Bonn, Germany, May 2, 2013- The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Arctic Council’s Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group (CAFF), have signed a resolution of cooperation, 29 April 2013 in Budapest, Hungary, to better integrate efforts to protect and conserve Arctic migratory species. The signing was kindly hosted by the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation in the margins of their 60th General Assembly.

Evgeny Syroechkovskiy and Bert Lenten sign the Resolution of Cooperation between CAFF and the Convention on Migratory Species

In the face of increasing threats to Arctic biodiversity, understanding biodiversity changes is extremely important for migratory species conservation. The Arctic is extremely important as a breeding and feeding area for hundreds of migratory species that migrate out of the region and connect with all other continents on Earth. 

CMS and CAFF objectives and activities complement one another. CAFF provides a vehicle for knowledge and action in the Arctic region while CMS provides an important global framework for biodiversity efforts for migratory species. CMS can help place Arctic migratory species within a global framework while CAFF can help inform CMS on the status and trends of migratory species in this globally significant region.

At a global scale 5 major flyways are identified covering the Western Hemisphere, Africa-Eurasian, Central Asia, East Asia–Australasia and the Pacific area. These flyways have in common that they start in the Arctic, providing important breeding grounds for many species of migratory birds e.g. several species of geese, swans, ducks, waders but also raptors and passerines. The Arctic is also home to several species of migratory marine mammals that are of interest to CMS.

“The signing of this cooperation agreement sets the scene for our organizations to work more closely together, with the aim of improving the conservation status of the migratory species that use the Arctic during their annual cycle” said Mr. Bert Lenten, Deputy Executive Secretary who signed on behalf of CMS.

Evgeny Syroechkovskiy, Chairman of the CAFF Board, who signed on behalf of CAFF, added that “The challenge that CAFF faces is that many of our species are migratory species that only spend part of their annual cycle within this region. CMS is the only Multilateral Environmental Agreement that deals with migratory species and is therefore identified as a key partner for CAFF. By combining our efforts to conserve ’our migratory species’ within and outside the Arctic region, we expect to achieve more together than each of us can separately.”

Cooperation is also relevant on issues of common interest between CAFF and some of CMS’s species agreements and memoranda of understanding. This is already evidenced by CAFF’s resolution of cooperation with the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), an intergovernmental treaty dedicated to the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago.

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