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Tags Current Affairs

Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)

Date: 17 February 2020 Tags: Conventions


India will host the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP13), a major United Nations wildlife conference, in Gandhinagar.



CMS brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.



  • The theme of the conference is “Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home”.

  • The CMS is an environmental treaty of the UN that provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.

  • It is the only global convention specialising in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes.The pact was signed in 1979 in Germany and is known as the Bonn Convention.

  • Appendix I of the Convention lists ‘Threatened Migratory Species’.

  • 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.

  • Appendix II lists ‘Migratory Species requiring international cooperation’.

  • At this year’s summit, the Urial, a wild sheep from Central Asia, is being proposed for inclusion under Appendix II.

India and CMS

  • India has been a party to the CMS since 1983. India is a temporary home to several migratory animals and birds. The important among these include Amur Falcons, Bar-headed Geese, Black-necked cranes, Marine turtles, Dugongs, Humpbacked Whales, etc.

  • The Indian sub-continent is also part of the major bird flyway network, i.e, the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) that covers areas between the Arctic and Indian Oceans, and covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory water-bird species, including 29 globally threatened species.

  • India has also launched the National Action Plan for the conservation of migratory species under the Central Asian Flyway.

  • India had non-legally binding MoUs with the CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016).

  • The COP 13 agenda includes proposals to add 10 new species for protection under the CMS. These include the Asian Elephant, the Jaguar, the Great Indian Bustard, and the Smooth Hammerhead Shark. Parties will also discuss the adoption of dedicated concerted actions for 12 different species, including the Giraffe, the Ganges River Dolphin, the Common Guitarfish and the Antipodean Albatross.

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