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The 13th Conference of Parties (COP); Migratory species; Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS);
By IASToppers
February 11, 2020


Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • India hosts Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

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Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

India hosts Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

The 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), an environmental treaty under the aegis of United Nations Environment Programme, is going to be hosted by India.

About CMS COP13:

  • The COP is scheduled to be organised from February 17 to 22 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

  • Theme of CMS COP13 in India is, “Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home”.
  • The logo for CMS COP 13 is inspired by ‘Kolam’, a traditional art form from southern India. It depicts key migratory species in India like Amur falcon, humpback whale and marine turtles.
  • Mascot for CMS COP13 is “Gibi – The Great Indian Bustard”. Gibi is a critically endangered species which has been accorded the highest protection status under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

India’s role in Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals:

  • India has been designated the President of the COP for the next three years. Hosting CMS COP-13 is a significant step towards wildlife conservation in India.
  • The government of India has been taking necessary actions to protect and conserve migratory marine species.
  • Seven species that include Dugong, Whale Shark, Marine Turtle (two species), have been identified for preparation of Conservation and Recovery Action Plan.
  • India has also signed non-legally binding MOU with CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016).

India: home to migratory species:

  • India is home to several migratory species of wildlife including snow leopard, Amur falcons, bar headed Geese, black necked cranes, marine turtles, dugongs, humpbacked whales, etc.
  • The Indian sub-continent is also part of the major bird flyway network, i.e, the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) that covers areas between the Arctic and Indian Oceans, which covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory water bird species, including 29 globally threatened species.

Appeal for Inclusion in global conservation list:

  • India expect the COP to clear the inclusion of the Great Indian Bustard and the elephant as it has been vetted by technical experts and reflects the consensus of several countries.
  • The elephant faces risks particularly in neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • Having the elephant and the Great Indian Bustard in the list (Appendix 1) would coax these countries, where wild animals such as tigers and elephant foray into, to direct more resources and attention to protecting them.
  • There are now 173 species in the Appendix 1.

Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS):

  • In order to protect the migratory species throughout their range countries, a Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), has been in force, under the aegis of United Nations Environment Programme.

  • It provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.
  • It also brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.
  • It is referred to as the Bonn Convention also.
  • Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention.
  • CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them.
  • The agreements of CMS may range from legally binding treaties to less formal instruments, such as Memoranda of Understanding, and can be adapted to the requirements of particular regions.
  • There are 130 parties to the convention and India has been a member since 1983.

Migratory species:

  • Migratory species are those animals that move from one habitat to another during different times of the year, due to various factors such as food, sunlight, temperature, climate, etc.
  • The movement between habitats, can sometimes exceed thousands of miles/kilometres for some migratory birds and mammals.
  • A migratory route can involve nesting and also requires the availability of habitats before and after each migration.

[Ref: PIB, The Hindu]

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