Subsidiary Bodies

Bodies that provide Intersessional policy and Administrative Guidance

Decision-making Bodies

The principal decision-making body for the Convention is the Conference of the Parties (COP) which meets once every three years. For most of the legally binding Agreements, instead of a COP, there is a Meeting of the Parties or MOP (the exception is the Wadden Sea Seals Agreement which is overseen by the Wadden Sea Board made up of representatives of the three Range States, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands); the MOP meets every three or four years, depending on the provisions of each Agreement agreed by the Parties. MOUs have Meetings of the Signatories (MOS).

Bodies of CMS and its Instruments

Within a CMS Family instrument, functions are generally split among a number of bodies. These bodies can be broadly classified as (1) Secretariats or Coordinating Units (administrative); (2) decision-making bodies (COP/MOP/MOS) and the subsidiary bodies (usually called the Standing Committee) providing guidance between the meetings of decision-making bodies and (3) scientific and technical advice (e.g. Scientific Council).

Membership of CMS and its Instruments

In addition to the current 119 Parties to CMS (as of September 2013), a further 33 countries are Member States to instruments (as of June 2013), while many of the 119 are also Parties and signatories to Agreements and MOUs (e.g. France is Party to five of the seven Agreements and signatory to five of the MOUs, and Senegal is Party to one Agreements and a signatory to six MOUs). In many cases joining one of these instruments has been a first step to join the mother Convention.

Welcome to the e-community!

The main objective of the CMS Family NFP e-community is to support NFPs in fulfilling the different aspects of their roles, especially in implementing CMS and its instruments. Therefore, the platform will provide factual background knowledge about CMS, its bodies, instruments, procedures etc. and explain the roles of the NFPs. Practice Examples will illustrate different aspects.

Species Coverage

The CMS Family covers a great diversity of migratory species. The Appendices of CMS include many mammals, including land mammals, marine mammals and bats; birds; fish; reptiles and one insect. Among the instruments, AEWA covers 255 species of birds that are ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle. EUROBATS covers 52 species of bat, the Sharks MOU seven species of shark and the IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU six species of marine turtle (as of June 2013).

Rationale for Protecting Migratory Species

Migratory species of wild animals are part of the world’s natural heritage. They form a significant portion of its biodiversity and genetic resources and play a unique role as indicators of ecological change (e.g. climate and pollution). In addition, they provide numerous ecosystem services for instance by dispersing seeds and pollinating plants. They are a source of food for other animals and humans. Many have spiritual and cultural significance and are key elements of ecotourism.

Defining the CMS Family NFP

The term “CMS Family”, as used in this Manual, includes CMS itself as well as its instruments, that is to say, the Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) signed under its auspices.

The term “CMS Family NFPs” is used to refer to the person or persons designated by the government of a Member State to be responsible for dealing with issues relating to CMS and /or one or more of its instruments. CMS and some of its instruments have developed terms of reference for their own NFPs.