Once the National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan (NBSAP) and/or National Implementation Plan (NIP) has been finalized and endorsed at the appropriate level by the government, it should enter into the implementation phase. Promoting and facilitating the implementation of CMS and its instruments are part of the responsibilities of the NFP. It is therefore generally expected that the NFP should play a role in the execution of the NBSAP and/or NIP.

It is expected that the NBSAP and/or NIP should identify first who is responsible for carrying out the activities foreseen by the plan, and second - to the extent possible - the resources available for implementation. The role of the NFP in this regard should consist primarily of stimulating action by the various actors, ensuring and facilitating coordination and synergies among different activities, as appropriate, and endeavoring to fill gaps for those activities in the NBSAP and/or NIP for which leadership and/or resources could not be identified earlier.

The following section highlights some key functions of the NFP in ensuring and promoting the implementation of the NBSAP and/or NIP. Importantly, part of these functions, notably those pertaining to oversight of realizing the NBSAP and/or NIP, can be fulfilled through the national consultation mechanism.

1. Ensure continuous communication flow at the national level during all the different stages of implementation of the NBSAP and/or NIP

This function is absolutely critical, and is expected to significantly influence the effectiveness in fulfilling the other functions listed below.

It is essential that the NFP communicates regularly with relevant key stakeholders at all stages of implementation. Communication is the key for gaining support for implementing activities towards the conservation and sustainable use of migratory species. Efficient communication will strengthen the institutional capacities of NFPs, better connect relevant government departments and other stakeholders and promote synergies and cooperation in the governance of migratory species conservation and management. In this regard, the development of a CEPA plan could be valuable, and should ideally be part of the NBSAP and/or NIP itself.

2. Stimulate initiation of action by activity leaders identified in the NBSAP and/or NIP

It is a key function of NFPs to coordinate activities agreed upon for national implementation. This could be done through maintaining an overview of “who does what” in the implementation of the plan and reminding activity leaders of their role and engagements. Depending on the level of seniority of the NFPs, communication between the various stakeholders might be direct from them or from an appropriate higher level in the administration. The NFPs would have the role of briefing the senior official.

3. Where appropriate, promote the integration of relevant elements of the NBSAP and/or NIP into other sectoral and cross-sectoral strategies, policies, plans and programmes

Migratory species conservation policy should not be seen as independent of other sectoral and cross-sectoral policies, but rather sectoral and cross-sectoral policies should be seen as vehicles through which migratory species conservation targets can be attained. Mainstreaming efforts should be part of the NBSAP and/or NIP itself. Relevant sector-specific plans include those concerning agriculture, fisheries, forestry, mining, energy, tourism, transport and others, while cross-sectoral plans of relevance could concern sustainable development, poverty reduction, climate change adaptation/mitigation, trade and international cooperation.

4. Monitor progress in the implementation of relevant components of the NBSAP and/or NIP and ensure a link to the national reporting process to the Convention and relevant instruments

Responsibility for oversight of the implementation of the NBSAP and/or NIP may rest with the NFP, or alternatively it might be given to a multi-stakeholder committee or group. Such a committee or group might include representatives of the same stakeholders (or a subset of them) who participated in the national consultation process. Even in this second case, the NFPs would be expected to play a central role in the facilitation of the work. In their role as coordinator of the National Reporting process  the NFPs should also ensure that progress achieved is regularly recorded, in order to simplify the process of compilation and synthesis of information when the National Report is due.

5. Endeavour to identify and involve additional actors and stakeholders to undertake activities for which a lead could not be identified in the NBSAP and/or NIP

It may not always be possible at the planning stage to identify who is responsible for activities and projects foreseen by the NBSAP and/or NIP and when this is the case, the NFP is expected to liaise proactively withactors capable and willing to lead the implementation of specific components. These will typically include government departments and specialized agencies and components of the civil society such as NGOs, institutions and the private sector. It might also include world players such as international NGOs. The search for leaders to implement elements of the plan is likely to be done in parallel with the identification of resources for the implementation of those same elements.

6. Promote/facilitate the identification of resources for the implementation of measures/activities for which resources could not be identified at the planning stage

While the NBSAP and/or NIP should ideally already identify the resources necessary to support the implementation of the activities and projects it foresees, this may not always be possible, notably when the period covered by the plan does not coincide with the country’s budgetary cycle. While responsibility for securing adequate resources is expected to be shared among the various activity leaders and stakeholders, the NFP is expected to play a proactive role. Much of the financial resources will have to be found at the national level and each country will have its own institutions and procedures to deal with this. Importantly, the implementation of some activities/projects foreseen by the plan might generate revenues (e.g. from tourism) that should remain available for the further implementation of the plan. Support from the private sector should also be actively pursued.

National resources can in many cases be matched by funds from multilateral and bilateral sources. NFPs from developing countries should normally know the development cooperation agencies of other countries or the international agencies and NGOs that support projects in their countries and have an interest in funding activities in the area of wildlife conservation. NFPs are expected to play a role in facilitating the contacts between potential donors and activity leaders.

7. Promote education and public awareness activities

Education and public awareness are of paramount importance to gain support towards the implementation of CMS and its instruments at all levels of society. A great variety of activities can be foreseen, identified in the CEPA plan when this instrument has been developed. NFPs, while not necessary leading, are expected to promote and facilitate the development of CEPA initiatives in their countries. This should be particularly the case as regards the participation of the country in campaigns and initiatives promoted by the CMS and its instruments, such as the World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) and migratory species campaigns.

8. Initiate and facilitate the process of revision of existing legislation or development of new legislation as appropriate

When a need for the revision of the existing relevant national legislation and/or the development of new legislation has been identified the NFP is expected to play a role in initiating the process, following it through its various steps, and endeavour to remove obstacles and promote action when the process get delayed or blocked. Enlisting the assistance of other ministries, departments and agencies, members of parliament or the relevant parliamentary committees, working groups or inter-sectoral governmental committees to help to facilitate this work would be useful.

9. Ensure coordination and synergies with the implementation of other relevant MEAs

The NFP is encouraged to maintain regular contacts with the NFPs of other relevant MEA, with a view to sharing information on the implementation of CMS and/or its instruments and identifying opportunities for synergies and collaboration. When a national consultation process has been established, it should provide a suitable context for this coordination to take place. Normally the participation of the NFPs in the national consultation mechanisms of the other MEAs would also be expected.

10. Facilitate research and monitoring

Encouraging specific research and monitoring programmes to keep track of the progress towards achieving national migratory species targets is an important activity to be promoted nationally. The monitoring processes should gather supplementary information, carrying out inspections and investigations. This should result in periodic updating and revision of NBSAPs or other implementation strategies, through which increasing scientific information, gained through the monitoring and evaluation of each phase of implementation, is fed back into a permanent review process.

11. Promote Economic and Financial Instruments to Facilitate Implementation

A wide range of economic responses exist to support the successful implementation of any MEA on a national level. Generally, any initial appliance of economic and financial instruments should be preceded by checking existing regulations for potential “perverse” subsidies (those that create as much harm as they do good) in order to maximize the effectiveness of for new response policies. NFPs may want to bear in mind that no single economic instrument is the best for all types of ecosystem problems and socioeconomic situations.

12. Enacting an NBSAP and/or NIP into law

Once either or both are in place, consideration could be given to it being enacted in law, which will in any case in many countries have to happen anyway. This can also apply to a NIP or the revision of an existing biodiversity law that is being amended to incorporate specific provisions for migratory species. By enacting a NBSAP/NIP into legislation, there will be clear benefits because the law would enforceable. It would also define more clearly the objectives of national policy on biodiversity, identify a vision and ideal outcomes, establish any bodies responsible for overseeing implementation as may be needed and, when appropriate, allocate responsibilities between different levels of government (national, state or provincial, municipal or village levels.

13. Develop Enforcement Programmes and Frameworks

An important part of implementation is the adoption of appropriate laws and regulations, but equally as important is enforcing them. It is important that adequate attention is paid to setting up programmes and a framework for enforcement to ensure that those individuals or bodies whose activities are being regulated actually comply with the laws and regulations.

14. Secretariat / Coordinating Unit Can Help

While the implementation of CMS and its instruments at the national level is mainly the responsibility of the individual Member States, the Secretariat/Coordinating Unit remains ready to assist NFPs in promoting implementation within the limits of their human and financial resources.