Bonn Convention, Washington and the Ramsar Convention

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known as CMS or the Bonn Convention, not to be confused with the Bonn Agreement) aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species.

Bonn Convention:

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known as CMS or the Bonn Convention, not to be confused with the Bonn Agreement) aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. It is an intergovernmental treaty, concluded under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme, associated with the conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale. Since the Convention’s entry into force, its membership has grown steadily to include over 100 Parties from Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. The Convention was signed in 1979 in Bonn (hence the name) and entered into force in 1983.

To date, seven Agreements have been concluded under the auspices of CMS. They address:

  1. Populations of European Bats
  2. Cetaceans of the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area
  3. Small Cetaceans of the Baltic and North Seas
  4. Seals in the Wadden Sea
  5. African-Eurasian Migratory Water birds
  6. Albatrosses and Petrels
  7. Gorillas and their Habitats

Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) concluded to date aim to conserve:

  1. Siberian Crane
  2. Slender-billed Curlew
  3. Marine Turtles of the Atlantic Coast of Africa
  4. Marine Turtles of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia
  5. Middle-European Population of the Great Bustard
  6. Bukhara Deer
  7. Aquatic Warbler
  8. West-African Populations of the African Elephant
  9. Saiga Antelope
  10. Cetaceans of Pacific Island States
  11. Dugongs
  12. Mediterranean Monk Seal
  13. Ruddy-headed Goose
  14. Grassland Birds

In addition, the CMS Secretariat has launched an Action Plan for the Central Asian Flyway, one of the world’s most vital routes for migratory birds, and an Action Plan for the conservation and restoration of the Sahelo-Saharan antelopes, while initiatives to develop agreements or MOU are ongoing with regard to raptors, migratory sharks, and western African aquatic mammals.

CMS operational bodies include the Conference of the Parties (COP), the Standing Committee, the Scientific Council and a Secretariat provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The COP is the decision-making body of the Convention. It meets every two to three years to review the conservation status of migratory species and the implementation of the Convention, and provide guidance and make recommendations to the parties. To date, the COP has met eight times.

Washington Convention:

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), also known as the Washington Convention) is a multilateral treaty, drafted as a result of a resolution passed in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The convention was opened for signature in 1973, and CITES entered into force on 1 July 1975. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 34,000 species of animals and plants. In order to ensure that the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was not violated, the Secretariat of GATT was consulted during the drafting process.

The Ramsar Convention

The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, i.e., to stem the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetlands now and in the future, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value. It is named after the town of Ramsar in Iran. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance now includes 2,065 sites.