“During the Meetings of the CMS Family I experience the inspiring power of transboundary co-operation. I want to bring that feeling to my colleagues back home.”

Nancy Cespedes as Head of delegation at CMS meetings


As Member States constitute the decision-making bodies, it is their representatives that participate in these processes, alongside non-voting observers (e.g. representatives from non-Party States and NGOs.)

Meetings of decision-making bodies set the course of the instrument for the next few years - the cycle for meetings being typically three or four years. The tasks of these meetings can include agreeing budgets, amending species lists, agreeing policy resolutions and adopting conservation and strategic plans. The decisions reached have a great bearing on the future direction of the instruments and can have considerable consequences for the Member States, and particularly for those officials responsible for implementing policies.

At the very least NFPs will simply be informed about the meetings; but it is also likely that they will have a more active role. Generally, it is their task to keep abreast of the bodies’ operations and to liaise with colleagues within their national administration as appropriate, before the meeting and follow-up on and disseminate the results of such meetings.

Representatives of Non-Parties can attend meetings of the decision-making bodies as observers, in many cases a prelude to accession.