Lunchtime finds Team WDCS split in two with Alison Wood contributing to a celebration of the Year of the Dolphin in the Austrian Room... far away, Mark Simmonds (in the Iran Room) is contributing to a press event about the threat posed by noise to cetaceans.
The net result of this is that Alison gets a good lunch and Mark gets none... but hopefully some articles are generated in the press. We shall see.
Meanwhile here are some pictures:
Mark Simmonds and CMS Executive Secretary at the Press Conference
And back to the report of the full day:Wishing the gorillas well.
The Chair opens the meeting and announces that we shall be considering agenda 21, 22, 24a, 23 c and d, 16 a and b, 17 a and e and, obviously, 20.
It is December 3rd and we are back in the COP of the Convention for Migratory species The WDCS team disappears rapidly under a pile of meetings papers, half drafted interventions, detailed instructions and computer cables, and spend the next few hours trying to work out what the heck is going on. We move seemingly randomly between the Conference of the Party (with one chairman) and the Meeting of the Whole (with another), for reasons that no one seems to fully understand.
Actually it turns out that we begin with a very pleasant, if slightly confusing, morning here at the COP where several countries pledge substantial sums of money to help the gorillas (we are after all heading towards the CMS Year of the Gorilla). Germany pledges 200,000 Euros (which brings riotous applause) and then details how it should be spent; France 137,000 Euros (more applause) and Monaco 30,000 Euros (and more applause again).
We move on to Partnerships with CMS and WDCS speaks to say how pleased it has been with the progress of the Year of the Dolphin and that we hope that the Year of the Gorilla is also a big success. (No applause but some gorilla orientated-organisations smile).
The programme of work for terrestrial mammals follows; and antelopes, polar bears, and others gallop by. (Norway notes that other bodies are working on polar bears and perhaps implies that the same is true for other animals.)
Plans for new CMS agreements pop up and Australia speaks eloquently about its aspirations for marine work. The EU says very little.
Marine species are touched on later and India notes that it supports the Ganges river dolphin listing which is being proposed here. In the discussion of other listing proposals the Vice Chair of the Scientific Committee reported some problems with some of the proposed species, including two sharks, one barbary sheep and a Falcon. Some discussion followed and we have yet to learn the final outcomes.
WDCS winds up to make an intervention…. But the chairman looks at a long list of speakers and says ‘look’ just say if you support or not. So we shorten our intervention and get ready again…. But he closes the Conference of the Parties and opens the Meeting of the Whole (or maybe the other way around) and we have to wait until some other time.
There is then an announcement that agenda items 24, 20, 9.30 rev 2 and 9.5 will follow (or something like that) – and WDCS disappears again under a pile of papers.
Numerous working groups are struck during the day and just to add to variety are scattered around the geographically-named meetings rooms on different floors around the vast maze of the FAO building. Many delegates get lost and turn up to late to comment on matters of huge import to their governments.
In the evening, just to add to the difficulty of navigating the building, FAO turns some of the lifts off between floors.
One of us (we won’t identify him, although he is still grumbling about the lack of lunch) in the evening had sequential meetings in the Cuba Room at 6pm (Climate Change); The Mexico Room at 7pm (the Marine Resolution); 8pm in Ethiopia (Noise)… and other team members were also in the 6pm Future of the Convention meeting in the Green Room.
Much remains hanging in the air…. We hope we can report some more concrete progress tomorrow, meanwhile we can celebrate a little for the gorillas.