Moving towards conclusion.
Various countries speak of their support. Norway indicates that it is ‘broadly supportive’ and willing to discuss any new elements further with others.
WCS supports the application of a standardised methodology and calls for impacts on marine species to be given adequate attention. The resolution now passes through the Whole and will appear again in plenary tomorrow.
Nigel of Australia is now on the stage. He had a lovely reception last night at a ‘very interesting venue’ (that would be Bergen Aquarium). He moves from the gastronomic success of his evening to the matter in hand – Marine Debris. There is a resolution and the efforts on this topic, of Barry Baker and his Marine Working Group are noted.
60-80% of marine debris is plastics; 80% is land-sourced. Climate change will only exacerbate things further explains Nigel using a powerful power-point.
The famous Honolulu Declaration on marine debris is referenced and has been used to inform the Resolution about Debris. This resolution was previously considered in the Marine Working Group and now passes seamlessly through the Whole on its way to approval at the final plenary tomorrow.
Now some fish swim in.
The CMS Scientific Council’s fish councillor now takes to the stage. He reports on progress of a review on migratory fish. Species of concern include several species of sturgeons and the Mekong catfish.
The IUCN (World Conservation Union) thanks the fish expert and mentions work that they have been conducting. He has a list of migratory species at risk and would like to have IUCN mentioned in the preambular paragraph of the relevant resolution.
Next, Aline of the Secretariat is again released from the basement and tells us about emergencies, she notes outbreaks of avian influenza which were widely reported and a variety of other unexplained mortalities. Photographs of dead antelopes are shown.
The resolution (10.2 for those following the paper-work) would establish a flexible response mechanism for emergencies and a small fund.
The EU however does not want to use central resources for this. The advent of emergencies is relatively one-off he adds. Uruguay diplomatically thanks the Secretariat and seeks some small amendments to the resolution.
IUCN takes to the floor again (does he want to be included in the preambular paragraphs?) – no he already has an emergency fund that can be used.
We now enjoy a report from the avian task force and then the EU takes the floor (James of the UK speaking clearly and carefully) to offer several amendments.
Norway makes some amendments and then calls on delegates to please stop downloading films and music (‘heavy stuff’), so the internet provision does not get overloaded in the hall. He has asked the hotel to increase the bandwidth but delegates can help by their behaviour.
Is that the Migratory Wildlife Network looking guilty?
FAO waves a flag. Does he wish to speak on live-streaming? No he comments on emergency responses. He speaks at length of the need to improve coordination.
Meanwhile a large pile of cakes and a big fruit platter are calling.
The Chair calls for WDCS… and the WDCS delegates fall off their chairs as they were not intending to say anything on this matter (whilst being ‘broadly supportive’ of the resolution obviously).
Fortunately WCS (the Wildlife Conservation Society – no relation) takes the floor and talks of their work in this area. They call for an amendment to allow civil society to take part in the process. (Well said.)
Suddenly we are talking about bycatch and the redoubtable Barry Baker the Bycatch Councillor describes the desk-top study that he worked on and then details the changes made to the resolution in his Marine Working Group.
The Chair opens the resolution for discussion.
Ecuador calls for a change to report 10.30 (not the resolution but the review). She wants reality to be reflected.
The EU thinks bycatch is a ‘pressure’ on many migratory species and is ‘broadly supportive’ of the resolution. They have some concerns about the application to sharks listed in Appendix II – they speak of ‘sound exploitation’ and will propose further changes to the resolution.
Barry says that the report on bycatch will be reviewed intercessional and changes will be made – he hopes this is an adequate reply to Ecuador and others with any similar concerns.
However, ACCOBAMS says there are some mistakes in her (Mediterranean) region.
The Chair now tries to move to the famous resolution on the cetacean work plan but Barry intervenes to say that we are not ready yet.
The Chair says can we move to underwater noise?
Barry says that is not ready yet either and so instead African-Eurasian land birds fly in. They are widely appreciated.
A 10 minute tea break sees hungry NGOs sprinting out through the side doors and pushing national delegates out of the way in search of cake. A major coffee spill results and mops are urgently deployed.
Ten minutes later the Chair strictly calls for the doors to be locked and for the meeting to resume and we are now back to poisoning birds. This is not recommended and Birdlife International now speaks up for the relevant resolution. This is a major problem and they identify rodenticides, heavy metals and persistent organochlorines amongst the problems. They have an indicative list of the species affected and note that the poisoning of migratory species can also affect humans who eat them. They call on Parties to support resolution 10.26 and financially support it.
The EU is again ‘broadly supportive’ – they would like to alleviate poisoning but think that the role of the working group should be better described. New Zealand has some changes too. Other countries offer support and seemingly minor changes. It seems a working group may be needed.
Taxonomic issues now canter in and the Marine Mammal Councillor speaks about the finless porpoise and recent changes to its classification. CITES now speaks up on the nomenclature. ‘It is hard for us to work together if we do not use the same names… and this may make us look disorganised by our partners in other sectors’. He notes the comments on the finless porpoise and he will recommend to the relevant CITES body that CITES follows CMS in this regard.
The distinguished CMS councillor for birds, John O’Sullivan of BirdLife, says there are several important things missing from the nomenclature resolution which do not reflect what was agreed in the Scientific Council! Australia agrees and a lunchtime summit will follow.
We move on. Another member of the Secretariat staff is released from the dungeon and ascends to the stage to take us (in Spanish) through the strategy and plans for capacity building.
(Meanwhile, in the background of course, high-level consultations on the marine resolutions continue. Will the EU sign or will they be ‘broadly supportive’? Will Norway sign? How is Australia feeling? That clock is ticking so loudly now that we can scarcely hear the other important discussions here.)