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The Seventh Conference of the Parties to the Convention on  Migratory Species (CMS COP-7)

Bonn, Germany; 18-24 September 2002

Jürgen Trittin

Bärbel Dieckmann

Wednesday, 18 September 2002
The seventh Conference of the Parties (COP-7) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the second Meeting of the Parties (MOP-2) to the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds Agreement (AEWA) opened in a joint ceremony on Wednesday morning. Prior to the joint opening, the Federal Republic of Germany and the CMS Secretariat signed the CMS Headquarters Agreement, officially establishing Bonn as the CMS Secretariat's headquarters. Following the welcoming speeches, delegates met in Plenary to begin considering CMS COP-7's agenda, including items on administrative matters and reports from the various CMS bodies. In the afternoon, they convened in a Committee of the Whole (COW) to begin reviewing implementation of the Strategic Plan 2000-20005.

Jürgen Trittin, Federal German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, welcomed delegates to Bonn for the opening of the CMS and AEWA meetings. He highlighted climate change as a major threat to migratory species, noting that the German Government has committed 500 million Euros for climate change reduction programmes, including increasing the market share of solar and wind power.

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Bärbel Dieckmann, Mayor of Bonn, observed that CMS COP-7 was the first post-WSSD conference. She drew attention to Bonn's role as the host of various international conferences, as well as the home of many national and international governmental and non-governmental institutions, and highlighted the February 2002 Agreement between Germany and the UN to establish a UN campus in Bonn.

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Demetrio Ignacio

Demetrio Ignacio, CMS Standing Committee Chair, praised Germany's support of the CMS since 1979. He stressed the growing number of Parties to the CMS, as well as the expanding scope of its activities, and drew attention to the CMS-CBD joint work programme. He said challenges for CMS Parties include stimulating cooperation and enhancing activities to contribute to the 2010 target for reducing biodiversity loss.

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Yousoof Mungroo

Yousoof Mungroo, AEWA Technical Committee Chair, highlighted that the number of Parties to AEWA has doubled to 34 since MOP-1 in 1999, and called on other States to join. He also expressed gratitude for the generous financial support of several countries.

Shafqat Kakakhel

Speaking on behalf of UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer, Deputy Director Shafqat Kakakhel highlighted relevant targets adopted during the WSSD, including reducing the current rate of biodiversity loss. He praised the CMS for providing an international framework for specialized agreements on migratory species, and highlighted its focus on Africa.

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Arnulf Müller-Helmbrecht

Speaking on behalf of the Prince of Wales, Arnulf Müller-Helmbrecht, CMS Executive Secretary, praised the CMS as a "splendid champion" of vulnerable species for over 20 years. While highlighting its successes to date, he noted that only a few hundred of the 5,000 known migratory species benefit from the CMS approach, and urged delegates to give full support to the Convention's ongoing work.

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Claude Martin

Claude Martin, WWF International Director, on behalf of WWF, the IUCN, Birdlife International and Wetlands International, emphasized the importance of establishing partnerships between governments, the private sector and NGOs to address transboundary conservation issues.

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Gila Altmann

RULES OF PROCEDURE: CMS Standing Committee Chair Demetrio Ignacio opened the first CMS COP-7 Plenary session. CMS Deputy Executive Secretary Douglas Hykle introduced the adoption of rules of procedure.

ARGENTINA, supported by CHILE, questioned the appropriateness of punitive sanctions within the rules of procedure. NORWAY noted that many developing countries have "unavoidable economic circumstances" preventing them from paying their arrears and requested that they be allowed to vote. CMS Executive-Secretary Arnulf Müller-Helmbrecht said the matter had already been discussed at COP-6 and confirmed the legal basis of the current rules of procedure.

Koen De Smet, Belgium

Aseem Srivastava, India

ELECTION OF OFFICERS: The Plenary elected: Gila Altmann, Parliamentary Secretary of State (Germany), as the Chair of the Conference; Demetrio Ignacio (the Philippines) as Chair of the Committee of the Whole; and Iweh Okopido, Minister of Environment (Nigeria), as Vice-Chair of the Committee of the Whole (COW).

AGENDA AND WORK SCHEDULE: Delegates adopted the list of documents for the meeting (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.2 (Rev.3)), the provisional and annotated agendas (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.1 (Rev.1), and 7.1.1) and the provisional schedule (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.3) without amendments.

ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEES: Diana Mortimer (UK), Robert Boljesic (Slovenia), Hany Tatwany (Saudi Arabia), Mohammed Ibrahim Mohammed (Egypt) and Nancy Cespedes (Chile) were elected members of the Credentials Committee. The Committee appointed Hany Tatwany (Saudi Arabia) as its Chair.  

ADMISSION OF OBSERVERS: Participants agreed to admit as observers the six Scientific Council experts appointed by the COP, as well as inter-governmental (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

OPENING STATEMENTS: CMS COP-7 Chair Altmann requested observer countries to comment on the prospects of their accession to the Convention. BANGLADESH said it hopes to sign the CMS by the end of COP-7. NEPAL, VIETNAM, SIERRA LEONE and COTE D'IVOIRE indicated that they would ratify before COP-8. DJIBOUTI stated that it would join within a few weeks or months. INDONESIA noted economic and other problems hindering its work on CMS ratification, but said that a consultative process had been initiated.

REPORTS: Secretariat: Introducing the Secretariat's report (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.5.1), CMS Executive Secretary Müller-Helmbrecht drew attention to: contacts made with non-parties to encourage membership; the new Headquarters Agreement; administrative arrangements with the AEWA, ASCOBANS and EUROBATS Secretariats; cooperation with other inter-governmental (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and a decrease in Secretariat staff and need for funding.

Standing Committee: Demetrio Ignacio, Standing Committee Chair, introduced the Standing Committee's report (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.5.2 and Inf.7.6) and highlighted the strengthening of the CMS through, inter alia, enhancement of efforts, the new Headquarters Agreement, recognition of the CMS as the Convention on Biological Diversity's (CBD) lead partner, and increased participation in the CMS process due to travel assistance.

Scientific Council: Scientific Council Chair Colin Galbraith presented the Council's report (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.5.3), noting increased participation in the past triennium. The Council considered proposals for listing species in Appendices I and II, adhering strictly to scientific principles and the best available knowledge.

Depositary: Gerhard Adams, the German focal point for the CMS, presented the Report of the Depositary (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.5.4). He stressed Germany's strong relationship with the Secretariat, highlighting the recently signed CMS Headquarters Agreement, which should be ratified by the German Parliament within a year. He also noted Germany's campaign to encourage additional countries to join the CMS.

Committee Chair Ignacio introduced a document on the review of the implementation of the Strategic Plan for 2000-2005 (UNEP/CMS/Conf.7.10). CMS Deputy Executive Douglas Secretary Hykle explained that the objectives of the Strategic Plan include: promoting the conservation of migratory species; prioritizing conservation activities; expanding CMS membership; and facilitating implementation of the Convention by enhancing awareness and strengthening institutional arrangements.

Above: The CMS Secretariat signed the CMS Headquarters Agreement, officially establishing Bonn as the CMS Secretariat's headquarters.


Following the closing of the Plenary, delegates witnessed signing ceremonies for Memorandums of Cooperation between the CMS and UNESCO Secretariats, and between the CMS and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) Secretariats. Following this, Uzbekistan signed the MOU concerning Conservation and Restoration of the Bukhara Deer. Cameroon and Côte d'Ivoire signed the MOU on Conservation Measures for Marine Turtles of the Atlantic Coast of Africa, and Germany signed the MOU on Conservation and Management of the Middle-European Population of the Great Bustard.

Delegates were entertained by a performer illustrating the plight of marine turtles.


Convention on Migratory Species  (CMS) website.

Introduction to the  Convention on Migratory Species.

biodiversity and wildlife issues page and CMS  COP-6 summary report.

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