Countries in South and South-East Asia are Trained to Conserve Migratory Animals. The Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) is for the very first time organizing a capacity-building workshop for South and South-East Asian countries that are not yet Parties to the Convention in Quezon City, the Philippines from 27 to 29 October.
Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of CMS, said: “CMS plays a leading role in bringing countries to work together to conserve endangered migratory animals and the habitats they depend on. The workshop in the Philippines is part of our continuing efforts to convince more countries to join the Convention in a move to protect this shared natural resource”.
South and South-East Asia is home to a significant number of migratory species such as sharks, dugongs, marine turtles and shorebirds whose survival depends on coordinated conservation action by all countries in the region. CMS has developed tailored instruments to conserve marine turtles, sharks, dugongs as well as whales and dolphins in the wider region.
The meeting is being jointly organized with the United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (UNEP-ROAP), the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and the Philippines’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Ramon J. P. Paje, Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources who warmly welcomed participants of the workshop, commented that “Being the next host of the Conference of the Parties (CMS COP12) in Manila in 2017, the Philippines will seize the opportunity to demonstrate its capacity in terms of migratory species conservation to other countries in the region. We want to showcase the benefits this highly specialized global convention has to offer to the region as it contributed in promoting migratory species conservation in the Philippines.”
The meeting will help participants grasp the importance and tools of the Convention, which serves as a platform to strengthen trans-boundary conservation efforts for migratory animals worldwide. Countries will have the opportunity to share information and experiences with other States sharing the same migratory species, also with a view to achieving biodiversity targets as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“The Convention on Migratory Species is an expression of our shared commitment to ensure that human development does not come at the cost of the world’s natural resources and the ecosystem services that they provide. Countries in our region can use this important UNEP supported global environmental agreement to promote their sustainable development goals” said Kaveh Zahedi, UNEP Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific.
The flora and fauna of South and South-East Asia are exceptionally diverse. In addition to terrestrial biodiversity hotspots, it hosts the principal global hotspot for marine biodiversity. For example, out of an estimated 10,000 living species of birds worldwide, around one fifth occur in South-East Asia. The region is home to 243 migratory waterbird species, 50 of which are threatened. The greatest diversity occurs in lowland primary rainforest and coastal mangrove.
The active contribution of the Philippines to the work of the Convention in the region helps to strengthen awareness of the challenges migratory animals face and to encourage both South and South-East Asian countries that are not yet Party to join the Convention.