Karol Bagh | IAS GS Foundation Course | 29 May, 6 PM Call Us
This just in:

State PCS

Daily Updates

Biodiversity & Environment


  • 20 Feb 2024
  • 10 min read

For Prelims: Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, Conservation of Migratory Species, Bonn Convention.

For Mains: CMS COP14, Convention on migratory species and Efforts made by India.

Source: DTE

Why in News?

The Fourteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS 14) has been concluded in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

What are the Key Highlights of CMS COP 14?

  • Adoption of Listing Proposals:
    • Parties agreed to adopt listing proposals for 14 migratory species, including 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.
    • These listings aim to enhance protection and conservation efforts for these species.
  • Cooperation and Conservation Efforts:
    • The proposals emphasised the importance of cooperation between range states to address threats to migratory species, conduct research, and implement conservation activities.
      • Range states refer to countries or territories that are within the geographical range where a particular species occurs naturally. These countries or territories are directly involved in the management, conservation, and protection of the species and its habitat.
    • Efforts were focused on maintaining existing populations, improving connectivity, safeguarding habitats, and restoring populations.
  • Focus on Threats:
    • Various threats to migratory species were highlighted, including habitat degradation, fragmentation, illegal trade, bycatch, contaminants, and human activities such as fencing, oil and gas development, mining, and underwater noise.
    • The inclusion of these species in the CMS appendices aims to address these threats and promote their conservation.
  • International Collaboration:
    • Range states collaborated to propose listing amendments and adoption of conservation measures.
    • Countries like North Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, Panama, and others supported listing proposals and urged for joint efforts to protect migratory species and their habitats.
  • Recognition of Endangered Status:
    • Several species, such as the Lahille’s bottlenose dolphin, Peruvian pelican, and Magellanic plover, were recognized as 'Vulnerable,' 'Endangered,' or 'Critically Endangered' in IUCN Red List, due to population decline and various threats.
    • Listing these species in CMS appendices aims to improve their conservation status and provide support for habitat protection.
  • Regional and Global Conservation Initiatives:
    • The adoption of proposals reflected efforts to address conservation issues at regional and global levels.
    • Measures were 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.

What is a Migratory Species?

  • A species or lower taxon of wild animals of which the entire population or any geographically separate part of the population cyclically and predictably cross one or more national jurisdictional boundaries.
    • The word ‘cyclically’ relates to a cycle of any nature, such as astronomical (circadian, annual, etc.), life or climatic, and of any frequency.
    • The word ‘predictably’ implies that a phenomenon can be anticipated to recur in a given set of circumstances, though not necessarily regularly in time.

What is CMS?

  • About:
  • Aim:
    • It aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range.
    • It lays the legal foundation to conduct conservation measures on a global scale.
      • The legal instruments under CMS may range from legally binding Agreements to less formal MoU.
  • Two appendices under CMS:
    • Appendix I lists ‘Threatened Migratory Species’.
    • Appendix II lists ‘Migratory Species requiring international cooperation’.
  • India and the CMS:
    • India has signed a non-legally binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CMS on conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008), and Raptors (2016).
    • With 2.4% of the world’s land area, India contributes to around 8% of the known global biodiversity.

What are Initiatives Taken by India for Migratory Species?

  • National Action Plan for the Conservation of Migratory Birds (2018-2023): India has launched the National Action Plan for the conservation of migratory species along the Central Asian Flyway.
    • To reduce pressure on critical habitats and migratory routes by addressing the various challenges migratory birds face.
    • To stop the decline of migratory birds and reverse the scenario by 2027.
    • To avoid threats to habitats and migratory routes and ensure their sustainability for future generations.
    • To support transboundary cooperation among countries along the Central Asian Flyway to conserve migratory birds and their habitats.
    • To improve the database on migratory birds and their habitats to enhance our understanding of their conservation needs.
  • India also Announced:
  • Project Snow Leopard (PSL): PSL was launched in 2009 to promote an inclusive and participatory approach to conserve snow leopards and their habitat.
  • Dugong Conservation Reserve: India has established its first Dugong conservation reserve in Tamil Nadu.
  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972:
    • Rare and endangered species of birds including migratory birds are included in Schedule-I of the Act thereby according to them highest degree of protection.
    • Important habitats of birds, including migratory birds have been notified as protected Areas under the Act for better conservation and protection of birds and their habitats.
  • Other Initiatives:
    • Focused protection measures involving the local communities have been taken up in the State of Nagaland for protection of Amur Falcons that migrate to Northeast India on their route to Southern Africa.
    • India has taken several steps to conserve vultures like imposing ban on veterinary use of diclofenac, establishment of Vulture breeding centres etc.
    • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been established for control of illegal trade in wildlife and its parts and products.

Read More: Convention on Migratory Species

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. The most important strategy for the conservation of biodiversity together with traditional human life is the establishment of (2014)

(a) biosphere reserves
(b) botanical gardens 
(c) national parks 
(d) wildlife sanctuaries

Ans: (a)

Q. 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? (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 around the world to better manage natural environments.
  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

Ans: (b)

SMS Alerts
Share Page