CMS CoP 11, QUITO, ECUADOR , “THE SHARK CoP”
CMS is the United Nations Environmental Program convention on migratory species and tries to protect animals which migrate across borders, in order to cover their entire range. Every 3 years this convention meets at its Conference of Parties (CoP), and this year they met in Quito, Ecuador, from November 3 to 9. Because many shark and ray species were presented for listing in its Appendix 2, this CoP was called the “shark CoP”. Pierre Gallego has summarised the most memorable conservation decisions made at CMS this year.
The 11th CMS CoP was held in Quito in early November. 120 countries met to make important decisions on the conservation of migratory animal species. Ecuador was the perfect venue for such an important meeting on animal conservation for different reasons. First of all, because of the many world renowned National Parks like the Galapagos Islands, but also because of the fact that a couple of years ago, the Ecuadorian Government decided to give its Nature legal rights, being the world’s first country to do so.
The CoP started with a high level meeting which brought together specialists on environmental issues from around the globe, and which was moderated by Philippe Cousteau Jr, Cdt. Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s grand-son. His involvement in numerous environmental issues makes him the perfect moderator for this conference, and the common message of the talks is the urgency to take action: time for action!
On the following day we hear 3 inspiring presentations, one of Philippe Cousteau Jr, another one on the Ocean Clean-up Project by the young Boyan Slat from the Netherlands, and by Achmat Hassiem from South Africa, who after losing a leg from a great white shark attack, became a paralympic swimming medalist and turned into an advocate for shark conservation. Between the long plenary sessions there were side-events presenting the different species which were proposed for listing into the Appendices, and also presentations on workshops and conservation projects around the globe
Because of the 21 species of sharks, rays, and sawfish species proposed for listing, this CoP was coined “the shark CoP”. But there were many more animal species proposed for listing. Here is the list of the animals species which were listed:
- Cuvier’s Beaked Whale (Mediterranean population)
- Asiatic Lion
- Great Bustard
- Semipalmated Sandpiper
- Great Knot
- European Roller
- Reef Manta Ray
- Mobula Species
- Polar Bear
- Red-fronted Gazelle
- White-eared Kob
- Canada Warbler
- Silky Shark
- Great and Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks
- Thresher Sharks
- European Eel
This CoP turned out to be a major step in the direction of conservation of migrating animal species.
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