Report of main proceedings for 8 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 morning Plenary to consider international implementation priorities, establishment of an international register of AEWA projects, format for national reports and a draft management plan for the Brent Goose. The Plenary reconvened in the late afternoon to review draft resolutions. The working group on technical and biological matters met briefly in the afternoon and then again in the evening to consider draft resolutions on format for triennial national reports, international implementation priorities, the establishment of an international registry and Conservation Guidelines.
Chair Mbareck Diop (Senegal) invited the working group Chairs to report on their progress. David Stroud (United Kingdom), Chair of the working group on technical and biological matters, noted that the group: addressed the proposed amendments to the Action Plan; drafted a resolution reflecting the non-legally binding nature of the Conservation Guidelines; and established a contact group to discuss the phase-out date for lead shot. F.H.J. van der Assen (the Netherlands), Chair of the working group on financial and administrative matters, said the group addressed draft resolutions on establishment of the permanent Secretariat, financial and administrative matters, guidelines for contributions in cash and contributions in kind, establishment of a small conservation grants fund and establishment of the Technical Committee.
Les Underhill (Wetlands International) introduced a consultation draft of an Atlas for Wader Populations in Africa and Western Eurasia, prepared by the Wetlands Internationals Wader Study Group and requested expert feedback on the draft.
INTERNATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION PRIORITIES: Michael Moser (Wetlands International) introduced a draft of international implementation priorities from 2000-2004 (AEWA/MOP 1.9). He said the draft identified 30 practical projects and suggested a rolling list of priority projects. MONACO stressed the need for strong institutional cooperation with the Ramsar Convention. As a first priority, TOGO and SWITZERLAND supported development of a GEF proposal to support conservation measures for the network of critical wetland areas for migratory waterbirds (AEWA/Inf.1.11). SWITZERLAND noted the projects are dependent on voluntary contributions and emphasized the need for synergies with the Ramsar Convention to avoid duplication of labor. FINLAND, on behalf of the EU, suggested top priorities be identified in a working group. ZIMBABWE noted its supported for projects on the evaluation of waterbirds as agricultural pests. FRANCE offered a financial contribution equal to the amount it would provide if it were a Party. SENEGAL drew attention to the need to anticipate possible complications surrounding use of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) and encouraged projects to this end. GUINEA noted special concern over the impact of invasivefloating plants on waterbird habitat and suggested including a project to eradicate such plants.
INTERNATIONAL AEWA PROJECT REGISTRY: Moser introduced a draft register of international projects (AEWA/MOP 1.17) and underscored the importance of data sharing among Parties. He highlighted the value of the extensive research carried out by local groups and suggested the Technical Committee manage the registry and submit an updated version at each MOP. He described the criteria for the inclusion of projects, including: significant and direct contribution to the AEWA principles; involvement of at least two countries in information exchange, cooperative research, exchange of expertise or financial assistance; and involvement of at least one Party. Regarding NGO projects, SWITZERLAND suggested their inclusion, regardless of Party approval, in order to encourage information sharing and to foster synergies. FINLAND agreed and suggested this issue and time lines for projects be further discussed in a working group. Moser proposed the Technical Committee provide a mechanism for addition and removal of projects.
NATIONAL REPORT FORMAT: Underscoring the importance of sharing national information and best practices available for successful implementation of the AEWA and for keeping future MOPs abreast of current activities, the UK introduced a draft format for reports of the Parties (AEWA/Inf.1.10). He noted the increasing use of target monitoring, including by the Ramsar Convention, to help guide implementation and encouraged its use to enable harmonization and information exchange with other conventions. The proposed format includes: a national overview, including a summary of actions during the past three years and the goals for the next three years; evaluation of progress and determination of future targets; and information and data appendices. He urged Parties to prepare preliminary national reports before 1 December 2000.
TOGO summarized its experience in preparing a national report and outlined the reports scope. He noted it addresses increasing the number of sites and promoting research, and outlines common problems facing developing countries, such as resource shortages. Commenting on its national report, SWITZERLAND emphasized that information included overlaps with reporting requirements under other conventions and suggested comparing reports to determine exact areas of overlap. SENEGAL underscored the need to address the prevalence of land-use conflicts in wetlands and to examine potential solutions. BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL suggested reports should include information on problems and potential solutions encountered during the reporting period, as well as information on implementation of specific MOP decisions. The EU endorsed the structure of the UK draft format. Stroud supported inclusion of land-use conflicts and possible solutions and the cross-referencing of data provided to meet reporting requirements under other conventions. Gerard Boere, Secretary-General of MOP-1, introduced and highlighted a draft resolution on establishment of a triennial national report format for the AEWA (AEWA/Res.1.3), which includes the UK proposed format as an annex.
AEWA LOGO: Bert Lenten (AEWA Interim Secretariat) introduced the proposed AEWA logo, which is comprised of three symbolic components: blue to reflect water; a universal bird wing; and a slanted font, evoking a North to South migratory movement. Arnulf Mller-Helmbrecht, CMS Executive Secretary, advised that the logo may be revised to reflect UNEPs corporate identity.
MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE BRENT GOOSE: Jan Willem Sneep (the Netherlands) detailed the Action Plan for the Dark-bellied Brent Goose (AEWA/MOP 1.15). He said the species is not currently threatened, yet requires special protection since it is dependant on dwindling habitat and is increasingly hunted. He said the Action Plan aims for population equilibrium and identified those Range States most involved in implementation as Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Russia.
CONSIDERATION OF DRAFT RESOLUTIONS: To a draft resolution on the date, venue and funding of MOP-2 (AEWA/Res.1.11), Boere proposed changing the date from 2002 to 2003 and suggested text noting approval and appreciation of Germanys offer to host MOP-2. To a draft resolution thanking the MOP-1 host country (AEWA/Res.1.12), MONACO proposed adding a congratulations to the interim Secretariat on preparations.
On the draft resolution on establishment of a registry (AEWA/Res 1.5), Moser noted proposed modifications establishing the registry as a rolling document to be reviewed by the Technical Committee and submitted to each MOP. With regard to methods for information dissemination, he added the CBD clearing-house-mechanism (CHM). He also noted a revision reflecting that the MOP would endorse the importance of rather than endorse international cooperation projects.
Regarding the draft resolution on establishment of the permanent Secretariat for the AEWA, delegates noted the need to attach an updated version of the terms of reference for Secretariat arrangements (AEWA/Res.1.1/Rev.1). The Plenary took note of a draft resolution on the establishment of a triennial national report format (AEWA/Res.1.3) and made minor amendments to a draft resolution on guidelines for the acceptance of contributions in cash and contributions in kind (AEWA/Res.1.6/Rev.1). Regarding a draft resolution on the establishment of a small conservation grants fund (AEWA/Res.1.7/Rev.1), delegates amended text to request the Technical Committee assist the Secretariat in consulting with Parties and potential sponsors on funding, rather than conduct such consultations independently. To a draft resolution on the establishment of the Technical Committee of the AEWA (AEWA/Res.1.8/Rev.1), delegates agreed experts should be named in an appendix rather than in the resolution.
Regarding the draft resolution on the Action Plan amendments (AEWA/Res.1.9/Rev.1), Stroud drew attention to revisions on geographical boundaries and the status for several species within the Action Plan (AEWA/MOP 1.7). Boere clarified that amendments to the Action Plan are not subject to the ratification process.
On the draft resolution on Conservation Guidelines (AEWA/Res.1.10/Rev.1), Stroud highlighted: addition of text stating the non-legally binding nature of the Guidelines; language stressing the need for continual revision of the Guidelines; and a proposed addition on the phase-out of lead shot still under consideration in the working group. Stroud highlighted preliminary discussions regarding a potential workshop on lead shot phase-out to be held under AEWA auspices.
On the draft resolution on financial and administrative matters (AEWA/Res.1.2/Rev.1), delegates noted the financial and administrative working groups amendments to budget estimates and yearly contributions as well as separate notation of the German voluntary contribution of 50,000 DM per year.
TECHNICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WORKING GROUP
To a draft resolution on the format for triennial national reports (AEWA/Res.1.3), Chair Stroud suggested including WCMCs role in gathering information. With regard to the format for national reports, Stroud noted proposals calling for, inter alia, an implementation progress index and reference to land-use conflicts. GERMANY suggested that, during the first stages, Parties report only on what is required by the Agreement, Action Plan or resolutions and recommendations. On the international implementation priorities for 2000-2004 (AEWA/Res.1.4), IUCN called for a priority action on toxic agri-chemicals, and GUINEAand SENEGAL called for a priority action on alien invasive floating plant species and their proliferation in wetlands. GUINEA, supported by SENEGAL, also urged a priority action on habitat management activities relating to wetlands.
With regard to a resolution on the international registry for AEWA projects (AEWA/Res.1.5), Stroud proposed, and delegates agreed, to add text referring to the CBD CHM and modified text from endorse to take note of international cooperation. J.W. Clorley (United Kingdom), Chair of the contact group on the phase-out date for lead shot, noted the groups support for retaining the year 2000 phase-out date, as it appears in the AEWA Action Plan, with the addition of text indicating that the Parties will exchange information on how phase-out measures could be expedited. The working group agreed to address this issue in a stand-alone resolution. Delegates concurred that the resolution would include reference to some Range States difficulty in complying with the year 2000 phase-out goal. The FRENCH NATIONAL WATERGAME ASSOCIATION (ANCGE) called for reference to the roll of lead shot manufacturers.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Many delegates commented on the smooth proceedings of MOP-1 and attributed this to having hashed out the controversial issues during the negotiation stages as well as to the benefit of consensus under the broader framework of the CMS. Some also characterized the mood of MOP-1 as exceptionally cooperative and hoped this spirit would spill over to CMS COP-6.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
AEWA PLENARY: Plenary will convene at 9:30 am in the Grand Ballroom to adopt draft resolutions and the report of the meeting. The AEWA is expected to conclude by 1:00 pm.
CMS STANDING COMMITTEE: The CMS Standing Committee will convene at 2:00 pm in the Grand Ballroom. This will be a closed meeting.