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24.06.2019

40 years of protection for migratory animals

Berggorilla in der Wildnis
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the Federal Environment Ministry and CMS received diplomatic representatives in Berlin.

Update of the press release

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the Federal Environment Ministry and CMS received diplomatic representatives from around three dozen countries in Berlin today. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze underlined the great importance of global species conservation and called on more countries to ratify the convention. The convention is the only UN agreement that deals with the conservation of migratory animals and their habitats around the world, including birds, whales, dolphins, sharks, elephants, antelopes and gorillas.

Group photo
BMU/Christin Heidmann

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said: “Germany co-initiated the convention and has been a party to it from the very beginning. We support many projects and initiatives focussed on, for example, the conservation of migratory steppe animals in Central Asia and wild marine animals such as rays and sharks. Worldwide species protection is of great personal importance to me, and I am working towards the goal of having 150 parties to the convention by its 50th anniversary in ten years’ time. It would be great progress for global species conservation and the fight against biodiversity loss.”

Current CMS Executive Secretary Amy Fraenkel added: “The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species has been at the forefront of combating threats to migratory species of wild animals all over the world for 40 years. We are grateful for the generous support of the German government, not only as host of our headquarters in Bonn but as a provider of financial support and political leadership in a great number of initiatives. We have achieved many things over these 40 years. Because we are facing new and more serious threats such as loss of habitat, environmental pollution and climate change, it is time we expand the scope of our efforts and raise the level of ambition to ensure the survival of migratory species.”

The CMS is one of the oldest global environmental agreements and was the first UN organisation to establish its headquarters in Bonn. Since it was negotiated and signed at the Godesburg in Bonn, the number of parties has risen to 127 countries and the EU. More than 30 additional states are active in the context of the convention. A range of partner organisations and experts on wild animals cooperate with the convention as well.

The convention is also unique in that it offers an international platform for countries to cooperate on transboundary protection of shared wildlife. The conservation of migratory species and their habitats holds benefits such as the preservation of pollinating or seed-transporting species and support for natural pest control, for example through bird species.

The convention also addresses the issues of strengthening animal and habitat resilience to climate change and supports scientific research on enhancing the protection of migratory wild animals across their habitats and migration routes. The mandate of the convention also includes fighting wildlife crime and using renewable energy in a wildlife-friendly way.

These activities also support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which include the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems.

24.06.2019 | Pressreport No. 105/19 | Species Protection
Joint press release with the United Nations Environment Programme