The end of the Whole.
After the final meeting of the marine working group over lunch and swift ingestion of too many calories, we return to the meeting of the CMS Whole.
There are some important bird matters being discussed…. Please ask BirdLife International what they were.
Finally the Cetacean Work Programme wrapped in its resolution unfurls in the Meeting in the Whole.
Professor Bill Perrin, the CMS appointed expert on marine mammals is on stage: In 2005 CoP 8 passed resolution 8.22 on human impacts on cetaceans. This called for various things including the development of a work programme. This identified various bodies for liaison – and he lists them, including, for example, the IWC and its scientific committee.
8.22 also identified particular threats including ship-strikes, bycatch and marine noise. Whaling and the issue of marine bushmeat was included in the review but not Res. 8.22 and whaling is acknowledged to be in the domain of the IWC and is therefore not considered in the recommendations here. Marine bushmeat is an emerging and critical issue for many cetaceans and it is included here. The work is considered in a regional context and from the review a global programme of work was developed.
The resolution enshrining this has been through various reviews. The CMS Scientific Committee was particularly grateful to the cetacean specialist group of the IUCN and various others. There are two sections – an expanded role for the aquatic mammals working group and the second more substantive section, covers the work plan across regions and species. The key MEAS (Multinational Environmental Agreements) for collaboration are also covered here.
Bill hands over to Heidi who now goes through the changes on the big screen, she is flanked by the redoubtable Barry Baker who now comments: “As Chair of the Marine Working Group there have been protracted discussions and in finalising this there has been patience and understanding from various parties and NGOs who have differing views. There has been a good spirit of cooperation. This is a long document, some 20 pages. We cannot go through it paragraph by paragraph but it will be made available. If you have any points please bring them to me or the Secretariat.”
Heidi adds that you will see lots of tracked changes. Many are ‘purely editorial’ and where we have just moved paragraphs. She goes on to broadly describe other changes.
Many avian-orientated delegates are taking tea. Marine delegates are glued to their seats.
The Chair of the Whole says I have sought your indulgence to submit comments to the Secretariat and I now want to move this document to the plenary. No flags are raised and it is so decided… no Egypt decides on a last minute flag-raising.
Egypt: this is very interesting but there will be costs and this will be huge.
Heidi replies: This is a very important point. The way that it is drafted, all the work will be done by the Scientific Council and the Secretariat – no actions are required by the Parties; so whilst additional resources would help, we believe much can be implemented with the resources as they are
Egypt: but when we come to implementation, the whole issue of capacity building will be crucial. In Egypt we are doing as much as we can; for example we are trying to hire a boat and I think again and again resources need to be considered.
[Pause and we move into underwater noise.]
Germany (Oliver) now introduces the marine noise resolution, noting the threat to cetaceans and other species and explains that this new resolution introduces the issue of noise related to marine wind parks. He notes that there are a range of things that can be done to reduce noise and disturbance from these developments and Heidi is next called on to roll the text around on the big screen. She notes a new paragraph on Marine Protected Areas.
Egypt takes to the floor again. This is a very important issue. I am not sure about shipping; but you have oil and gas exploration in many places. They do the best that they can to reduce the issue by very simple techniques. It is fine to introduce this nice resolution but again and again we need the resources.
Argentina thanks Heidi and Barry and congratulates the rest of the group for accommodating her as a one person delegation. Although a paragraph was agreed, in principle the Parties agreed that in addition to paragraph 6 we should mention UNCLOS – if anyone disagrees we can discuss outside the plenary.
The Chairman likes this idea and now tells us that we have reviewed all the resolutions that we were meant to review.
Agenda items 18(b) and 18(c) are now touched on. Melanie Virtue opens up these issues which relate to the annual year of the campaigns – so we have had ‘Year of the Dolphin’ and ‘Year of the Gorilla’. She shows us some pictures of CMS Ambassador Ian Redmond OBE and Jane Goodall, the famous primate scientist.
More photographs of gorillas and Ian follow. Some skating gorillas are also featured.
2011-12 has been the two Years of the Bat.
A short film about gorillas follows and some well-earned applause for the gorilla ambassador.
Egypt wants to celebrate his bats but he has a problem because unlike Europeans, people in his country do not like them and cultural issues need to be considered. Have you evaluated how effective these ‘year of the XXX’ have been, he asks.
The USA now takes to the floor to note the number of people killed in defending the gorillas and speaks of their work to support the widows of those who have lost their lives in these efforts.
Melanie Virtue thanks parties for their support and explains to Egypt than an evaluation of the Year Of initiatives has been made.
She next tells us about the CMS Ambassadors, Kookie, Peter, Stanley and Ian.
She asks delegates to suggest ways in which the Ambassadors can be of use.
Finally we move to small grants and out for a cup of tea, which Team WDCS has failed to return with.
The Chairman of the Whole raises his gavel – his gives a remarkably long list of things that have been agreed and then closes the meeting.
Plenary tomorrow – the final hurdle.
For a more sensible report on the CoP please look at the Earth Negotiations Bulletin: http://www.iisd.ca/cms/cop10/
The end of the Whole.