Introduction: CMS Family structure Synergizing CMS wider biodiversity MEA system -
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United Nations Environment Programme
Convention on Migratory Species
Synergizing CMS
- within the CMS Family and within the
wider biodiversity MEA system Elizabeth Maruma Mrema
Executive Secretary
UNEP/CMS Secretariat
9 April 2010, Helsinki, Finland
Introduction: CMS Family structure
• Umbrella convention:
– 1 Biodiversity treaty (UNEP), in force since 1983, 113
– 7 Regional agreements (4 UNEP, 3 independent)
– 18 Memoranda of Understanding (UNEP)
• Overall aim: conservation of migratory species
• Hence, need synergies within CMS Family
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Locations of CMS Family Secretariats
• UNEP/CMS Secretariat in Bonn, Germany
– CMS and ASCOBANS (small cetaceans) joint Secretariat
– Gorilla Agreement Secretariat functions provided by CMS
– Co-located with EUROBATS and AEWA
– Serves as Secretariat of most MOUs
• Other locations for other regional agreements:
– ACCOBAMS (Monaco), ACAP (Hobart, Australia), Wadden Seas Seals
Agreement (Wilhelmshafen, Germany)
– MoUs: IOSEA (Bangkok, Thailand), Raptors and Dugongs (Abu Dhabi,
UAE), other MoUs (Bonn)
Background to biodiversity clustering
Ongoing processes:
• Joint Inspection Unit
• High level Panel on System-Wide Coherence
• Chemical-waste cluster
Chemical MEA Super
COP - Any lessons learnt?
• Biodiversity cluster
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Is it right time, too early, how?
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Synergies should be outcome orientated
• Process of creating synergies well-known:
– From knowledge sharing to streamlining hierarchy and decision-making
• Potential advantages of synergies well-known:
– Faster response time, cost reductions, reaching a wider audience, less
bureaucracy, greater impact…
• But: the devil is in the detail!
The CMS Family provides an interesting testing ground for
achieving synergies from biodiversity clustering because it
represents a whole cluster of biodiversity agreements.
“Clustering” within CMS Family
• CMS Family structure is currently undergoing a full review to
strengthen its contributions to the worldwide conservation
– Reasons/objectives for review – not synergy but …..
• Intersessional process on the Future Shape of CMS
– Mandated by Resolution 9.13 (December 2008)
– 3 step process: 2009-2011
– Lead by intersessional Working Group with regional representatives (similar to
StC structure)
• Aim: Preparation of 3 potential scenarios for improving CMS
Family organization and development for CMS COP10 (2011)
Let’s consider the 12 recommendations by the Nordic
Council of Ministers in turn…
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1: Back-to-back meetings
• Long-term practice within CMS Family
• Most recent example:
– CMS COP9/Gorilla I/Sharks II/Central Asian mammals
• Advantages:
– Make more use of experts and focal points present, cost
reduction, improve communication
• Risks:
– Work load on Secretariat can be too overwhelming to
ensure meeting success and logistics
– Challenge for national representatives to be prepared &
attend all convened meetings
2: Focusing meeting agendas
• Many decision-making bodies within the CMS Family use
regional representatives (COP/MOP decisions)
– e.g. CMS Standing Committee: 15 representatives
– e.g. AEWA Technical Committee: 9 members
• Convention/Agreement texts limit changes
– However: improvements can be made within mandate
– However: decision-making has been facilitated by the
close working relationship with Chairs and members of
the decision-making organs
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3: Co-location of secretariats
• EUROBATS and AEWA and ASCOBANS Secretariats
moved to Bonn and were integrated into UNEP. They are
currently co-located with the CMS Secretariat and share
common services e.g. logistics, procurement, financial
management, administration – One Fund/Admin Unit
• Merger: CMS and ASCOBANS – Reason not synergy
• Not all agreements under UNEP! 3 out of 7 CMS regional
agreements are not… (ACAP, ACCOBAMS, Wadden Sea
4: Bottom-up process for synergies
• MEAs: Bilateral MoUs and joint work programmes
– e.g. CBD (1996), Ramsar (1997), CITES (2002), WHC
(2002), UNCCD (2003), Bern Convention (2009)
• Total formal partnerships established: 26 CMS partners
• Biodiversity Liaison Group
• Shared liaison staff: CITES – CMS (Secretariat-driven) &
CBD Liaison Officer hosted by CMS in Bonn
Outcome-driven collaborations tend to be most successful.
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5: IEG – Role of UNEP
• CMS Family:
Gorilla Agreement
– Joint staff member with UNEP RONA, Washington D.C.
under negotiation; Joint CITES/CMS consultant; CBD
Staff hosted by CMS
• UNEP Regional biodiversity MEAs focal points
6: Science-Policy interface
• CMS Family focus: migratory species conservation
– Experts within secretariats (linkages to other MEA
– Good access to external experts (academia, NGOs,
IGOS, national institutions)
– Scientific Council: independent experts/COP appointed
• Advantage: flexibility and independence!!!
• Interest and participation in cross-cutting
issues e.g. climate change
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7: Harmonization
• Common Reporting
─ Aware of national challenges in
reporting (report rate 2008 60%)
─ Online reporting successfully
established for IOSEA (marine turtles
MoU), about to be implemented for
─ Lessons and software spreading
swiftly throughout wider CMS Family
• Species nomenclature
─ Harmonization of nomenclature
between CITES and CMS
8: Joint information management
• Formal information management exists
• Newly established UNEP Unit in Geneva
• Cost and capacity constraints
• For species-based agreements this would be of
considerable national interest… (could be joined to national
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9: Awareness raising and outreach
• Good experiences with shared workshops, capacity building,
missions (e.g. Ramsar/AEWA, CBD/CMS)
• Close species-specific collaboration with CITES Secretariat
and CITES focal points (e.g. Saiga antelope MoU meetings
and outreach)
• Global campaigns: YoD (Dolphin): cooperation with
UNESCO; IYB: CMS 2010 calendar, success stories, events
10: Financing and GEF strengthening
• Funding for conservation activities urgently needed!
• Few CMS GEF projects
– Siberian crane
– Wings Over Wetlands
• GEF projects in preparation (e.g. saiga)
• Concerns: slow response, long preparation, matching
funding, administrative control, indirect GEF window
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11: Business & biodiversity
• Code of conduct for interactions with private sector
established (2009)
• CMS Friends: German NGO aimed at private sector
fundraising for CMS implementation
• Corporate sponsorship, e.g.:
– CMS PhD thesis award
– Year of the Dolphin campaign 2007/2008
12: Joint capacity building
Training, awareness and institutional capacity
• Good experience with national focal point collaboration
(e.g. CITES-CMS; further supported by CITES COP15)
• Role of UNEP Regional MEA Focal Points
• Close relationship with UNEP Regional Offices
– Shared staff member with UNEP RONA, Washington
– UNEP Virtual Country Team participation (e.g. Russia)
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Additional food for thought
• MEA subject focus matters: how narrow/broadly defined?
– e.g. CMS vs CBD, CMS vs CITES, etc
– This has many implications, e.g. regarding the need for
scientific advice, number of meetings etc
• How applied is the MEA or how much is it “just policy”?
• Financial structure of MEAs varies: CMS is extremely
dependent on voluntary contributions
• Opportunities exist
• But: devil in the detail
• Consider lessons learnt within CMS Family
• Consider differences between MEAs
• Consider existing strong collaborations and
• Consider whether synergies by cluster or others
Find out more about “CMS Family clustering” at:
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Thank you!
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