Bonn Convention - Convention on Migratory Species

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 29, 2022, 13:06

The pact or agreement on the conservation of migratory species of birds and animals often termed as Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), is known as the Bonn Convention. It is an international agreement with the dignified purpose of conserving the migratory species and their natural habitat. Signed on a global scale under the United Nations Environment Programme in 1979 in Bonn, Germany, it started operating in 1983.

With 131 member States, India, as the current President, plays a significant role in conserving aquatic, terrestrial and avian species that migrate across countries with its strategic planning, nifty resolutions, guiding principles and astute decisions. The fundamental principles have been clearly stated in Article 2, whereby the parties take action whenever and wherever possible and radically try to save the migratory species from being endangered and also work on their habitat and provide them favourable conditions.

Purpose of the Parties to the Bonn Convention

While many other countries, though not parties to the convention, have signed one or more MOUs, they agree to participate generously to preserve the migratory species. These parties are liable for:

  • Promoting, cooperating and supporting research that is related to migratory species.
  • Taking efforts and measures to provide immediate protection for migratory species mentioned in Appendix I.
  • Accomplishing agreements that cover policies for the protection of migratory species are mentioned in Appendix II.
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Bonn Convention includes the migratory species threatened with extinction in Appendix I. CMS parties take sincere measures to control the facts that endanger them and restore their natural habitat, mitigating obstacles. Appendix II includes those migratory species that require international cooperation. The convention inspires the Range States to conclude comprehensive and provincial agreements.

Bonn Convention or CMS instruments

  • ACAP - Agreement on the conservation of Albatross and Petrels.
  • ACCOBAMS - Agreement on the conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Sea.
  • AEWA – Agreement on the conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds.
  • ASCOBANS – Agreement on conserving small cetaceans of the Baltic Sea, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas.
  • EUROBATS – Agreement on the conservation of Populations of European Bats.
  • Gorilla Agreement – Agreement on the conservation of Gorillas and their habitats.
  • WADDEN SEA SEALS – Agreement on the conservation of seals in the Wadden Sea.

Besides these, there are innumerable memorandums of understanding MOUs regarding the conservation of migratory birds, migratory sharks, Monk seals, Siberian cranes, cetaceans, manatees, Huemul, grassland bird species, African elephants, Great Bustard, saiga Antelopes, Slender-billed Curlews, Ruddy headed Goose, Bukhara Deer, High Andean Flamingos, Marine turtles, aquatic warbler and many more such mammals and birds.

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FAQs on Bonn Convention

Q1. What is the main purpose of the Bonn Convention?

Ans: The main purpose of the Bonn Convention is to protect the migratory species and conserve their natural habitat.

Q2. When did the convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species come into existence?

Ans: Adopted in Bonn, Germany, the treaty was signed in 1979 but came into force in 1983 under the aegis of the United Nations.

Q3. What are the two appendices of the Bonn convention?

Ans: Appendix I, which is relevant to threatening the extinction of migratory species and Appendix II, which requires international cooperation to conserve migratory species.

Q4. How many parties are under the Bonn Convention?

Ans: There are 131 states parties in the Bonn Convention, including the sovereign states and a few parties that have signed but not ratified and participating non-parties.