CMS Flyways Working Group Convenes
February 2011: The Flyways Working Group of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), comprising 25 experts from all regions of the world, met in Edinburgh, Scotland, from 20-21 February 2011.
The experts included representatives of Parties to the CMS, scientific councillors, international organizations and independent experts.
On threats to migratory birds, the Flyways Working Group (FWG) agreed that habitat destruction and degradation was the most relevant threat, together with land use change, illegal hunting, by-catch, invasive alien species, diseases, pollution, climate change and infrastructure development.
On policy options, the group emphasized building on existing agreements and initiatives to provide an overarching approach to filling the gaps in the coverage of CMS instruments, and to limit impacts from threats to migratory birds. They noted this could take the form of generic regional agreements, underpinned by a series of flexible action plans regarding top priorities on a regional basis.
The group also considered holding a series of regional workshops involving all relevant actors in each region, to address problems and priorities on an ad hoc basis and work in partnership with existing initiatives.
The FWG was established during the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 9) to CMS to act as a think tank on flyways and frameworks. It was tasked with reviewing scientific and technical issues for conservation of migratory birds and their habitats, and relevant international instruments, initiatives and processes, as the basis for future CMS policy on flyways. The findings of the FWG will be taken into account by the Working Group on the Future Shape of CMS when deciding its final options. [CMS Press Release]