|Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals|
|Signed||6 November 1979|
|Effective||1 November 1983|
|Condition||Ratification by 15 states|
|Depositary||Government of Germany|
|Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals at Wikisource|
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, also known as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention, is an international agreement that aims to conserve migratory species within their migratory ranges. The Agreement was signed under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme and is concerned with conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale.
Signed in 1979 in Bonn, Germany, the Convention entered into force in 1983. As of September 2019, there were 129 Member States to the Convention. The depositary is the government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The CMS is the only global, and United Nations-based, intergovernmental organization established exclusively for the conservation and management of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species. The CMS, and its daughter Agreements, determine policy and provide further guidance on specific issues through their Strategic Plans, Action Plans, resolutions, decisions and guidelines.
Fundamental Principles of the Convention are set out in Article 2. The Parties acknowledge the importance of migratory species being conserved and of Range States agreeing to take action to this end "whenever possible and appropriate", "paying special attention to migratory species the conservation status of which is unfavourable and taking individually or in cooperation appropriate and necessary steps to conserve such species and their habitat." Further in Article 2(2) The Parties "acknowledge" [but do not commit in stronger language, cf Art 2(3) "shall"] "the need to take action to avoid any migratory species becoming endangered".
Article 2(3) of the Convention states that
(a) Should promote, cooperate in and support research relating to migratory species;
(b) Shall endeavour to provide immediate protection for migratory species included in Appendix I; and
(c) Shall endeavour to conclude AGREEMENTS covering the conservation and management of migratory species included in Appendix II.
Signed, but not ratified
The CMS Family covers a great diversity of migratory species. The Appendices of CMS include many mammals, including land mammals, marine mammals and bats; birds; fish; reptiles and one insect. Among the instruments, AEWA covers 254 species of birds that are ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle. EUROBATS covers 52 species of bat, the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks seven species of shark, the IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU six species of marine turtle and the Raptors MoU 76 species of birds of prey.
Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention, with relevant provisions outlined in Article III, paragraphs 4 and 5. Parties that are Range States to Appendix I species are obliged to afford them strict protection. 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 co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. These species, either individually or by taxonomic group, are the basis for establishing instruments - regional or global - under CMS. For this reason, the Convention encourages the Range States to conclude global or regional Agreements.
The CMS acts as a framework convention and encourages its States Parties to conclude global or regional agreements. Article V of the Convention lays out what Agreements agreed to under its auspices should include. These agreements are usually legally binding treaties that aim to "restore the migratory species concerned to a favorable conservation status or to maintain it in such a status." To date seven Agreements have been signed, they are as follow:
In addition, several Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) have also been concluded under the auspices of CMS. While, not full Agreements, these MOU still aim to conserve various migratory species. To date 19 MOU have been signed, they are as follow:
The Conference of the Parties of the CMS acts as its principal decision-making body. It is composed of all States Parties to the Convention, as well as any observers that wish to participate in the proceedings of the Conference. COPs are held at least every three years.
The functions of the COP are enumerated in Article VII of the Convention. At Conferences, the States Parties review the implementation of this Convention, as well as approve all financial regulations of the Convention.
|1985||21 - 26 October||Bonn, Germany|
|1988||13 - 14 October||Geneva, Switzerland|
|1991||09 - 13 September||Geneva, Switzerland|
|1994||07 - 11 June||Nairobi, Kenya|
|1997||10 - 16 April||Geneva, Switzerland|
|1999||10 - 16 November||Cape Town, South Africa|
|2002||18 - 24 September||Bonn, Germany|
|2005||20 - 25 November||Nairobi, Kenya|
|2008||01 - 05 December||Rome, Italy|
|2011||20 - 25 November||Bergen, Norway|
|2014||04 - 09 November||Quito, Ecuador|
|2017||23 - 28 October||Manila, Philippines|
|2020||15 - 22 February||Gandhinagar, India|
The Standing Committee is responsible for carrying out interim activities on behalf of the Conference of the Parties in between its meetings. The Committee meets at least once a year. It also usually meets immediately before and after any COPs.
The functions of the Standing Committee were established by Resolution 1.1 of COP 1 in 1985. However, in 2008 at COP 9, the makeup of the Standing Committee was overhauled. Under Resolution 9.15 the composition of the Committee, as well as its functions we updated. Its updated functions include:
The Committee is composed of 15 members who are elected to serve three-year terms, or from the end of one COP until the end of the next. Alternate members are also selected. Under Resolution 9.15, the composition is as follows:
|Region / Member||Members||Alternate Members|
|United Republic of Tanzania||Kenya|
|South and Central America
and the Caribbean
|Bolivia (Plurinational State of)||Argentina|
|Host of COP 12||Philippines|
|Host of COP 13||India|
The main objective of the Scientific Council is to provide advice on scientific matters to CMS bodies, as well as CMS States Parties. The Council makes recommendations to the COP issues such as research on migratory species, specific conservation and management measures, the inclusion of migratory species in the Appendices and designation of species for Concerted or Cooperative Actions under the Convention.
The functions of the Scientific Council are enumerated in Article VIII of the Convention. However, it was not established until 1985 under Resolution 1.4 of COP 1. Each State Party is entitled to appoint one qualified expert as a member of the Scientific Council, as well as one alternate scientific councillor. Additionally, the COP may also appoint to the Council other experts to cover fields of particular interest to the Convention.
In 2014, at COP 11, a new sub-body of the Scientific Council was created via Resolution 11.4. This representative selection of the membership of the Scientific Council is called the Sessional Committee. It is composed of nine COP-appointed Councillors, as well as fifteen Party-appointed Councillors (three from Africa; three from Asia; three from Europe; three from Oceania; three from South and Central America and the Caribbean).
The Sessional Committee works during the intersessional period between two consecutive meetings of the COP, and is responsible for the implementation of the mandate assigned to the Scientific Council by the COP. All work done by the Sessional Committee is considered work of the Scientific Council.
THE CMS Secretariat acts as the Convention's coordinating body. The CMS Secretariat is provided and administered by the United Nations Environment Programme.
The functions of the Secretariat are laid out in Article IX of the Convention. They include: arranging for and servicing meetings of the COP, Scientific Council and Standing Committee, maintaining liaison between the States Parties, disseminating information that furthers the objectives and implementation CMS, preparing COP reports, promote the conclusion of CMS Agreements, among other functions. 
The Secretariat has based in Bonn, Germany since its creation, but was relocated to the United Nations Campus in Bonn in 1998. Additionally, since 2009, the Secretariat also maintains an out-post office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The Abu Dhabi office oversees implementation of the MOU on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia, and the MOU on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their range. The office is hosted by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi.
The current acting Executive Secretary of the Convention is Amy Fraenkel.
Article 6(3) requires Parties which are Range States for migratory species listed in Appendix I or II to inform the CoP through the Secretariat, at least six months prior to each ordinary meeting of the Conference, on measures that they are taking to implement the Convention for these species.
To varying degrees the Bonn Convention has been incorporated into domestic law by the Parties.