Report of main proceedings for 9 November 1999

6th Meeting of the CMS Conference of the Parties (COP-6) and 1st Meeting of the Parties to the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA MOP-1)

Delegates convened in a final Plenary session to finalize the work of MOP-1 and hear a presentation on a GEF proposal. The AEWA adopted fourteen resolutions on a range of topics, including: establishment of the permanent Secretariat; revision of the Action Plan; establishment of the Technical Committee; financial and administrative matters; and the Conservation Guidelines.


Chair Diop (Senegal) requested Gerhard Emonds, Chair of the Credentials Committee, to report on the status of accredited Parties. He said that less than two-thirds of the Parties had met the credentials requirements. Delegates agreed to change the AEWA rules of procedure to require a quorum of one half of the Parties rather than two thirds for taking decisions.

GEF PROPOSAL: Michael Moser (Wetlands International) presented a GEF proposal to support catalytic activities for the network of critical wetlands areas (AEWA/Inf.1.11) in developing countries. He called for project development funds of $US 500,000 for the year 2000, noting that the GEF will provide $US 350,000. The full GEF project, starting in April 2001, is expected to contain the following elements: flyway and national protected area planning; capacity building; and participatory demonstration site projects. RAMSAR, SWITZERLAND and UNEP expressed support for the project. SENEGAL asked for clarification on local government participation. GUINEA inquired about eligibility of countries. Moser clarified that governmental agencies are expected to implement the GEF project locally and that developing country status and ratification of the CBD determined eligibility.

ADOPTION OF RESOLUTIONS: Bert Lenten (AEWA Interim Secretariat) introduced the draft resolution on financial and administrative matters (AEWA/Res.1.2/Rev.1), noting an amendment specifying that Parties submit contributions no later than the end of June. The UK supported the resolution but asked the Secretariat to seek ways to minimize the third year costs.

On the draft resolution on international implementation priorities for 2000-2004 (AEWA/Res.1.4/Rev.1), Lenten drew attention to additional provisions, noting the importance of identifying the key sites network, migration patterns and potential contributions to sustainable development from waterbird conservation. He also noted the addition of an annex outlining additional priority projects and of a provision requesting GEF support to assist with priority actions for the network of critical wetlands. On the draft resolution on the establishment of an international register of projects (AEWA/Res.1.5/Rev.1), Lenten noted a provision requesting the Technical Committee submit a revised version to each MOP. He also noted text on dissemination of project information through the CBD CHM.

On the draft resolution on establishing a small conservation grants fund (AEWA/Res.1.7/Rev.2), Lenten noted amendments referring to the CMS guidelines for acceptance of financial contributions and the Technical Committee to assist the Secretariat with consultations concerning sponsorship.

On the draft resolution on establishment of the permanent Secretariat for the AEWA (AEWA/Res.1.1/Rev.1), NIGER, on behalf of the African countries, requested that an Africa focal point be created within the Secretariat and that some form of representation be established in an African country. Chair Diop welcomed this proposal and suggested that the issue be addressed by MOP-2.

Regarding the draft resolution on the establishment of a triennial national report format for AEWA (AEWA/Res.1.3/Rev.1), Lenten drew attention to the addition of a paragraph stressing review of AEWA resolution implementation. On the resolution regarding amendments to the Action Plan (AEWA/Res.1.9/Rev.2), David Stroud (United Kingdom), Chair of the working group on technical and biological matters, drew attention to an annex containing the revised conservation status of waterbird populations.

With regard to the draft resolution on Conservation Guidelines, Lenten noted the addition of an annex on the outcomes of the working group on technical and biological matters. The EU, stressing the non-legal and evolving nature of the guidelines, requested qualifying that they would provide initial guidance. He opposed annexing the outcomes of the working group and called for inclusion of a paragraph requesting the Technical Committee to revise the initial guidelines as a matter of urgency. On a draft resolution on the phase-out of lead shot (AEWA/Res.1.14), FRANCE announced its ban on the use of lead shot and consultations with lead manufacturers and hunters. Boere presented a copy of the draft report of the meeting (AEWA/MOP 1.L.1) and requested comments on the report be submitted in writing.

The Plenary adopted all of these resolutions as modified. Delegates also adopted resolutions on: guidelines for the acceptance of contributions in cash and contributions in kind (AEWA/Res1.6/Rev.2); the date, venue and funding of MOP-2 (AEWA/Res.1.11/Rev.2); and the establishment of the Technical Committee (AEWA/Res1.8/Rev.2).

CLOSING REMARKS: EUROBATS congratulated the meeting and looked forward to cooperative work with the AEWA Secretariat. Mller-Helmbrecht commended MOP-1 on its productive and consensual decisions and emphasized that the CMS Secretariat would do its utmost to ensure the AEWA Secretariat in Bonn. Boere expressed satisfaction with the outcomes of MOP-1 and thanked NGOs for their contributions to preparing meeting documents. He thanked Mller-Helmbrecht, the South African government and Chair Diop for making the meeting a success. Diop thanked delegates, working group Chairs, South Africa, the Netherlands, the interim Secretariat and Boere for their work and gaveled the meeting to a close at 1:30 pm.


ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AEWA PERMANENT SECRETARIAT: The resolution to establish the permanent AEWA Secretariat (AEWA/Res.1.1/Rev.1) welcomes and accepts Germanys offer to co-locate it with the CMS Secretariat in Bonn. Staffing criteria is outlined in an annex.

FINANCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS: This resolution (AEWA/Res.1.2/Rev.1) adopts a budget for 2000-2002 and requires Parties to contribute to the budget in accordance with the UN scale of assessment. The resolution takes note of the International Implementation Priorities for 2000-2004, invites voluntary contributions from non-Parties, fixes the standard NGO participation fee at US $100 and approves the Terms of Reference for budget administration.

NATIONAL REPORT FORMAT: The resolution on triennial national reporting (AEWA/Res.1.3/Rev.1) sets out criteria for Parties to follow and encourages Parties to prepare preliminary reports by 1 September 2000 to be reviewed at the first Technical Committee meeting. The resolution recommends Parties consult with relevant NGOs and related international conventions when preparing reports. An annex details the format for the national reports submitted by the UK, comprised of three sections: an implementation overview; questions related to all Action Plan headings; and appendices conveying relevant data.

INTERNATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION PRIORITIES FOR 2000-2004: This resolution (AEWA/Res.1.4/Rev.1) adopts and amends the International Implementation Priorities for 2000-2004 (AEWA/MOP 1.9) as the medium-term priorities for AEWA implementation. It notes the importance of identifying the key sites network and migration patterns of AEWA species as well as how migratory waterbird conservation can contribute to sustainable development. The resolution urges the development of new international cooperation projects based on the priorities and the creation of innovative mechanisms and partnerships.

ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL PROJECT REGISTER: This resolution (AEWA/Res.1.5/Rev.1) establishes an international project register to facilitate training and technical and financial cooperation among Parties and to coordinate measures to maintain a favorable conservation status for migratory waterbirds species. It also requires the Technical Committee to approve new projects for inclusion and the AEWA Secretariat to act as depositary. The resolution gives a short description of each project and lists key partners.

CONTRIBUTIONS IN CASH AND IN KIND: The resolution on guidelines for accepting in cash and in kind contributions (AEWA/Res.1.6/Rev.2) recognizes that conditions must be created to allow all Range States to contribute to the AEWA. In this regard, the Secretariat in collaboration with the Technical Committee and the COP, is requested to assess the feasibility of Parties making in kind instead of in cash contributions.

ESTABLISHMENT OF A SMALL CONSERVATION GRANTS FUND: This resolution (AEWA/Res.1.7/Rev.2) establishes a Small Conservation Grants Fund to facilitate implementation of the AEWA, to operate from the time of MOP-2. The resolution instructs the Secretariat to establish an interim mechanism to enable voluntary contributions for the purpose of providing small grants between MOP-1 and MOP-2, and urges Parties and donors to make contributions. An annex contains the CMS guidelines for acceptance of financial contributions.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE: This resolution (AEWA/Res.1.8/Rev.2) states that the Technical Committee will be comprised of representatives from: each of nine geographical regions; international organizations, IUCN, Wetlands International and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC); and three experts from different fields. It invites each Party to nominate, before April 2000, a qualified technical expert to act as a focal point for technical matters, to serve as a liaison with the Technical Committee and to disseminate the work of the Committee in their country. The rules of procedure for meetings of the Technical Committee are annexed to the resolution (annex 1) as are the nine regions and nominated representatives, alternates and experts (annex 2).

AMENDMENTS TO THE ACTION PLAN: This resolution (AEWA/Res.1.9/Rev.2) adopts proposed amendments (AEWA/MOP1.7) expanding the Action Plan to cover all species addressed by the AEWA and updating the conservation status of populations listed in the Action Plan. It also: asks the Technical Committee to consider species for addition to the Action Plan; notes the high degree of uncertainty related to current population estimates of the Jack Snipe; requests the Secretariat to monitor implementation of the amendments and to stimulate preparation of single-species Action Plans for species with an unfavorable conservation status; and calls on Parties to provide resources for undertaking priority actions at the international level.

CONSERVATION GUIDELINES: This resolution (AEWA/Res.1.10/Rev.2) adopts the Conservation Guidelines (AEWA/MOP 1.8) developed by Wetlands International to provide initial guidance for Parties in implementing the AEWA and its Action Plan. The resolution also: calls upon Parties to use the guidelines in a practical way with minimum bureaucracy; urges the bilateral and multilateral donor agencies to take priority actions at the national and international level as identified in the annex to the resolution; and instructs the Secretariat and Technical Committee to review the guidelines on a regular basis.

THE DATE, VENUE AND FUNDING OF AEWA MOP-2: The resolution (AEWA/Res.1.11/Rev.1) schedules the next MOP for the end of 2002 or early 2003 at the latest and accepts Germanys offer to host MOP-2.

THANKS TO THE HOST COUNTRY: This resolution (AEWA/Res.1.12) congratulates and expresses gratitude to the governments of South Africa and the Netherlands and to UNEP/CMS.

RIGHT TO VOTE AT MOP-1: This resolution (AEWA/Res.1.13/Rev.1) grants the following countries full participating Party status with the right to vote at MOP-1: Benin; Denmark; Finland; South Africa; and the former Yugaslov Republic of Macedonia.

PHASE-OUT OF LEAD SHOT IN WETLANDS: Recalling the text of the Action Plan stating that Parties should endeavor to phase-out the use of lead shot for hunting in wetlands by the year 2000, this resolution (AEWA/Res.1.14) recognizes the special technical difficulties facing developing countries in meeting the phase-out deadline. It also requests the Technical Committee to review best practices and to consult with hunting associations and gun and ammunition manufacturers.


Following the successful completion of the AEWA, many delegates indicated that the pervasive sense of calm on the eve of the COP boded well for continued cooperation and impetus within the CMS process.


CMS COP-6: Delegates to COP-6 will convene in an opening Plenary at 9:30 am in the Grand Ballroom to adopt the agenda and address administrative matters. Other items on the agenda include: reports from the Secretariat, Standing Committee and Scientific Council; and the review of implementation.

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