Report of main proceedings for 23 September 2002
7th Meeting of the CMS Conference of the Parties (COP-7) and 2nd Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA MOP-2)
The Plenary met in a brief session to admit additional observers. The Committee of the Whole (COW) met to discuss draft resolutions and recommendations and to hear reports from the Budget, Strategic Plan, Information Management Plan (IMP) and Drafting Working Groups. The Budget, Stragetic Plan and IMP Groups met in the morning and, the Budget Group again in the afternoon.
CMS Executive Secretary Müller-Helmbrecht announced the admission as an observer of the Council of Europe, which represents the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
DRAFT RESOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: On Concerted Action for Appendix I Species (UNEP/CMS/Res.7.1), CMS Deputy Executive Secretary Hykle noted that reference to Scientific Council recommendations to include certain species in Appendix I should remain bracketed until the Plenary confirms the listing of these species on the Appendix.
The COW forwarded, without amendments, the draft resolution on Cooperation with other Bodies and Processes (UNEP/CMS/Res.7.5) to the Plenary for adoption.
On the draft resolution for Institutional Arrangements: Scientific Council (UNEP/CMS/Res.7.6), Council Chair Galbraith suggested that the core budget and the Trust Fund be added as possible resources, in addition to voluntary contributions, for financing the Council’s strategy on conservation. COW Chair Ignacio deferred final discussion on the resolution until the Budget Working Group completes its work.
GERMANY suggested including in the draft resolution on the Headquarters Agreement for and Juridical Personality of the CMS Secretariat (UNEP/CMS/ Res.7.8) reference to the reports submitted by the German Government. The amended resolution was forwarded to the Plenary for adoption.
The COW forwarded the draft resolution on the Date, Venue and Funding of COP-8 (UNEP/CMS/ Res.7.9) to the Plenary, without amendments. Müller-Helmbrecht invited Parties interested in hosting COP-8 to contact the Secretariat.
On Cooperative Action for Appendix II Species (UNEP/ CMS/Rec.7.1), Scientific Council Chair Galbraith explained that the resolution is concerned with species not included in an Agreement, and therefore no specific reference to a decline in rate or timescale should be included in the text. COW Chair Ignacio instructed the Secretariat to incorporate an amendment to reflect this.
On Improving the Conservation Status of the Leatherback Turtle (UNEP/CMS/Rec.7.6), DENMARK, on behalf of the EC, requested more time to allow European governments to consider the impacts of the resolution on fisheries. The COW agreed to defer endorsement of the draft. INDIA recommended that Range States be urged not only to monitor, but also to prevent the direct harvest of the Leatherback Turtle. Chair Galbraith noted the need to allow traditional use of Appendix I species. At the suggestion of Scientific Councillor for marine mammals Perrin, and supported by AUSTRALIA, the COW agreed to include text on urging States to "monitor traditional harvest and prevent commercial harvest". EQUATORIAL GUINEA noted that all marine turtles are under threat of extinction, yet the resolution focuses on the Leatherback Turtle only.
On WSSD Implications for the CMS (UNEP/CMS/ Res.7.14), SWITZERLAND noted that the CMS family of instruments catalyzes partnerships. Regarding urging Parties and non-Parties to integrate conservation and sustainable use of migratory species and habitats into their policies, he recommended reference to sustainable use to the extent that it is consistent with the Convention.
AMENDMENTS TO APPENDICES I AND II: INDIA, with NEPAL, BANGLADESH and the WHALE AND DOLPHIN CONSERVATION SOCIETY, stressed the urgency of including the Gangetic River Dolphin in Appendix I, highlighting its imminent extinction in the absence of concerted local, regional and international action. Müller-Helmbrecht called on Parties to depart from a strict application of the Rules of Procedure and said that the COP-7 Bureau supported discussion of the proposal by the COW, despite its late submission. Scientific Council Chair Galbraith noted the Council’s support for listing the Gangetic River Dolphin in Appendix I. NORWAY noted that the listing would be an example of the CMS dealing with substance rather than formalities. The COW endorsed the proposal. DENMARK, on behalf of the EC, supported the inclusion of the Great White Shark in Appendix I.
Scientific Councillor for Neotropical fauna Roberto Schlatter (Chile), reported to the COW on activities and initiatives in the South American and Caribbean region, including proposed MOUs for the flamingo and Ruddy Duck.
WORKING GROUPS REPORTS: Budget: Reporting on the Budget Working Group’s Saturday deliberations, Chair Vagg said that delegates discussed the revised 16.5% budget increase proposal for the next triennium, agreeing that it was still too high. The Group met in the morning to consider a revised 7.17% budget increase. Delegates debated, inter alia: staffing requirements; financial support for Scientific Council participants and delegates from developing Party and non-Party countries to attend COP-8 and Scientific Council meetings; and whether CMS cooperation with other bodies would help reduce the budget. Several developing countries underscored the need for funding capacity-building activities.
In the afternoon session, participants debated funding specific items under the core budget or Trust Fund, and setting minimum levels of contribution from developing countries. The Group will report to the Plenary.
Strategic Plan: Chair Biber noted that the Working Group had completed its work after discussing the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment resolution and questions forwarded by the Budget Working Group. Biber noted that the Group did not feel competent in prioritizing actions and related budget implications. Rather, the Group noted the benefits of a strategy to achieve balance between various approaches, including the taxonomic, regional or migratory range, and ecosystem approaches. The Group offered to work intersessionally to draft a strategic plan for consideration at COP-8, noting that a new strategic plan would have implications for the work of other bodies, primarily the Scientific Council. Biber also suggested that at the next COP, issues requiring in-depth discussion be identified at an early stage to allow better participation and deliberation.
Information Management Plan (IMP): Information Management Plan Working Group Chair Fragoso noted that delegates discussed the inclusion of GROMS in the CMS IMP. GERMANY said that a draft resolution would be circulated along with an Addendum to the Report of the Working Group.
Drafting Group: Drafting Group Chair Gibson presented revised draft resolutions relating to measures to improve the conservation status of Appendix I and II species, noting minor amendments to the draft resolution on Impact Assessment (UNEP/CMS/Res.7.10 (Rev.1)); inclusion of onshore oil (in addition to offshore) pollution and wind turbines in the draft resolutions on Oil Pollution (UNEP/CMS/ Res.7.11(Rev.1)) and Wind Turbines (UNEP/CMS/Res.7.13 (Rev.1)); acknowledgement of threats to migratory birds from high-voltage power lines and railway infrastructures in the draft resolution on Electrocution of Migratory Birds (UNEP/CMS/Res.7.12 (Rev.1)); and minor changes to the draft resolution on WSSD implications for the CMS (UNEP/ CMS/Res.7.14). Gibson recommended that at future meetings, drafting work be started at earlier stages to allow time for proper discussion.
IN THE CORRIDORS
With only one day remaining at COP-7, one delegate commented that this has been one of the more "sleepy" CMS COP meetings. Whether this is due to an overall lack of enthusiasm or an overwhelming sense of satisfaction remains to be seen. The only issue, however, that seemed to spark participants’ attention at this point is the expected result of the proposed triennium budget. Many delegates believe that the outcome of the budget discussions will determine the overall assessment on the meeting.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Plenary will convene at 10:00 am to consider the adoption of COP resolutions and recommendations, and Appendix I and II amendments. It will also discuss the date and venue of COP-8, the adoption of the COP report and any outstanding matters.
BUDGET WORKING GROUP: The Group will meet at 9:00 am in the Round Room.