To ensure that CMS and/or any of its instruments are properly implemented at national level the development of a National Strategy and/or Implementation Plan for Migratory Species is required. Decisions and resolutions of the decision-making body of CMS and/or its instruments, together with the programme of work and strategy should be studied carefully to identify what would be applicable for the country. For instance, a country developing a large renewable energy sector would need to consider the implications of resolutions concerning the impact of wind farms. However, if the country is landlocked, it would be unlikely that decisions dealing with marine issues are particularly relevant. For the development of a National Strategy and/or Implementation Plan the following three options could be considered:
1. Full integration of Migratory Species into the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP)
2. Stand-alone National Implementation Plan for Migratory Species (NIP)
3. Combination of NBSAP and NIP
Whichever option is chosen, it is clear that an effective strategy can only be elaborated through a consultative process with full involvement of all relevant stakeholders. The role of the NFP is primarily to initiate and coordinate the process of the development of one of these options. For guidance CMS has developed guidelines explaining how to integrate migratory species into NBSAP. This guidance was presented to the Parties at COP10. *
Option 1: Full integration of Migratory Species into the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP)
NBSAPs are the principal tools for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Convention is one of the Biodiversity-related MEAs that require their Member States to prepare a national biodiversity strategy (or equivalent instrument) and to ensure that this strategy is mainstreamed into the planning activities of all those sectors whose actions can have an impact (positive or negative) on biodiversity. To date, nearly all countries have developed an NBSAP.
In October 2010, the CBD Conference of the Parties adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets. The new Strategic Plan focuses on the wider issue of conserving biodiversity and not on CBD as an institution. All biodiversity-related Conventions and instruments are encouraged to support the implementation of this Strategic Plan and its Aichi Targets and therefore their activities can be included in NBSAPs. CBD COP10 also requested that Parties review, update and revise their NBSAPs by 2014.
At the moment CMS and its instruments do not provide for a mechanism for national implementation. Since migratory species concerns cannot, and should not be seen separately from the broader issue of conservationand sustainable use of biodiversity, there is good reason for integrating strategies and actions for migratory species conservation into NBSAPs.
Before considering Option 1 and 3, NFPs should check what the current status of the NBSAP of their country is and if these options are still valid. As indicated before, nearly all countries already have an NBSAP in place and are therefore familiar with all the details of NBSAPs.**
The advantage of using the NBSAP as a tool for conservation of migratory species is that this instrument is already well-known and well established at national level. In many countries, NBSAPs will be enacted in law i.e. through formal adoption by the Parliament in many cases, thus providing the political basis for implementation. The NBSAP or national biodiversity law may also establish a dedicated committee with the mandate of coordinating the related planning and reviewing of implementation.
Although the drafting or revision of NBSAPs and their formal adoption can be challenging, it might be worth the additional effort to include migratory species to secure the necessary political support for their conservation.
One disadvantage of being part of the NBSAP is that migratory species might receive less attention than they could have as the subject of a dedicated stand-alone National Strategy and/or Implementation Plan.
Option 2: Stand-alone National Implementation Plan for Migratory Species (NIP)
In the event of the integration of migratory species into the NBSAP not being a viable option, the development of a specific National Implementation Plan for CMS and/or its instruments could be an alternative. An NIP should preferably focus more on concrete implementation of CMS and its instruments rather than take on developing a national strategy. The NIP should equally be more thematic by nature and might not need formal adoption at a high political level (e.g. by the Parliament) but could be approved by the responsible Minister. To add political weight, the Minister rather than the NFP could take the lead in developing such a plan in close consultation with governmental agencies and other stakeholders.
The advantage of this approach is that the procedure would be less cumbersome than a NBSAP and that conservation needs of migratory species will be more visible - they will be less prominent when included within a NBSAP. The disadvantage is clearly the risk of less political and financial support from the government as a whole towards the implementation of such a plan.
Option 3: Combination of NBSAP and NIP
As indicated under Option 1 a disadvantage of integrating migratory species into NBSAPs is that they might receive less attention. At the same time NBSAPs dealing with wider biodiversity issues already address migratory species concerns generally without going into great detail. Through the development of a NIP, however, issues regarding migratory species can be tackled in a more focused manner.
By integrating of migratory species into NBSAPs (Option 1) while at the same time developing a much more detailed NIP setting out priorities for the country on how to implement CMS and/or its instruments, maximum attention could be achieved. This would engage a higher level of political support, better access to resources and at the same time more visibility for conservation of migratory species.
**As part of their capacity building the CBD Secretariat has developed several training modules regarding NBSAP, which can be found at http://www.cbd.int/nbsap/training/default.shtml.