Conservation of Migratory Species COP 14

Conservation of Migratory Species COP 14

This article covers ‘Daily Current Affairs’ and the topic details of ”Conservation of Migratory Species CoP 14″.This topic is relevant in the “Environment and Ecology” section of the UPSC CSE exam.


Why in the News? 

Samarkand, recently Uzbekistan, has served as the venue for the conclusion of the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS 14).


Significant Highlights of CMS COP 14


Acceptance of Listing Proposals:

  1. All involved parties have reached an agreement to embrace the listing proposals for 14 migratory species, which include the Eurasian lynx, Peruvian pelican, Pallas’s cat, guanaco, Lahille’s bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise, Magellanic plover, bearded vulture, Blackchin guitarfish, Bull ray, Lusitanian cownose ray, Gilded catfish, and Laulao catfish.
  2. The primary objective of these listings is to strengthen protective measures and promote conservation initiatives for these species.


Focus on Threats:

  1. Various threats to migratory species were identified, including habitat degradation, fragmentation, illegal trade, bycatch, contaminants, and human activities like fencing, oil and gas development, mining, and underwater noise.
  2. Incorporating these species into the CMS appendices is aimed at mitigating these threats and advocating for their conservation.


Collaboration and Conservation Endeavors:

  1. The proposals underscore the significance of collaborative efforts among a range of states to address challenges faced by migratory species, engage in research activities, and implement conservation projects.
  2. Range states, denoting countries or territories within the natural geographical range of a particular species, play a direct role in managing, conserving, and protecting both the species and its habitat.
  3. The emphasis has been placed on preserving existing populations, enhancing connectivity, safeguarding habitats, and restoring population levels.


Regional and Global Conservation Initiatives:

  1. The acceptance of the proposals reflects a commitment to addressing conservation challenges at both regional and global levels.
  2. Measures have been recommended to protect specific populations, such as the Baltic Proper population of the harbour porpoise and the Mediterranean Sea populations of various species, while also considering broader conservation strategies.


International Cooperation:

  1. Range states collaborated to propose amendments to the listings and the adoption of conservation measures.
  2. Countries such as North Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, Panama, and others supported the listing proposals and called for unified efforts to safeguard migratory species and their habitats.


Recognition of Endangered Status:

  1. A number of species have been listed in the IUCN Red List as “Vulnerable,” “Endangered,” or “Critically Endangered” because of population loss and other concerns. These species include the  Peruvian pelican, Lahille’s bottlenose dolphin, and Magellanic plover.
  2. Listing these species in CMS appendices is intended to elevate their conservation status and provide support for habitat protection.



About Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species


Introduction to CMS:

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, commonly known as the Bonn Convention, stands as a vital environmental treaty operating under the United Nations Environment Programme. Originating in Bonn, Germany, it was signed on 23 June 1979. This international accord serves as a global platform, addressing the conservation and sustainable utilisation of migratory animals and their habitats.


Global Conservation Mandate:

CMS holds the distinctive position of being the only global and UN-based intergovernmental organisation exclusively dedicated to the conservation and management of terrestrial, aquatic, and avian migratory species across their entire range. Recognising the significance of conserving migratory species, the convention underscores the need for special attention to species facing unfavourable conservation statuses.


Diverse Conservation Instruments:

Participating CMS Parties engage in various activities, ranging from legally binding treaties, termed Agreements, to less formal instruments like Memoranda of Understanding. The decision-making body of the convention is the Conference of Parties (COP).


CMS Appendices: Key Components

Appendix I:

This section of CMS catalogues endangered migratory species and imposes prohibitions on activities impacting these species. The focus is on stringent measures to protect and preserve these vulnerable populations.


Appendix II:

Appendix II features species with an ‘unfavourable conservation status,’ as defined by the Convention. It encourages range states to collaboratively formulate agreements for the conservation and management of these species, emphasising a cooperative approach.


  • India’s Role in CMS
  • Long-standing Partnership: India has been a committed party to the CMS since 1983, reflecting its dedication to international conservation efforts.
  • Specific Collaborations: India has further strengthened its commitment by signing non-legally binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with CMS. These agreements showcase India’s specific efforts to contribute to the conservation and management of these migratory species.

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Prelims practice questions 


Q1. With reference to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which of the following statements is/are correct? (UPSC Prelims-2015)

  1. IUCN is an organ of the United Nations, and CITES is an international agreement between governments.
  2. IUCN runs thousands of field projects worldwide to manage natural environments better.
  3. CITES is legally binding on the States that have joined it, but this Convention does not take the place of national laws.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only 

(d) 1, 2 and 3




Mains practice questions


Q1. What are the primary challenges and threats faced by migratory species, and how do these impact their conservation status?

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