Day 2 opens. The rain is falling outside; part of
ASCOBANS (The North and Baltic Seas Agreement) follows with another thorough report. WDCS congratulates ASCOBANS, its Parties and the Secretariat on their hard work in this last period and calls for the Parties to redouble their efforts for small cetaceans in this region. WDCS comments that there have never been more threats to these animals and concrete actions are needed to conserve them. In particular the threat of bycatch must be addressed. The ongoing deaths of thousands of animals in fishing nets in the North East Atlantic, for example, is totally unacceptable and should urgently be addressed. We would also be remiss if we did not congratulate ASCOBANS on its hard work, the WDCS spokesman adds. There is a report-back on elephant work that follows; we move on to turtles; then UNEP reports on its work.
Over lunch we attend a rather scary marine species working group – a rather complicated line up of resolutions is being discussed. Lunch is grabbed out on the wet streets…. Then back into the ‘Meeting of the Whole’. In the afternoon, we start a discussion on the budget (this is swiftly withdrawn behind closed doors) and then bird flyways are discussed, including the situation of the Siberian Crane. This is a migratory flagships species – critically endangered and depends on large water areas to survive. For more about it see http://www.scwp.info.
All the delegates at the meeting are being given the gift of an animal adoption by the Italian Government – they have a choice of a Siberian crane, a saiga antelope or a bottlenose dolphin – the latter c/o WDCS.
The day closes with another working group on the climate change resolution and a reception on the famous 8th floor of the FAO building hosted by
WDCS CMS COP Team: Mark and Alison at the front, Niki and Nicola behind.
Here are the texts of a couple of interventions that we made today. Firstly on the budget:
WDCS believes that CMS is important. It is the only international implementing treaty that provides a flexible platform to develop measures that can be tailored to particular conservation needs, and has the mechanisms to implement on-ground conservation activities, attributes that offer a great potential for multiple threat mitigation and the protection of endangered species. The growth of Parties to CMS in the past triennium indicates that Governments agree with this position. Therefore, it cannot be overstated how important it is that the work of this convention is supported and encouraged to grow. We urge delegates at CMS CoP9 to give close attention to the issue of resources. The CMS Strategic Plan 2006-2011 demonstrates the breadth of work that is to make a significant contribution to the conservation of migratory species and biodiversity in the aquatic and terrestrial environments. No other convention has this mandate or capacity. CMS’s position in the global conservation effort is vital, and it is imperative that we sufficiently support the CMS in order to drive an agenda that is of the greatest importance to us all.And the WDCS opening statement:
Thank you chairman and thank you
WDCS has been honoured to operate as a CMS Partner and to also be one of the Founding Partners to the Year of the Dolphin. Through the three years we have worked closely with the CMS Secretariat and the Secretariat of ACCOBAMS, ASCOBANS and the Pacific Cetaceans MoU and TUI. We look forward to a similar relationship being developed with the Western African Aquatic Mammals MoU.
Despite the success of Year of the Dolphin, many cetacean species remain endangered or critically endangered and most populations still require conservation measures to secure their futures.
CMS has a central and important role in the conservation of these species and it is important that this Conference of the Parties takes this opportunity to progress important decisions and to position the convention for the decade ahead. We need to address the status of marine mammals listed by the convention but where currently no agreements cover their range, particularly addressing the situation of animals in the Arctic including the narwhal, as well as stimulating the progress of new agreements for cetaceans in the Indian Ocean and South East Asia.
We urge this Conference of the Parties to look for ways to strengthen the CMS Family; build CMS’s important role in cetacean conservation; increase CMS’s role with other multi-lateral environment agreements and most importantly to ensure substantive resources for marine work is provided within the core CMS budget.
We believe in CMS and we will participate in this Conference of the Parties and the work lies ahead of us all as serious stakeholders.