The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals — more commonly abbreviated to just the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention and CMS COP is known as Global Wildlife conference—aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range.
It is an international treaty, concluded under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme, concerned 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 120 Parties from Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
The Convention was signed in 1979 in Bad Godesberg, a suburb of Bonn (hence the name), and entered into force in 1983.
The depositary is the government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The CMS is the only global and UN-based intergovernmental organization established exclusively for the conservation and management of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range.
CMS and its daughter agreements determine policy and provide further guidance on specific issues through their Strategic Plans, Action Plans, resolutions, decisions and guidelines.
All maintain on their websites a list of all decisions taken, guidelines issues and Action Plans adopted by the Member States.
In this respect, CMS acts as a framework Convention. The Agreements may range from legally binding treaties (called Agreements) to less formal instruments, such as Memoranda of Understanding, and can be adapted to the requirements of particular regions. The development of models tailored according to the conservation needs throughout the migratory range is a unique capacity to CMS.
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.
Appendix II – Migratory Species requiring international cooperation
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.