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February 19, 2024

Why in news?

The 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) was held in the historic city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Convention of Migratory Species (CMS)

Key aspects



It began at the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.

Launch year

1979 in Bonn, Germany (called as Bonn Convention)

Entered into force



Provided by United Nations Environment Program, based in Bonn in Germany on the banks of River Rhine.



Out-post office

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.


  • To provide a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.
  • To lay the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measure throughout a migratory range.


  • 133 as of 2022, Jamaica has signed but not ratified to become a party yet.
  • India has been a part of Bonn convention since 1983.

CMS Trust Fund

Each Party shall contribute to this budget according to a scale to be agreed upon by the COP.

Listed species

It has about 1,200 species listed in 2 Appendix

  • Appendix I- Endangered migratory species.
  • Appendix II- Migratory species conserved through Agreements.
  • Birds occupied the first place followed by terrestrial mammals.

Appendix I

It endeavour to protect them by

  • Prohibiting the taking of such species, with very restricted scope for exceptions
  • Conserving and where appropriate restoring their habitats
  • Preventing, removing or mitigating obstacles to their migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them. 

Appendix II

It covers migratory species that have an unfavourable conservation status and that require international agreements for their conservation and management. 

cms cop

CMS is the only global convention specializing in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes.

What is the organizational structure of CMS?

  • Conference of the Parties (COP) - It is the decision-making body of the Convention which meets at three-yearly intervals.
  • Standing Committee- It gives policy and administrative guidance between meetings.
  • Scientific Council- It meets between COP sessions to offer scientific advice and identify research and conservation priorities.
  • Secretariat- It develops and promotes Agreements, service meetings and supervises research and conservation projects and co-operates with governments and partner organizations.

CMS COP 13- The COP was held in India for the 1st time at Gandhinagar in 2020

What are the key takeaways of CMS COP14?

This is the first COP of any global environmental treaty to take place in Central Asia, a region home to many migratory species including the Saiga Antelope, the Snow Leopard, and many species of migratory birds.

  • Slogan- Nature Knows No Border.
  • Samarkand Strategic Plan (2024-2032) - It is a framework for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory species and their habitats based on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) adopted in 2022.
  • The State of the World’s Migratory Species- It is the first ever report that provides a comprehensive overview and analysis of the conservation status of migratory species.

The State of the World Migratory Species

New Global Partnership on Ecological Connectivity

  • The report is a global partnership which includes Convention on Biological Diversity, Ramsar Convention, IUCN, UNCCD, World Wide Fund for Nature, UNEP etc.,

Key findings

  • Two greatest threats to both CMS-listed and all migratory species are overexploitation and habitat loss due to human activity.
  • Half of Key Biodiversity Areas identified as important for CMS-listed migratory animals do not have protected status
  • 58% of the monitored sites recognized as being important for CMS-listed species are experiencing unsustainable levels of human-caused pressure.
  • Climate change, pollution and invasive species are also having profound impacts on migratory species.


  • Atlas of Animal Migration- It is a publication that maps the distribution, movement, and threats of migratory animals across different regions and habitats
  • Agreement on an Initiative for the Central Asian Flyway- It spans 30 Range States, after nearly two decades of inconclusive negotiations, the adopted initiative includes the establishment of a coordinating unit in India with financial support from the Indian Government.
  • Action Plan for African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Action Plan (AEMLAP)- It aims to improve the conservation status of migratory landbird species along the African-Eurasian flyway region by coordinating actions at the international and national levels.
  • Action Plan for Great Bustard in Asia- It provides for current status and threats of Asian population of the Great Bustard, a large migratory bird that is endangered by habitat loss, poaching, infrastructure and climate change.
  • Transboundary Jaguar initiative- It is launched to establish a new regional conservation initiative for the Jaguar, a species listed in CMS Appendices I and II.
  • Central Asian Mammals Initiative (CAMI)- It is a framework for the conservation of 15 migratory mammal species and their habitats in the Central Asian region adopted by CMS in 2014.

As part of CAMI, Uzbekistan announced a new programme to introduce the Cheetah in the country.

  • Global Partnership on Ecological Connectivity-The objective is to ensure that ecological connectivity is maintained, enhanced, and restored in places of importance for migratory species of wild animals.

Ecological connectivity

  • It is defined by CMS as the “unimpeded movement of species and the flow of natural processes that sustain life on Earth”.
  • Key priority areas of Global Partnership on Ecological Connectivity
    • Data Research and Monitoring- Prioritizing the integration and analysis of scientific data to inform conservation measures.
    • Policy and Legislation-Supporting evidence-based decision-making to enhance policies and laws that foster ecological connectivity, integrating it into global targets and national priorities.
    • Uptake and Implementation- Encouraging the application of connectivity conservation strategies.
    • Awareness Raising and Outreach-Increasing public understanding and support for ecological connectivity.
  • Insect Decline and its Threat to Migratory Insectivorous Animal Populations- As insect biodiversity plays a vital role in the proper functioning of many of the world's ecosystems and their services their decline can have a significant impact on a range of migratory insectivorous species, especially bird and bat species.
  • Global guidelines on light pollution- Light pollution contributes to the death of millions of birds, internationally agreed guidelines on light pollution covering marine turtles, seabirds and migratory shorebirds already exist and have been endorsed by COP 13.
  • New international guidelines focusing on migratory land birds and bats are currently being developed under CMS.
  • Migratory Aquatic species- A new mandate on addressing the impacts of deep-seabed mineral exploitation on migratory species, their prey, and their ecosystem.
    • Three new Action Plans for aquatic species, the Atlantic Humpback Dolphin, the Hawksbill Turtle and the Angelshark.
  • Wildlife health- CMS Parties are encouraged to implement the recommendations of the scientific report ‘Migratory Species and Health: A Review of Migration and Wildlife Disease Dynamics, and the Health of Migratory Species, within the context of ‘One Health’.
  • Vessel strike- A new resolution on reducing the risk of vessel strikes for marine megafauna, based on a new scientific report presented which focusses on the Appendix I & II-listed Whale Shark.
  • Marine debris - Along with bycatch and ship strikes, this is one of the major threats to marine fauna, with animals becoming entangled in discarded fishing gear and ingesting plastics.
  • Amend Convention’s Appendices- The proposals for amendment of CMS Appendices I and II were discussed and recommended by the Committee of the Whole (COW) or countries for adoption.
  • Inclusion of 14 migratory species- They are Eurasian lynx, Peruvian pelican, Pallas’s cat, guanaco, Laulao catfish, Balkan lynx, Lahille’s bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise, Magellanic plover, bearded vulture, Blackchin guitarfish, Bull ray, Lusitanian cownose ray and Gilded catfish.



  1. CMS.INT- 40 years of CMS
  2. Down To Earth- CMS COP14 ends in Samarkand
  3. CMS.INT- Status of World Migratory Species report
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