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The Bonn Convention

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The Bonn Convention

Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)

One of the most important agreements in international conservation is the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), adopted in 1979 in Bonn and therefore also known as the "Bonn Convention". For Non-governmental organisations such as NABU, this Convention is a highly important instrument for improving and actively developing the conservation of migratory birds.

The Bonn Convention focuses on the phenomenon of animal migration. Many species do not stay in one place but migrate regularly at specific periods between their breeding grounds and other areas, for instance wintering grounds. One importrant group of migratory species are birds such as storks, cranes, geese, ibises and flamingos. In addition some marine mammals (whales, dolphins and seals) migrate, as well as reptiles (e.g. sea turtles) and land mammals like bats and antelopes. Moreover, diverse species of fish follow defined migration routes, e.g. eels and salmon. Even butterflies like the monarch butterfly in North America or Apollos cover large distances. Thousands, in the case of some species, even tens of thousands of kilometres separate summer and wintering sites.

In these sites and also during migration such species encounter several threats such as . habitat change resulting from drainage or flooding. This can lead to disturbance to important resting areas and result in a loss of the source of food. Further threats come directly from man or through barriers on the migration route (e.g. dams). Therefore the Bonn Convention encourages in an international context the mitigation or avoidance of these dangers to conserve migratory species.

The Bonn Convention has a special bond to Germany and the city of Bonn. In 1974 the German government assumed from the United Nations Environment Programme the mandate to elaborate an international convention to conserve migratory species and promote international cooperation. In 1975 a first draft was presented, which was further discussed over the following years by the interested parties. From 11th till 23rd of June 1979 the German Government hosted a conference which finally led to the ratification of the new convention. The Convention of Migratory Species - the Bonn Convention - entered into force on 1st of November 1983 having been ratified by 15 countries. Since that time the number of signatory parties has increased continuously and has now reached 100 countries.

mehr Official Site of the Bonn Convention

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