As the 13th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) concluded on Saturday, the party countries have called on all governments to effectively address the conservation need of endangered species whose survival is a key indicator of sustainable development.
The 130 party countries have adopted an accord, the Gandhinagar Declaration, in which they affirmed that a commitment to maintaining and restoring ecological connectivity is one of the top priorities for CMS, especially for the conservation and sustainable management of migratory species and their habitats.
The countries called for ecological connectivity and the important role of CMS in this regard to be effectively reflected in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
“The CMS COP13 notes that achieving ecological connectivity and implementation of CMS and other biodiversity-related instruments requires international cooperation and partnerships among States and all relevant actors and calls for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to include a clear commitment for international, regional, bilateral and transboundary cooperation for its implementation and for improving ecological connectivity,” the document said.
“Calls on Parties and other Governments to ensure that the post-2020 global biodiversity framework effectively addresses the conservation needs of endangered species and species with an unfavourable conservation status, whose survival is a key indicator of sustainable development,” it said.
The convention also recommended that the post-2020 global biodiversity framework include effective actions to address direct and indirect drivers that threaten migratory species and their habitats.
It also recommended that the post-2020 global biodiversity framework include goals and targets to halt species decline and strengthen the linkages between its provisions on species and its provisions on habitats.
“Further recommends that the post-2020 global biodiversity framework consider the status of migratory species (by any species index such as Red List Index, Living Planet Index and Wild Bird Index) as a potential indicator of progress towards achieving the framework, including goals and targets on ecological connectivity,” it said.
The CMS COP 13 began on February 15 with pre-COP activities followed by its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 17.
The conference concluded on Saturday with countries adopting the declaration.
According to the declaration, the convention recommended that the post-2020 global biodiversity framework include provisions to promote international cooperation and connectivity through Multilateral Environmental Agreements, regional and transboundary cooperation mechanisms, and sharing of experiences between initiatives at the community level.
It also urged parties and other governments to “ensure effective liaison between the national focal points of CMS and those of CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) and other biodiversity-related conventions and agreements, as well as the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, with a view to reflecting the respective priorities of, and aligning their efforts under, the various agreements related to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.”
The declaration will be transmitted to the Open-Ended Working Group on the Post-2020, the United Nations High Level Summit on Biodiversity (September 2020, New York) and the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in November in Glasgow, UK.