On 12 February 2024, the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP14) kicked off in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, under the slogan “Nature knows no borders”.
The Forum brought together more than 1,800 participants from 130 countries to solve one of the most pressing problems affecting the entire world community – the conservation of migratory species of wild animals.
The plenary session was attended by Minister of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change of Uzbekistan Aziz Abdukhakimov, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Inger Andersen, Executive Secretary of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species Amy Frenkel, Head of the World Conservation Monitoring Center of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-WCMC) Kelly Malsch, ministers, heads of international organizations, diplomats, industry experts, etc.
In his welcoming address to the conference participants, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev stressed: “During the presidency of the Convention in 2024-2027, Uzbekistan is ready to mobilize all its forces and potential to protect migratory species of animals. We welcome the adoption in Samarkand of a new Strategic Plan for the period 2024-2032, which will define the main directions of the upcoming work in this area. We also support the development and adoption of a program of measures to create ecological corridors and barrier-free animal migration. We consider it important to strengthen the requirements for the environmental assessment of the construction of infrastructure facilities – roads and railways, gas pipelines and border structures in order to reduce their negative impact on the migration of wild animals.”
At the opening event, UN Deputy Secretary-General, Executive Director of UNEP Inger Andersen noted: “Migratory species tell us how nature is doing. How our planet is doing. Tell us about the challenges that humanity creates for these migratory beings. Challenges of pollution, challenges of climate change, challenges of fragmentation of landscapes, challenges of walls and barriers, challenges of plastic debris, challenges of human activity on the ocean floor, challenges of ocean traffic and so much more. Sharks that glide through depths of the ocean. Bats that cluster deep within caves. The snow leopard that roams the mountain ranges of Central Asia. Many species of birds that soar even higher. These magnificent species are indeed nature’s messengers.”
The Plenary session reviewed progress in the implementation of the Convention, as well as actions to address a myriad challenges of conservation of migratory species and their habitats. During the week-long discussions, CMS COP14 is expected to explore an extensive agenda covering more than a hundred issues, including:
— Amendments to the CMS Annexes, entering fourteen additional species in need of international protection, such as the common lynx, bovine winged eaglet, manul, Magellanic plover, etc.
— Proposals for new Coordinated actions as priority measures for the conservation of seven species.
— Anti-poaching measures.
— Actions for the development of environmental communication.
— A new strategic plan for migratory species for the period 2024-2032.
— Numerous initiatives related to some species and range countries, such as the Central Asian Flyway and the Transborder Jaguar Initiatives.
CMS COP14 is one of the most significant global UN activities for the conservation of migratory species since the adoption of the Kunming–Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan pledge to protect Ustyurt Plateau Biodiversity jointly
During the Plenary Session of CMS COP14 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan signed a Memorandum of cooperation in the field of wildlife conservation of the Ustyurt Plateau.
In particular, the memorandum is aimed at cross–border cooperation on the conservation of key mammalian species of migratory animals in this region – these are the gazelle, the Central Asian leopard, urial, kulan, etc.
Within the framework of the memorandum, a working group will be established and a Roadmap for actions to ensure the conservation of transboundary populations of wild animals and their migratory species on the Ustyurt plateau will be developed.
The document will provide for joint monitoring and inventory of migratory species; their protection; creation of transboundary protected natural areas and migration corridors; coordination of measures to combat poaching and smuggling of wild animals; measures to prevent fragmentation and degradation of habitats; attraction of investments and funds for the implementation of appropriate measures of the Roadmap.
The agreement was signed in order to fulfill the obligations of the Central Asian countries to preserve the transnational World Natural Heritage site “Cold Deserts of Turan”, inscribed in the list of World Natural Heritage sites in 2023.
Landmark UN Report Reveals Shocking State of Wildlife: the World’s Migratory Species of Animals are in Decline, and the Global Extinction Risk Is Increasing
The first-ever State of the World’s Migratory Species report was launched today by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), a UN biodiversity treaty, at the opening of a major UN wildlife conservation conference (CMS COP14). The landmark report reveals:
- While some migratory species listed under CMS are improving, nearly half (44 per cent) are showing population declines.
- More than one-in-five (22 per cent) of CMS-listed species are threatened with extinction.
- Nearly all (97 per cent) of CMS-listed fish are threatened with extinction.
- The extinction risk is growing for migratory species globally, including those not listed under CMS.
- Half (51 per cent) of Key Biodiversity Areas identified as important for CMS-listed migratory animals do not have protected status, and 58 per cent of the monitored sites recognized as being important for CMS-listed species are experiencing unsustainable levels of human-caused pressure.
- The two greatest threats to both CMS-listed and all migratory species are overexploitation and habitat loss due to human activity. Three out of four CMS-listed species are impacted by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, and seven out of ten CMS-listed species are impacted by overexploitation (including intentional taking as well as incidental capture).
- Climate change, pollution and invasive species are also having profound impacts on migratory species.
- Globally, 399 migratory species that are threatened or near threatened with extinction are not currently listed under CMS.
Until now, no such comprehensive assessment on migratory species has been carried out.
Billions of animals make migratory journeys each year on land, in the oceans and in the skies, crossing national boundaries and continents, with some travelling thousands of miles across the globe to feed and breed.
Migratory species play an essential role in maintaining the world’s ecosystems, and provide vital benefits, by pollinating plants, transporting key nutrients, preying on pests, and helping to store carbon.
Prepared for CMS by conservation scientists at the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), the CMS State of the World’s Migratory Species report features expert contributions from institutions including BirdLife International, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
The main focus of the report is the 1,189 animal species that have been recognized by CMS Parties as needing international protection and are listed under CMS, though it also features analysis linked to over 3,000 additional non-CMS migratory species.
///nCa, 13 February 2024