February 29, 2024

The Philippines is ending its three-year presidency of the 12th Conference of Parties (COP 12) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) on a high note with greater international cooperation and coordination to protect migratory species and their habitats.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources made this pronouncement as the Philippines turned over the COP presidency to India at the opening of the COP 13 on Feb. 17 in Gandhinagar, India.
“As the Philippines ends its term, we take pride that we have successfully strengthened both international and regional cooperation for greater protection of wildlife migratory species and their habitats,” said DENR Sec. Roy A. Cimatu.
Since assuming the COP 12 presidency in 2017, the Philippines, through DENR and its Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) and the CMS secretariat, had been hosting events during international conferences promoting better protection of migratory species pursuant to the objectives of the Convention.
CMS, also known as the Bonn Convention, is the only global environmental treaty established exclusively for the conservation and management of terrestrial, marine, and avian migratory species throughout their range. It has been adopted by 124 countries under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme.
Cimatu said during its term as COP president, the Philippines promoted the CMS agenda in Southeast Asia.
He said the country also effectively integrated the CMS objectives into the framework of Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI), a regional cooperation of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, and the Philippines with shared jurisdiction over the most diverse marine eco-region in the world.
Cimatu said the CMS resolutions on the protection of marine turtles, sharks, rays, and marine mammals are now put into action with the implementation of the CTI Regional Conservation Action Plan.
He added that the Philippines, through its Protected Area System, manages 15 internationally important sites for waterbirds.
Cimatu also noted the efforts to rehabilitate Boracay and Manila Bay, which are important habitats of migratory birds.
With the theme, “Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home,” the COP 13 highlights the importance of “ecological connectivity” that links biodiversity conservation, economies, food security, health, and quality of life worldwide.
The COP delegates are also expected to draw up a blueprint for the adoption of “dedicated concerted actions” for 12 different species such as giraffe, Ganges River dolphin, common guitarfish and Antipodean albatross. – DENR release