CMS COP11 continued on Thursday in Quito, Ecuador, with a review of species listing proposals. In the morning, the CoW listened to progress reports from the Chairs of the Credentials Committee, the Drafting Group, the Aquatic Working Group and the Avian Working Group, with all these groups continuing to meet. The CoW also addressed amended draft resolutions on: the strategic plan for migratory species 2015-23 (UNEP/CMS/COP11/CRP1); the programme of work on climate change and migratory species (UNEP/CMS/COP11/CRP2); and enhancing the relationship between the CMS family and civil society (UNEP/CMS/COP11/CRP3). The CoW forwarded the three resolutions to plenary for adoption.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
CROSSCUTTING CONSERVATION ISSUES: Wildlife Crime: Ghana, also on behalf of Monaco, introduced document UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.4.7/Rev.1.
The EU recognized the role CMS may play fighting wildlife crime, including in situ management, capacity building, national law enforcement and creation of alternative livelihoods. He supported the draft resolution with minor amendments.
BRAZIL suggested additional measures to minimize damage from wildlife crime and, opposed by ISRAEL, disagreed with the link made between wildlife crime and threats to national and regional security. SOUTH AFRICA, with CITES, said that efforts to reduce demand should be limited to illegally sourced products and species. CoW Chair Størkersen asked Monaco to lead a friends of the Chair group and collect proposed amendments.
Invasive Alien Species: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.4.4, which includes a review of the impact of invasive alien species (IAS) on species listed under CMS and explores potential future work on IAS.
AUSTRALIA supported CMS’s work on IAS and proposed a minor amendment recognizing CBD’s work on the topic. PERU, COSTA RICA, SENEGAL, FIJI and the EU supported the resolution.
Sustainable Boat-Based Wildlife Watching Tourism: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.4.5, highlighting potential benefits, associated risks and impacts.
Management of Marine Debris: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.4.6, noting the draft resolution is based on three reviews.
PROPOSALS FOR AMENDMENT OF APPENDICES I AND II OF THE CONVENTION: Cuvier’s Beaked Whale (Mediterranean population): The EU introduced its proposal to list the Mediterranean population of the Cuvier’s Beaked Whale (Ziphius cavirostris) on Appendix I (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.I-1), highlighting threats related to underwater noise, fisheries bycatch and marine debris.
CHILE, on behalf of South and Central America and the Caribbean, ACCOBAMS, MONACO and WILD MIGRATION, on behalf of a coalition of NGOs, supported the proposal. Noting the species is listed on CITES Appendix II, CITES said the adoption of the proposal would result in the CMS listing being out of sync with the CITES listing. The CoW agreed to forward the proposal to plenary for adoption.
Asiatic Lion: On the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica), Kenya said it had decided to submit a resolution in place of its listing proposal.
Great Bustard: Mongolia presented its proposal to list the Great bustard (Otis tarda) on Appendix I (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.I-4/Rev.1), saying the species is facing threats across much of its range. KYRGYZSTAN, PAKISTAN, the EU, UKRAINE and IUCN supported the listing. The CoW agreed to forward the proposal to plenary for adoption.
Semipalmated Sandpiper: Ecuador, also on behalf of Paraguay, introduced the proposal to list the Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) on Appendix I (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.I-5/Rev.1).
CHILE, the EU and ARGENTINA supported the proposal. The CoW agreed to forward the proposal to plenary for adoption.
Great Knot: The Philippines introduced its proposal to list the Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris) on Appendix I (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.I-6). He said a CMS listing would facilitate the development and implementation of additional conservation measures. As range States, NEW ZEALAND and AUSTRALIA supported the listing. FIJI, CHILE and the EU also supported the listing. The CoW agreed to forward the proposal to plenary for adoption.
European Roller: The EU presented the proposal to include the European Roller (Coracias garrulous) in Appendix I (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.I-7).
PAKISTAN, BELARUS, ISRAEL and CHILE supported the proposal. NORWAY asked for further clarification on how the species meets the criteria in Appendix I, which the EU provided. The CoW agreed to forward the proposal to plenary for adoption.
Sawfish: KENYA presented the proposal to include five species of sawfish (narrow, dwarf, smalltooth, green and largetooth) (Anoxypristis cuspidate, Pristis clavata, P. pectinata, P. zijsron and P. pristis)in Appendices I and II (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.I-8 and II-9).
EGYPT, AUSTRALIA, SENEGAL, SOUTH AFRICA, the EU, the UAE, ECUADOR, FIJI, CHILE, IUCN and SHARK ADVOCATES INTERNATIONAL, on behalf of a coalition of NGOs, supported the proposal, which was forwarded to plenary for adoption.
Reef Manta Ray: FIJI presented the proposal to include the Reef Manta Ray (Manta alfredi) (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.I-9 and II-10) in Appendices I and II, highlighting its vulnerability to human exploitation driven by international trade in gill plates, skin and cartilage.
ECUADOR, CHILE, the EU, the US and the Marine Megafauna Association, on behalf of a coalition of NGOs, supported the proposal. SOUTH AFRICA supported listing the reef manta ray in Appendix II only. CITES said the reef manta ray is listed under Appendix II of CITES, noting that if it were also listed in CMS Appendix I, the latter forbids the taking of specimens, which is permitted under CITES. The CoW agreed to forward the proposal to plenary for adoption, noting SOUTH AFRICA’s reservation.
Mobula species: FIJI introduced the proposal to list all species of mobula (Mobule spp.) (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.I-10 and II-11) in Appendices I and II, noting their conservative life history and vulnerability to overfishing.
NEW ZEALAND, IUCN and the MANTA TRUST, on behalf of a coalition of NGOs, supported the proposal. The CoW agreed to forward the proposal to plenary for adoption.
Polar Bear: NORWAY introduced the proposal to list the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.1.II-1) in Appendix II. She said an Appendix II listing in CMS would both complement existing polar bear conservation agreements and invite broader collaboration on the issue. She noted two minor amendments to the proposal.
MONACO, the EU, the US and WILDLIFE MIGRATION, on behalf of a coalition of NGOs, supported the proposal. Noting he failed to see the benefits of the proposed listing, CANADA welcomed the support of the CMS community in polar bear conservation efforts, especially with regards to the Circumpolar Action Plan. Two Inuit observers highlighted their long-term stewardship of polar bear populations and said an Appendix II listing was not warranted. The CoW agreed to forward the amended proposal to plenary for adoption.
Red-fronted Gazelle: Senegal, also on behalf of Niger, presented the proposal to include the Red-fronted Gazelle (Eudorcas rufifrons) in Appendix I (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.1.I-3), noting populations of four out of five sub-species in the family are declining.
ETHIOPIA, BENIN and the EU supported the proposal, which was forwarded to plenary for adoption.
White-eared Kob: Ethiopia presented the proposal to include the White-eared Kob (Kobus kob leucotis) in Appendix II (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.1.II-12).
EGYPT, KENYA, SENEGAL and the EU supported the proposal, which was forwarded to plenary for adoption.
Canada Warbler: Ecuador presented the proposal to include the Canada Warbler (Cardellina Canadensis) in Appendix II (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.1.II-13).
CANADA, the US, EGYPT, the EU and CHILE supported the proposal. The CoW agreed to forward the proposal to plenary for adoption.
Silky Shark: Egypt presented the proposal to include the Silky Shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) in Appendix II (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.1.II-14/Rev.1), underscoring main threats and rates of decline across the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
FIJI, the EU, ECUADOR, COSTA RICA, AUSTRALIA, the US, SENEGAL and IUCN supported the proposal. CHILE and PERU opposed it, highlighting contradictory evidence and overlap with management measures currently in place. The CoW agreed to forward the proposal to plenary for adoption.
Great and Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks: Ecuador, also on behalf of Costa Rica, introduced the proposals to list the great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran) and the scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.1.II-6 and 7) under Appendix II, describing the rationale for the listings.
The EU, MONACO, EGYPT, DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE, on behalf of a coalition of NGOs and many others, supported the proposal. The CoW agreed to forward the proposals to plenary for adoption.
Thresher sharks: The EU introduced the proposals to list bigeye, common and pelagic threshers (Alopias superciliosus, Alopias vulpinus, Alopias pelagicus) (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.1.II-8) under Appendix II, citing worldwide declines.
FIJI, NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA, ISRAEL, ECUADOR, IUCN and PEW, on behalf of a coalition of NGOs, supported the proposals. The CoW agreed to forward the proposals to plenary for adoption.
European Eel: Monaco introduced the proposal to list the European eel (Anguilla Anguilla) on Appendix II (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.24.1.II-18./Rev.1).
NORWAY, the EU, CHILE, ECUADOR, MOROCCO and the US supported the proposal. TUNISIA said it had not been consulted on the proposal, and with EGYPT, proposed an intersessional Working Group to discuss the proposal. The CoW agreed to forward the proposal to plenary for adoption.
CONSERVATION ISSUES: Conservation of Migratory Sharks and Rays: The Secretariat introduced the agenda item on Conservation of Migratory Sharks and Rays (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.2.1). She emphasized the resolution would complement the activities of the Sharks MoU and assist parties in meeting their obligations for species on Appendix I.
BRAZIL, ECUADOR, the UAE, EGYPT, CHILE, SENEGAL, ARGENTINA and HSI, on behalf of a coalition of NGOs, supported the draft resolution. The UAE requested its inclusion in the list of countries prohibiting shark fin trade in the document. The EU and the US expressed their support for this effort but proposed discussion of amendments in the Aquatic Working Group.
The CoW agreed to forward the draft resolution to the Aquatic Working Group for further discussion.
Action Plan for the Loggerhead Turtle in the South Pacific Ocean: Australia introduced the draft Single Species Action Plan for the South Pacific Ocean population of Loggerhead Turtles (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.2.2 Annex II), and its associated draft resolution (Annex I).
ECUADOR, the EU, PERU, the US, ARGENTINA, CHILE and FIJI supported the resolution, with many countries stressing the importance of synergies between CMS and relevant intergovernmental frameworks. The Chair asked Australia to work with parties on amendments in the Aquatic Working Group.
Live Captures of Cetaceans from the Wild for Commercial Purposes: The Secretariat introduced the document (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.2.3).
EGYPT, CHILE, ACCOBAMS, HSI and the WHALE AND DOLPHIN CONSERVATION SOCIETY supported the draft resolution. The EU supported the resolution with minor amendments. Discussion of this document will continue within the Aquatic Working Group.
Conservation Implications of Cetacean Culture: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.2.4, noting that the loss of migratory cultural memory and habitat knowledge can have devastating implications for populations of socially complex migratory species.
MONACO, CHILE, the EU, NEW ZEALAND, and several NGOs supported the document, with many countries praising CMS for its “innovative” consideration of social complexity as it applies to conservation.
Noting widespread support, the Chair said work on this document would continue in the Aquatic Working Group.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The “Synergies COP” came to the fore on Thursday with the resolution on Fighting Wildlife Crime Within and Beyond Borders, which builds on the CMS-CITES Joint Work Programme 2015-2020. However, as some pointed out, the synergies may not be as strong as they seem at face value. One delegate suggested that Parties’ coordination across these treaties could mitigate the issue of contradictory species listings between the Conventions, which now number more than 20.