This year saw a series of activities under the auspices of the CMS, in advance of the impending twelfth Conference of the Parties (COP-12), which is to be convened in October 2017. Notably, the CMS welcomed two new parties in the form of the United Arab Emirates (10 May) and Iraq (1 August), increasing the membership of the convention to a total of 124 parties. Both are important range states for a series of migratory species, and their accession further bolsters the footprint of the CMS in the Middle East region, while the United Arab Emirates has been a long-standing supporter of the CMS with its largest field office having been situated in Abu Dhabi for a number of years. In November 2015, the CMS convened the forty-fifth meeting of its Standing Committee in Bonn, Germany, providing an opportunity to review the work of the individual subsidiary instruments of the CMS, resource and administrative matters, and the status of external cooperation with allied bodies ahead of the forthcoming COP-12. In April 2015, the Scientific Committee convened the first meeting of its Sessional Committee, a new sub-forum established under Resolution 11.4 and adopted at the previous COP-11 to streamline consideration of especially pressing issues. In keeping with the general priorities of the CMS framework at present, the Sessional Committee paid particular attention to reviewing the current 2015–23 Strategic Plan as well as the conservation needs of birds of prey, along with consideration of taxonomical development and cross-cutting issues such as climate change and ecological networks. A series of workshops were also convened under the auspices of the CMS with a view towards facilitating further conservation activities in regard to specific species. In October, a range state workshop was held in Galway, Ireland, to assess the prospects for a new CMS agreement concerning European populations of eel. Meanwhile, in October and November, a series of three workshops was held to develop a multi-species action plan to conserve African-Eurasian vultures. This latter initiative, which was mandated under Resolution 11.14, will be addressed under the specific auspices of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MOU) with a view towards concluding the action plan in February 2017. In May, a meeting of range states for lions was convened by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the CMS, with a view towards enhancing regional and inter-treaty cooperation for these iconic species. Individual conservation threats were also considered in separate initiatives. In December, the first meeting of the multi-stakeholder energy task force, convened under Resolution 11.27, was held in Cape Town, South Africa. May saw an international CMS workshop on by-catches, while, in January, a pioneering workshop was convened in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on the threat posed by poorly coordinated infrastructure projects on migratory pathways. Outreach activities also constituted a significant component of the work of the CMS. In addition to the popular World Migratory Bird Day and European Bat Night, 23 October was declared Snow Leopard Day, focusing on the conservation plight of this species. In November a series of outreach efforts in China led to the signing of the first partnership agreement between the CMS and a Chinese NGO, while in September the first regional capacity-building workshop for parties in the Caribbean region was convened, with a view towards encouraging greater participation within the CMS from this under-represented area. Significant efforts were also undertaken by central CMS institutions and personnel to facilitate closer cooperation with other multilateral environmental agreements; in August, the CMS participated at the eleventh meeting of the Liaison Group of the Biodiversity-related Conventions, and, in September, the CMS team attended the CITES COP-17. (1) Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) Following the fifth Meeting of the Parties in 2015, the past year was comparatively quiet for ACAP. In May 2016, the ninth Meeting of the Advisory Committee was held in La Serena, Chile, providing a forum to consider the population and conservation status of these species and the outcomes of a series of working groups held shortly before the meeting. Particular attention was given to by-catch mitigation, a core element of the work of ACAP, with a series of projects prioritized in ACAP’s ongoing relationship with an increasing number of regional fisheries management organizations, primarily related to reviewing performance towards addressing the incidental capture of albatrosses and petrels. (2) Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS) This year was a watershed moment for ACCOBAMS, which celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the agreement. Auspiciously, the agreement convened its sixth Meeting of the Parties (MOP-6) in Monaco in November, with an extensive agenda allowing for a full review of administrative and financial matters as well as reports from the wide array of institutional units that comprise the unique ACCOBAMS structure. The MOP-6 yielded an expansive array of resolutions on a variety of procedural matters and conservation requirements, with a particular emphasis on cooperation with the plethora of regulatory institutions operating within the Mediterranean and Black Seas. In light of long-standing Libyan arrears, the parties adopted new rules on voting entitlements for defaulting participants (Resolution 6.1) as well as streamlining national reporting processes (Resolution 6.9) and agreeing to amendments to the current headquarter arrangements in Monaco (Resolution 6.2). Administrative adjustments were also made to the working practices of the Bureau (Resolution 6.4), the Scientific Committee (Resolution 6.7), and the agreement’s dispute resolution mechanism—the ‘Follow-up Procedure’ (Resolution 6.8). The parties also called on laggards to deposit their respective instruments of acceptance for the 2010 ACCOBAMS amendments on the extension of the ACCOBAMS geographical scope (Resolution 6.10). From a conservation standpoint, the need to advance comprehensive population estimates for cetaceans was recognized (Resolutions 6.13 and 6.14) as well as the significant threat posed by by-catches (Resolution 6.16), ocean noise (Resolution 6.17), vessel strikes (Resolution 6.19), stranding (Resolution 6.22), and whale-watching (Resolution 6.20). The parties also agreed to develop additional protected areas, where possible, in collaboration with other bodies (Resolution 6.24). In regard to synergistic working practices, the parties adopted a formal work program for 2017–19, focusing on the development of strategic partnerships with other pertinent institutions (Resolution 6.5) while also welcoming developments towards the elaboration of a joint cooperation strategy for the protection and management of biodiversity in the region, conducted in partnership with a variety of environmental and fisheries management bodies (Resolution 6.11). Collaborative arrangements with the International Union for Conservation of Nature to review the current conservation status of cetaceans (Resolution 6.15) were also endorsed, along with the need to seek assistance in implementing EC Directive 2008/56 Establishing a Framework for Community Action in the Field of Marine Environmental Policy (Resolution 6.12). Continuing the broad theme of intra-organizational cooperation beyond the MOP, ACCOBAMS signed an MOU with the United Nations Environment Programme in February providing for clearer dialogue on the protection of marine areas beyond national jurisdictions. Likewise, in March, a formal workshop was convened with the neighbouring Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS) to explore the scope for synergy building, with particular emphasis on population monitoring, by-catches, ocean noise, marine contaminants, vessel strikes, and area-based management measures, with the parties having also identified collaboration on the development of conservation plans to be an effective form of synergy with ASCOBANS at the MOP (Resolution 6.21). (3) Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) Following its sixth MOP in 2015, the past year was comparatively quiet for AEWA. In March, the Technical Committee convened its thirteenth meeting in Israel, providing an opportunity to review early progress towards meeting its 2016–18 work plan and to consider the population status and parameters for particular species. In October, the AEWA White-Headed Duck International Working Group convened its first meeting in Madrid, Spain, to consider conservation policies for this endangered species, with particular attention to moves within other bodies to cull populations of ruddy ducks, for which hybridization with, and habitat competition from, this invasive species present the most pressing challenges to the survival of white-headed ducks in Europe. Similarly, in December, the AEWA European Goose Management International Working Group also convened its first meeting in Kristianstad, Sweden, reviewing the conservation status of a series of goose species and identifying conflicts with agricultural processes and directed hunting as particularly pressing concerns. (4) ASCOBANS In August, ASCOBANS convened its eighth Meeting of the Parties (MOP-8) in Helsinki, Finland. An extensive agenda provided for a comprehensive review of the financial and administrative arrangements for ASCOBANS as well as progress towards its implementation by the parties. A considerable number of resolutions were adopted at MOP-8. Of considerable significance was the endorsement of a revised recovery plan for the Baltic Harbour Porpoise (Jastarnia Plan) (Resolution 8.3), with an extensive series of action points. National reporting requirements were also addressed, with a revised reporting format introduced to streamline administrative burdens in a context of proliferating reporting obligations under a variety of regional organizations (Resolution 8.1), along with endorsement of a triennial work plan for the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee and Secretariat (Resolution 8.2). Individual conservation threats to small cetaceans were also considered, with particular emphasis on the need to address by-catches (Resolution 8.5), particular chemical pollutants (Resolution 8.7), and the under-appreciated threat of unexploded underwater munitions (Resolution 8.8). Concerns were also raised by the potential impacts of offshore energy production on cetacean habitats (Resolution 8.6) and the need to address cumulative impacts of anthropogenic activities in a more focused and coherent manner in environmental impact assessments (Resolution 8.9), especially with respect to ocean noise (Resolution 8.11). Meanwhile, work will continue apace on the development of a conservation plan for common dolphins (Resolution 8.4) and on national responses to stranding (Resolution 8.10), in keeping with earlier developments in neighbouring ACCOBAMS. Meanwhile, in April, the Steering Group for the ASCOBANS Recovery Plan for Baltic Harbour Porpoises (Jastarnia Group) convened its eleventh meeting in Hel, Poland, with a particular focus on by-catch mitigation initiatives in the Baltic Sea, prescribing a series of action points to prioritize research to quantify the scale of the problem and to explore commercial and regulatory means to promote the use of more selective fishing gear in waters that have long been notorious for incidental catches of marine mammals. (5) Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS) This year was also an auspicious moment for EUROBATS, which celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. In April, the twenty-first meeting of the Advisory Committee was held in Zandvoort, Netherlands. The meeting provided an opportunity to receive updates concerning the implementation of EUROBATS by the parties and to review the work conducted by the expansive collection of international working groups established under the auspices of EUROBATS, which address the primary threats facing migratory bats in Europe, with particular emphasis on wind turbines, critical feeding areas, roads and infrastructure, sustainable forest habitats, buildings and other human-made habitats, rescue and rehabilitation, light pollution, and public education. In May, the Standing Committee convened its twelfth meeting in Bonn, Germany, providing an opportunity to review financial and administrative matters pertaining to EUROBATS. Meanwhile, the ever-popular European Bat Night program was conducted across various parties and range states. This year’s event was particularly significant as it marked the twentieth anniversary of this important aspect of the outreach and education work of EUROBATS. (6) Raptors MOU In 2016, the Raptors MOU welcomed India as its latest signatory. In light of the second Meeting of the Signatories (MOS-2) convened in 2015, much of the work conducted under the auspices of the Raptors MOU pertained to the development of a multi-species action plan concerning vultures, as outlined above, with a view towards formally adopting this action plan at its next MOS in 2018. (7) Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks (Sharks MOU) This year was particularly busy for the Sharks MOU, which welcomed two new signatories, Somalia and Portugal. Most significantly, in February, the Sharks MOU convened MOS-2 in San Jose, Costa Rica. Among an extensive series of outcomes, the signatories adopted a number of amendments to the text of the Sharks MOU, including new commitments towards securing voluntary funding for the activities of the Sharks MOU, adjustments to voting practices, clearer functions of the Advisory Committee, and authority to invite cooperating parties to sign the Sharks MOU. MOS-2 also saw the addition of twenty-two further species of sharks and rays to the Sharks MOU, along with a series of operational revisions to the current conservation plan. The signatories also agreed to new timescales for submitting national reports as well as a clearer procedure for endorsing cooperating parties and considering their future role within the MOS. In the spirit of this latter development, MOS-2 welcomed a further seven cooperating parties, with the MOS now bolstered by a total of nine such actors. Beyond addressing a series of important administrative and financial issues, MOS-2 also saw the establishment of a Conservation Working Group as an important forum for the further development of conservation policies and outreach programs, prioritizing the elaboration of synergies with regional fisheries management organizations as a core area of activity. This new body convened its first meeting in October, making significant progress in clarifying the definition of ‘by-catch’ for the purposes of the work of the Shark MOU, identifying research and conservation priorities, and commencing work on a gap analysis of by-catch mitigation policies pertinent to sharks. Elsewhere, a series of regional conservation and outreach workshops were convened in the Caribbean and Central America and in Western and Central Africa, led by the Pew Charitable Trusts, to promote the aims of the Sharks MOU. (8) Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of High Andean Flamingos and Their Habitats (High Andean Flamingos MOU) In April, the first MOS to the High Andean Flamingos MOU was convened in Cusco, Peru. The agenda included the further coordination of the High Andean Flamingos MOU and its accompanying action plan and a review of progress undertaken to date. Of particular significance was the inauguration of a network of protected habitats for these species across the Andes region, establishing criteria for the incorporation of sites within this network and drawing upon parallel developments for the Andes under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yearbook of International Environmental Law – Oxford University Press
Published: Dec 28, 2017
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera