CMS Summit Current Affairs - 2020

Animal Culture linked to its Conservation at CMS COP 13 for the first time

The Convention on the Conservation on Migratory birds Conference of Parties (CMS COP 13) is being held in Gandhinagar. Proposals were presented to conserve Sperm Whales and Chimpanzees based on their culture. This is the first time such proposal is being made in the world.


It was presented at the conference that some of the animals such as elephants, dolphins and whales acquire some of their knowledge through social learning. They learn most of their behaviors from adults, especially the migrating routes.


The report presented at the conference says that when a species gets vanished from an area, its critical knowledge will also be lost. For instance, as a result of commercial whaling in the coast of New Zealand, the whales lost their knowledge of migration route and stopped calving in the region. This was during 1800. Recently, in 2000, after 200 years, they have started calving in the region again.

This proves that genetic mixing among the species might help in recolonizing their forgotten destinations. Therefore, it is essential to protect their cultural knowledge for their survival.

In case of Chimpanzees, their nut cracking methodologies are passed on to their next generations.

Four Asian vulture species from India gets highest protection under CMS

Several species of vultures including four from India on their migratory routes were awarded highest protection by the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

They were among 34 species which were awarded highest protection during CMS Summit held in Manila in submissions made by 24 countries from Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania.

Species awarded highest protection are

Asian vultures are red-headed vulture, white-rumped vulture, Indianvulture and slender-billed vulture. They are faced with threats such as poisoning, hunting, collision with electricity cables and habitat degradation. A subspecies of black noddy, yellow bunting and lesser and great grey shrike are other avians listed on CMS protected list.

Whale shark, which inhabits the Indian Ocean also got global protection. Blue shark and common guitarfish also was awarded highest protection. Widespread over-fishing is driving many shark species, including whale shark to extinction. India is among 121 nations whose waters are home to sharks threatened with near extinction. The major threats are bycatch in nets and vessel strikes.

Caspian seal also has been identified for conservation. It is the only marine mammal found in the world’s largest inland sea, where its migration is prompted by ice formation and foraging. Central Asia’s rarest species, Przewalski’s horse and Gobi bear also received highest degree of protection.

Outcomes of Manila summit of CMS

The summit held in Manila was largest in the 38-year history of the Convention, which is also known as Bonn Convention after German city in which it was signed. Delegates from 91 countries had attended the summit. Manila summit adopted resolution to develop and manage protected area networks within the ASEAN region. Governments also agreed to cooperate on reducing negative impact of marine debris, noise pollution, renewable energy and climate change on the lives of migratory species.