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Biodiversity & Environment


  • 26 Feb 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News?

The UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) 13th Conference of Parties (COP) on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) concluded in Gandhinagar (Gujarat) on 22nd February 2020.

  • The theme of CMS COP-13 was ‘Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home’.
  • The mascot for CMS COP-13 was ‘Gibi – The Great Indian Bustard’. It is a critically endangered species (according to the IUCN) and has been accorded the highest protection status (listed in Schedule I) under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.


  • The CMS COP-13 has adopted the Gandhinagar Declaration which calls for migratory species and the concept of ‘ecological connectivity’ to be integrated and prioritized in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
    • The post-2020 global biodiversity framework is likely to be adopted by the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in China’s Kunming in October 2020.
  • Ten migratory species were added to CMS Appendices at COP-13 including the Asian Elephant, Jaguar and Great Indian Bustard.
  • India, as COP-13 host, has assumed the role of COP Presidency for the three years.
  • India pledged to focus on the conservation of migratory birds along the Central Asian Flyway and announced the establishment of an institutional facility for undertaking research and assessment of the conservation of migratory birds, the conservation of marine turtles, reduction of pollution from micro-plastic and single-use plastic, transboundary protected areas, and sustainable infrastructure development.

Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

  • In order to protect the migratory species throughout their range countries, a Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), has been in force since 1983, under the aegis of United Nations Environment Programme.
  • Also referred to as the Bonn Convention, it provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.
  • The Conference of Parties (COP) is the decision-making organ of this convention.
  • CMS Appendices
    • Under this convention, migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I and Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them.
    • Migratory species that need conservation and management or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention.
  • India has been a Party to the CMS since 1983.

Migratory Species in India

  • India is a temporary home to several migratory animals and birds.
  • The important among these include Amur Falcons, Bar-headed Geese, Black-necked cranes, Marine turtles, Dugongs, Humpbacked Whales, etc.
  • The Indian sub-continent is also part of the major bird flyway network, i.e, the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) that covers areas between the Arctic and Indian Oceans.
  • India has also launched the National Action Plan for the conservation of migratory species under the Central Asian Flyway.

Source: IE

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