CMS COP11 continued on Friday in Quito, Ecuador. In the morning, the CoW listened to progress reports from the Drafting Group, the Aquatic Working Group and the Avian Working Group, with these groups continuing to meet throughout the day. The CoW also forwarded to plenary, for adoption, amended draft Resolutions on the: revised proposal to add the lion (Panthera leo) to Appendix II (UNEP/CMS/COP11/CRP4); impacts of invasive alien species (UNEP/CMS/COP11/CRP5); and review of decisions (UNEP/CMS/COP11/CRP6).
In the afternoon, the CoW agreed to forward the following draft Resolutions to plenary for adoption, on: Sustainable Boat-Based Marine Wildlife Watching (UNEP/CMS/COP11/CRP9); Renewable Energy and Migration Species (UNEP/CMS/COP11/CRP10); Taxonomy and Nomenclature of Birds Listed on the CMS Appendices (UNEP/CMS/COP11/CRP12); Conservation Implications of Cetacean Culture (UNEP/CMS/COP11/CRP13); and Live Captures of Cetaceans from the Wild for Commercial Purposes (UNEP/CMS/COP11/CRP15). On the live captures of cetaceans, CITES encouraged Parties to support multilateral approaches rather than approaches at variance with the CITES Convention, in reference to Article 14.
CoW Chair Størkersen informed the CoW that the Working Group on restructuring the Scientific Council will report back to the Drafting Group. He suggested convening as the CoW for the first hour on Sunday and closed the session.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
CONSERVATION ISSUES: Programme of Work for Migratory Birds and Flyways: The Secretariat introduced document UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.1.1. Taej Mundkur, Chair of the CMS Flyways Working Group, highlighted the main themes of the Programme of Work (PoW) on Migratory Birds and Flyways 2014-2023 and the Americas Flyways Framework.
SWITZERLAND, the EU, the US, ECUADOR, on behalf of South and Central America and the Caribbean, the PHILIPPINES, KYRGYZSTAN, BRAZIL and EGYPT supported the draft Resolution with minor amendments, with several countries praising its “ambition.” KYRGYZSTAN, supported by PAKISTAN, called for the expansion of AEWA to include the Central Asian flyway region. ECUADOR, supported by BRAZIL, called for a CMS task force to coordinate the implementation of the PoW and the Americas Flyways Framework, with BRAZIL offering to host a task force workshop.
The CoW forwarded the document to plenary with amendments.
Guidelines to Prevent Poisoning of Migratory Birds: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.1.2, which was supported by the EU, PERU and the PHILIPPINES. The US said that ammunition is regulated at state level and thus it will not be able to implement those portions of the Resolution.
Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds: The Secretariat introduced document UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.1.3. ECUADOR, the EU and EGYPT supported the document, with the latter two parties highlighting the importance of collaboration in addressing this issue.
Conservation of Landbirds in the African Eurasian Region: Olivier Biber, Chair of the African Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Working Group (AEMLWG), introduced UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.1.4, noting the draft Resolution includes the Action Plan to improve the conservation status of migratory landbirds, a conservation policy achievement matrix and an implementation matrix.
CoW Chair Størkersen suggested, and delegates agreed, not to reopen the debate since the Avian Working Group is already addressing the topic.
Conservation of the Saker Falcon: Colin Garbraith, Chair of the Saker Falcon Task Force, introduced the Task Force’s summary report (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.18.104.22.168) and the Saker Falcon Global Action Plan (SakerGAP) (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.22.214.171.124). He highlighted objectives, expected outcomes, key issues and the unique characteristics of the SakerGAP, noting its holistic, inclusive approach.
The UAE noted its continuing support for the Task Force. PAKISTAN, EGYPT and the EU approved the summary report and supported the draft Resolution and the SakerGAP. The EU and CITES highlighted challenges in implementing the SakerGAP.
The INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR FALCONRY AND CONSERVATION OF BIRDS OF PREY (IAF) noted its lead in taking forward the first Flagship Project to develop an online information portal to engage falcon hospitals, falconers and trappers.
The CoW agreed to forward the proposals to plenary for adoption.
CENTRAL ASIAN MAMMALS INITIATIVE: The Secretariat introduced the document on the Central Asian Mammals Initiative (CAMI) (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.23.3.1) as well as the Guidelines on Wildlife-friendly Infrastructure Design for Central Asia and the Draft Action Plan for the Conservation of Argali (Docs 23.3.2 and 3). KYRGYZSTAN introduced the CAMI Programme of Work.
SWITZERLAND said that conservation issues in Central Asia have been neglected for too long and, with KYRGYZSTAN, TAJIKISTAN and PAKISTAN, encouraged parties to adopt the CAMI. The EU, supporting the CAMI, suggested establishing a CMS Central Asia post. CITES recognized the importance of coordinating implementation of the CAMI. WILD SHEEP FOUNDATION and CONSERVATION FORCE welcomed the opportunity to support the implementation of the Argali Action Plan. The CoW forwarded the document to plenary.
COMMUNICATION, INFORMATION AND OUTREACH: Implementation of Outreach and Communication Plan 2012-14 and Communication, Information and Outreach Plan 2015-17: The Secretariat introduced the documents (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.19.1 and 19.2). He presented the draft resolution, highlighting three priority activities designed to enhance the strategic focus and overall coherence of CMS and AEWA communications, namely: development of a communications strategy and common branding; strengthening the joint team; and initiating the development of a Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) Programme.
The AEWA Secretariat invited parties to support the resolution increasing the visibility of CMS and AEWA.
The EU called for consideration of integration with CEPA as developed under the CBD and Ramsar Convention, and, with SENEGAL, supported the draft resolution.
The CoW endorsed the resolution with minor amendments by the EU and forwarded it to plenary for adoption.
Analysis and Synthesis of National Reports: The Secretariat introduced document UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.19.3. Noting that 2014 marked the inaugural use of the CMS online reporting system, Patricia Cremona, UNEP-WCMC, said that national reports provide a means to assess the status of the implementation of the CMS and ascertain future priorities.
EGYPT, SOUTH AFRICA, KENYA and COSTA RICA supported the Resolution and praised the “innovative” online reporting system. SOUTH AFRICA also called for a more user-friendly system, and KENYA noted that printed reports were not as clear as the online version.The CoW took note of the document.
CAPACITY BUILDING: Implementation of the Capacity Building Strategy 2012-2014 and Capacity Building Strategy 2015-2017: The Secretariat introduced UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.20.1 and 20.2. He stressed the importance of training, highlighted pre-COP workshops held in Chile, Fiji, Zimbabwe and Kyrgyzstan and requested support to host workshops during the intersessional period. He called for more regional action and training to increase recruitment of new parties. The EU, ARGENTINA, on behalf of Central and South America and the Caribbean, NEW ZEALAND and UNEP appreciated the activities and supported the documents. The CoW endorsed the documents.
World Migratory Bird Day: Kenya introduced its proposal on World Migratory Bird Day (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.19.4). The EU and ECUADOR supported the proposal, with ECUADOR suggesting a celebration in October. The CoW forwarded the proposal to plenary for adoption.
SYNERGIES AND PARTNERSHIPS: Report on Synergies and Partnerships: The Secretariat encouraged parties to read the report (UNEP/CMS/Doc. 21.1). CITES requested that reference to meetings of the Chairs of the Scientific Advisory Bodies of the Biodiversity-related Conventions (CSAB) be included in the document. The CoW took note of the document, with CITES’ addition.
Draft Resolution on Synergies and Partnerships: Switzerland introduced the draft Resolution contained in UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.21.2, noting that this Resolution, inter alia, requests the Secretariat to continue developing effective and practical cooperation with relevant stakeholders, including other biodiversity instruments and international organizations. The EU supported the Resolution, with amendments.
The CoW Chair asked the EU to submit amendments and said the document would be revisited in plenary.
STATEMENTS ON COOPERATION: The Secretariat invited the CoW to consider in concert three documents on: biodiversity-related MEAs (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.13.1), other intergovernmental bodies (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.13.2) and non-governmental organizations (UNEP/CMS/COP11/Doc.13.3). CITES stressed that all biodiversity-related conventions must work together to achieve goals. ASCOBANS, ACCOBAMS, EUROBATS, AEWA and the PERMANENT COMMISSION FOR THE SOUTH PACIFIC reported on activities relevant to CMS.
PROCEDURAL ISSUES: A Review Process for the Convention: The Chair of the Drafting Group reported that views of parties ranged widely in terms of the need for a process to review implementation of the CMS. He noted that the intent of such a process was not to impose sanctions but to offer targeted capacity-building support to parties. He reminded parties that the task before them was not to create a review process, but to establish a working group to explore the possibility of creating a review process.
The EU asked for more justification for a review process and requested the terms of reference for the working group that might address the issue. SWITZERLAND and the BORN FREE FOUNDATION, on behalf of a coalition of NGOs, emphasized the importance of launching an intersessional working group to explore possibilities for a CMS review mechanism.
The Secretariat suggested textual changes in response to the EU’s concerns, to which the EU did not agree, instead suggesting that the terms of reference for a working group should be proposed to the 44th meeting of the Standing Committee, allowing the Committee to determine whether to proceed with a working group. The Secretariat amended the text accordingly, and the EU and SWITZERLAND supported the revised resolution.
The CoW endorsed the amended text and forwarded it as a Resolution to the COP.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The CoW began Friday nearly a day behind on its agenda. But the warning of CoW Chair Størkersen––who informed delegates that discussions would likely continue for an additional three hours in the evening––seemed to be just what sleepy delegates needed to get energized. Or perhaps the Secretariat deserves the credit for informing surprised delegates that free coffee was available in the room adjacent to the plenary—a fact most participants had overlooked all week. Another observer pointed to the discounted prices at the PACARI chocolate stand, causing the most popular of its bars of premium organic chocolate to sell out.
Whatever the cause, Friday’s CoW negotiations zipped along at a quicker-than-usual pace. At such rapid speed, in fact, that one confused delegate asked when an agenda item would be addressed, only to be told it had been agreed upon six hours earlier. As for dedicated members of various Working Groups, however, many predicted that the schedule of “work, work, work and then straight to bed” would continue in order to reach agreement on outstanding issues before the final gathering of the COP on Sunday.