Home > CMS COP12

12th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on
the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP12)

Their Future is Our Future – Sustainable Development for Wildlife & People

23-28 October 2017 | Manila, Philippines

Summary Highlights of the Meeting

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Group photo of the Philippine delegation and local support staff

Highlights for Saturday, 28 October 2017

The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP12) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) met for its final day on Saturday, 28 October 2017. The Committee of the Whole (CoW) convened at 8:30 am to conclude its work and accept the remaining conference room papers (CRPs) for adoption by plenary. In his concluding remarks, CoW Chair Rod Hay thanked the Philippines for their inspirational and effective leadership. He added that although the CoW had to negotiate and vote during previous sessions, the CMS remains “a friendly Convention,” adding that the spirit of collaboration has been palpable and bodes well for the future.

The COP12 plenary resumed at 10:00 am. Participants adopted the report of the Credentials Committee, and heard statements from governments, non-state parties, and regional organizations. They adopted all resolutions and decisions, including the Manila Declaration on Sustainable Development, and Migratory Species, and the decision to host CMS COP13 in India in 2020.

In his closing remarks, Rodolfo Garcia, Undersecretary and Chief of Staff, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines, on behalf of COP12 Chair Roy Cimatu, emphasized the success of COP12, with almost 100% party attendance, and large support from multiple stakeholders, which raised the profile of the CMS in the eyes of the public. He cited the Manila Declaration on Sustainable Development and Migratory Species, which states that wildlife supports many national and global economic activities, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, tourism, transport, mining, and trade.

CMS Executive Secretary Bradnee Chambers said that CMS had matured and “come of age,” and cited important milestones of COP12, including the Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures, the compliance review mechanism, and new policies and commitments. Chambers thanked CMS Deputy Executive Secretary Bert Lenten, who will retire at the end of the year, for his leadership and dedication to migratory species.

Plenary Vice-Chair Rod Hay closed CMS COP12 at 1:00 pm.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage, daily reports, and a summary and analysis report from the CMS COP12. The summary and analysis report is now available in HTML and PDF.

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Committee of the Whole (CoW)

L-R: CoW dais with Bert Lenten, CMS Deputy Executive Secretary; Melanie Virtue, CMS Secretariat; CoW Chair Rod Hay; and Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary


CoW Chair Rod Hay

Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary


Saras Sharma, Fiji

Stefan Leiner, EU

Thea Carroll, South Africa


Lucinda Mangue, Mozambique

Juan Miguel Cuna, the Philippines

Julia Cordero, Ecuador



Melanie Virtue, CMS Secretariat

Bert Lenten, CMS Deputy Executive Secretary



Closing Plenary

Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary, delivering his closing address

Rodolfo Garcia, Undersecretary and Chief of Staff, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines, delivering his closing speech


L-R: Rodolfo Garcia, Undersecretary and Chief of Staff, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Philippines, and Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary


Elizabeth Mrema, UN Environment

Soumitra Dasgupta, India, formally announced India's intention to host COP13


L-R: Vice-Chair Rod Hay; Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary; and Ernesto D. Adobo, Jr., Undersecretary for Administration and Information Systems, DENR, the Philippines



Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary, honoring Bert Lenten, CMS Deputy Executive Secretary on his retirement

Rodolfo Garcia, Undersecretary and Chief of Staff, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines, presenting gifts to Bert Lenten, CMS Deputy Executive Secretary



Vice-Chair Rod Hay, on behalf of COP12 Chair Roy Cimatu, gaveled the meeting to a close at
1:00 pm


Highlights for Thursday, 26 2017

The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP12) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) resumed Thursday, 26 October 2017. Participants continued their work in the Committee of the Whole (CoW), addressing the listing of avian and aquatic species on CMS Appendices I and II, as well as the template for drafting such proposals. They also considered the item on enhancing synergies and sharing common services among the CMS family instruments.

In the afternoon, the CoW resumed its work, beginning with deliberations on proposals for listing terrestrial species on CMS Appendices I and II, and addressed: issues under the implementation of the Concerted Action process; establishing a COP presidency under the Rules of Procedure; and a number of draft decisions to forward to plenary for adoption.

On Friday, 27 October, delegates will have a day off for excursions, before returning on Saturday, 28 October, for the final session of the CoW and the closing plenary.

+ Visit the web coverage for Thursday, 26 October 2017


Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, Chair of the Terrestrial Working Group

Narelle Montgomery, Chair of the Institutional Working Group


Marcel Calvar, Chair of the Credentials Committee

James Njogu, Chair of the Review of Decisions Working Group


Antoinette Taus, Communities Organized for Resource Allocation (CORA)

Saras Saras Sharma, Fiji


Bird's eye view of CoW deliberations


Patrick Omondi, Kenya

Alex Macdonald, New Zealand

Stefan Leiner, EU


Vince Cinches, Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Blas Cabrera, Honduras

Okoumassou Kotchikpa, Togo



L-R: Malta Qwathekana, South Africa, consulting with Nana Kofi Adu-Nsiah, Ghana


Highlights for Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP12) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) resumed Wednesday, 25 October 2017. Participants heard a keynote speech from Erik Solheim, UN Environment Executive Director, and reports from UN Environment, the CMS daughter agreements, and the working groups. The Committee of the Whole (CoW) then continued its work, discussing the remaining aquatic and avian species conservation issues, national reports, synergies and partnerships, and the Strategic Plan for Migratory Species 2015-2023 (SPMS).

In the afternoon, the CoW resumed. Participants discussed: the Manila Declaration on Sustainable Development and Migratory Species; crosscutting conservation issues, including marine debris, climate change, bycatch, and the conservation implications of animal culture and social complexity; the future shape and strategies of CMS and the CMS Family; and taxonomy.

The working groups and the Budget Committee met over the course of the day to continue their work.

+ Visit the web coverage for Wednesday, 25 October 2017


Erik Solheim, UN Environment Executive Director, delivering a keynote speech


L-R: Bert Lenten, CMS Deputy Executive Secretary; Melanie Virtue, CMS Secretariat; Rod Hay, CoW Chair; Erik Solheim, UN Environment Executive Director; and Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary


L-R: Erik Solheim, UN Environment Executive Director, and Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary


Fernando Spina, Scientific Council Chair

Colin Galbraith, CMS Scientific Councillor


Ines Verleye, Belgium


COP12 local registration staff pose with Nermalie Lita (center), Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines



"A Happy Marine Life," an art installation on marine migratory species by Yvette Co and Roel Lazaro


Highlights for Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP12) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) resumed on Tuesday, 24 October. The Committee of the Whole (CoW) continued its work in the morning. Participants heard reports from the working groups, and addressed agenda items on: options for a review process for the Convention; implementation of the concerted action process; national reports; national legislation to implement CMS; and terrestrial conservation issues.

In the afternoon, participants resumed their consideration of terrestrial, aquatic, and avian conservation issues.

In a brief ceremony, Sri Lanka, Benin and Brazil signed the MoU on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks (the Sharks MoU). They became the 44th, 45th and 46th signatories, respectively. WWF became the tenth Cooperating Partner to the Sharks MoU.

Burkina Faso became the 58th signatory of the MoU on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MoU). The Peregrine Fund became the fifth Cooperating Partner to the Raptors MoU.

+ Visit the web coverage for Tuesday, 24 October 2017


L-R: Bert Lenten, CMS Deputy Executive Secretary; Melanie Virtue, CMS Secretariat; Rod Hay, CoW Chair; and Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary


Marcel Calvar, Chair of the Credentials Committee

Øystein Størkersen, Chair of the Budget Committee


Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, Chair of the Terrestrial Working Group

Barry Baker, Chair of the Aquatic Working Group


L-R: Elizabeth Mrema, UN Environment; Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary; and Francisco Rilla, UN Environment


Marku Lamp, Estonia, on behalf of the EU and its 28 Member States

Susan Lieberman, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Siddhanta Das, India


Jonas Leones, the Philippines

Ndeye Sene Thiam, Senegal

James Njogu, Kenya


Highlights for Monday, 23 October 2017

The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP12) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) opened on Monday, 23 October 2017. During the morning plenary session, participants heard keynote speeches, enjoyed a cultural presentation, addressed a number of organizational matters, and heard reports from the CMS subsidiary bodies.

In the afternoon, CMS Executive Secretary Bradnee Chambers presented the report of the Secretariat and implementation of the Programme of Work 2015-2017. The Committee of the Whole (CoW) convened to address budgetary and administrative matters, and the review of decisions. A number of working groups were also established and held their initial meetings in the evening.

In a brief ceremony, Tarsicio Granizo Tamayo, Minister of Environment, Ecuador, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks.

+ Visit the web coverage for Monday, 23 October 2017


Lively drumbeats entertained participants at the opening of COP12

Fire dancers performing at the opening of COP12


Nadya Yuti Hutagalung, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador


Yann Arthus-Bertrand, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador

Cynthia Villar, Senator and Chair, Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Reseources, the Philippines


Zach Beaudoin, Winner, CMS-UN Foundation essay competition


L-R: Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary; Øystein Størkersen, Chair of the Standing Committee; and Bert Lenten, CMS Deputy Executive Secretary


Roy Cimatu, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines

Tarsicio Granizo Tamayo, Minister of Environment, Ecuador


Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment

John Scanlon, Secretary-General, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)


Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary

Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity


Participants and the ENB team are warmly welcomed to the opening of COP12


L-R: Raed Bani Hani, Jordan; Belal Al Hayk, Syria; Akram Eissa Darwich, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW); and Abdallah Al Hakmi, Saudi Arabia

Highlights for Sunday, 22 October 2017

The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP12) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) was preceded by a day of high-level events on Sunday, 22 October 2017.

In the morning, the Leaders’ Dialogue brought together ministers, leaders from the private sector, and non-governmental entities under the theme “Moving Towards a Pollution-Free Planet.” Participants discussed three key threats to wildlife: marine debris, pollution from pesticides, and lead.

In the afternoon, a high-level panel addressed how CMS implementation can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on, among others, what the opportunities for sustainable wildlife-based tourism are, converting knowledge into action, legal mechanisms to ensure community involvement, and alternative income sources for local communities.

The Migratory Species Champions Award Ceremony recognized five new champions for their contributions to advancing wildlife conservation. The recipients were: the Government of Germany for reconciling energy sector development with migratory species; the Government of the Philippines for whale shark conservation; the European Commission for addressing the illegal killing, taking, and trade of migratory birds in the Mediterranean; marine conservation; and the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi for the conservation of birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia, and the conservation of dugongs and their habitats.

+ Visit the web coverage for Sunday, 22 October 2017


View of the Leaders' Dialogue


Roy Cimatu, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines

Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment


Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary

Peter Nietschke, The Plastic Bank


L-R: Mundita Lim, the Philippines, consulting with Roy Cimatu, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines


Bird's eye view of the High-level Panel


Roy Cimatu, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines, delivering his opening remarks


Roy Cimatu, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines, and Bradnee Chambers, CMS Executive Secretary


High-level Panel group photo





Daily Web CoverageAbout | 22 Oct | 23 Oct | 24 Oct | 25 Oct | 26 Oct | 28 Oct | Summary
Specific funding for coverage of CMS COP12 has been provided by the
European Union (EU) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines
EU Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the EU and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2017 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Switzerland (Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), and SWAN International. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, Québec, and the Institute of La Francophonie for Sustainable Development (IFDD), a subsidiary body of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).