The Convention on Migratory Species or the Bonn Convention is an environmental treaty of the UN. It is a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. Read here to understand more about CMS.
The CMS or Bonn Convention or Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals is a global agreement to protect migratory species across the entirety of their ranges.
The agreement, which was sealed by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), addresses the global conservation of species and habitats.
It was signed in 1979 in Bonn, West Germany, and entered into force in 1983.
Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)
The CMS provides a global platform for the preservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats as a United Nations environmental treaty.
The CMS establishes the framework for globally coordinated conservation efforts across a migratory range by uniting the States that migratory animals travel through, known as the Range States.
It is the only global convention specializing in conserving migratory species, their habitats, and migration routes.
CMS complements and co-operates with several other international organizations, NGOs, and partners in the media as well as in the corporate sector.
Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed in Appendix I of the Convention.
- CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration, and controlling other factors that might endanger them.
- Besides establishing obligations for each State joining the Convention, CMS promotes concerted action among the Range States of many of these species.
Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international cooperation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention.
- For this reason, the Convention encourages the Range of States to conclude global or regional agreements.
CMS acts as a framework Convention- the agreements may range from legally binding treaties (called Agreements) to less traditional instruments, such as Memoranda of Understanding. They can be adapted to the requirements of particular regions.
The development of models tailored according to the conservation needs throughout the migratory range is a unique capacity of CMS.
As of 1st March 2022, the Convention on Migratory Species has 133 Parties.
According to CMS, a species or lower taxon of wild animals of which the entire population or any geographically separate part of the population cyclically and predictably cross one or more national jurisdictional boundaries.
- The word ‘cyclically’ relates to a cycle of any nature, such as astronomical (circadian, annual, etc.), life or climatic, and of any frequency;
- The word ‘predictably’ implies that a phenomenon can be anticipated to recur in a given set of circumstances, though not necessarily regularly in time
This year, 8th October was celebrated as World Migratory Bird Day.
World Migratory Bird Day
The goal of this international campaign is to increase public awareness of migrating birds, the necessity for their conservation, and the significance of protecting their habitat.
It is celebrated twice a year.
- It is celebrated on the second Saturday in May and then in October.
- This year it was celebrated on 14 May and 8 October 2022.
The World Migratory Bird Day is organized by a collaborative partnership among two UN treaties:
- Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)
- African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement(AEWA)
Along with the non-profit organization, Environment for the Americas (EFTA).
The 2022 global campaign is being actively supported by other dedicated organizations, including the East Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) and BirdLife International (BLI).
The theme of World Migratory Bird Day 2022 is “Light Pollution”
CMS is addressing the growing issue of light pollution on migratory birds and actions on a global scale to help migrate these birds safely.
According to CMS, “light pollution refers to artificial light that alters the natural patterns of light and dark in ecosystems”.
Artificial lights are the root of serious dangers to migratory birds, including:
- Night-time flying distortion
- collisions with structures
- Disruptions to both their internal clock and their capacity for long-distance migration.
- Affects their activity levels, and energy expenditure
- Disorientation to nocturnal migratory birds as they may end up circling the illuminated areas.
India and Convention on Migratory Species or the Bonn Convention
India is a signatory to the CMS. The CMS CoP-13 in 2020 at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat. India will remain president of the CoP to Bonn convention till 2023.
India has also launched the National Action Plan for the conservation of migratory species under the Central Asian Flyway.
India is a temporary home to several migratory animals and birds.
The important among these include:
- Amur Falcons, Bar-headed Geese, Black-necked cranes, Marine turtles, Dugongs, Humpback Whales, etc.
- The Indian sub-continent is also part of the major bird flyway network, the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) that covers areas between the Arctic and Indian Oceans.
India had non-legally binding MoUs with the CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008), and Raptors (2016).
-Article written by Swathi Satish