Governments and regional economic integration organizations (REIO) such as the European Union (EU) have taken on a series of international commitments by signing and where appropriate ratifying or acceding to CMS and its instruments. Yet, adopting the CMS Family instruments is only the start; the instruments require implementation.

What is Implementation? Implementation means the operationalization of an instrument at the national level. Implementation requires that policy actions are undertaken in accordance with the operational parts of the instrument to achieve the agreed objectives. CMS Family instruments are implemented through national strategies. These can either be in the form of a specific national strategy dedicated to migratory species, as part of the NBSAPs, or as a specific national implementation action plan or work plan. Such national strategies can be reinforced, mainstreamed into or supplemented by other policy measures. Examples of such measures include the development of laws and regulations (i.e. migratory species law or act), economic incentives, education policies and enforcement programmes and frameworks. National implementation plans (NIPs)  and strategies should include monitoring and evaluation in order to report on progress of implementation and determine whether the CMS Family instrument is resulting in environmental improvement.

What is the role of the NFP in implementation?

NFPs are important contributors to the effective and efficient implementation of the CMS and/or its instruments. They can have a critical role in the identification of appropriate priority activities in their country, e.g. identification of priority regions/species for action or enhancing communication between different stakeholders, who can further the implementation of CMS and its instruments.

Furthermore, NFPs can be instrumental in identifying synergies and innovative opportunities for funding for activities aimed at ensuring implementation. NFPs, therefore, should not only rely on government funding, but identify new sources of funding where appropriate. In most cases, CMS and several of its instruments provide little or no financial assistance to Member States for implementation. However, in the cases where such financial assistance is available, Member States must meet certain requirements in order to receive it. Additionally, NFPs should regularly hold consultations with their governments about the level of funding or voluntary/assessed contributions the Member State may be willing to offer to achieve effective implementation of the CMS and its instruments.