of understandings, as per the requirements of any particular region.
  • Development of models as per the conservation requirements throughout the migratory range is unique to the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species.

Download Convention on conservation of migratory species PDF

The organisational structure of CMS

Conference of Parties (COP)

  • The conference of parties (COP) is the decision making body of the CMS convention. COP meets every 3 years and decides about its policies and programmes. The functions of COP are described under Article VII of the CMS convention.
  • The functions of the conference of parties include the review of the implementation of the convention, adoption of budgets, giving resolutions and recommendations on various issues, amendment of Appendix I and Appendix II, and takes decisions about the future priorities of CMS activities.

The Standing Committee (STC):

  • The standing committee provides the guidance for policy formulation and administrative actions during the regular meetings of COP on general policy issues as well as on operational and financial matters.
  • The standing committee consists of the representatives of the parties particularly from each of the CMS region.
  • A delegate represents the country which plans to host the next meeting of the Conference Of Parties. The standing committee meets at least annually.

Scientific Council

  • The scientific council advises the conference of parties and Secretariat on the scientific issues and it prioritises the research and conservation measures. The functions of the scientific council are mentioned in Article VIII of the Bonn Convention. The members of the scientific council consist of the experts who are appointed by the CMS parties.

Steps Taken by India

  • India has signed a Raptor MoU on the conservation of birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia. India became the 56th member to sign the Raptor MoU under the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS).

Raptor MoU

  • Raptor MoU is a multilateral agreement under Article IV, paragraph 4 of the CMS Convention. It is a non-binding initiative, signed in October 2008, which came into effect on November 1, 2008.
  • The MoU aims to ensure the working of members States for the conservation of Raptor species and their habitats. The MoU covers 76 species of birds of prey and has formulated an action plan for conservation action for the Raptor species.

Benefits for India from Raptor MoU

  • It will help in gaining knowledge for the effective management of the habitats of 76 migratory species of birds under its ambit.
  • The initiative is in conformity with the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act 1972, which provides protection to various bird species in India.
  • It would ensure transboundary efforts for the conservation and protection of migratory birds through cooperation with other signatory parties of MOU with the CMS convention.

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