Convention on Migratory Species Current Affairs - 2020

Asian Elephant, Great Indian Bustard and Bengal Florican classified as “Endangered Migratory Species” at CMS COP13

On February 20, 2020, Asian Elephant, Indian Bustard and Bengal Florican were declared as “Endangered Migratory Species” at the CMS COP 13. The proposal was accepted by 130 countries.

Asian Elephant

India declared Indian Elephant as “National Heritage Animal”. This provides highest degree of legal protection to the animal under Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The Asian elephants are called Indian Elephants in the country. The threats to the Indian Elephants include habitat loss, human elephant conflict, habitat fragmentation, illegal trade and poaching.

Bengal Florican

The population of the species has declined greatly due to habitat loss. The Bengal Florican does not breed outside the protected areas today. It is listed as the critically endangered species under the IUCN list and is of the topmost conservation priority.

Great Indian Bustard

The Great Indian Bustard is also listed under critically endangered species in IUCN Red List. In order to protect the species, the Indian Government has declared their habitats as conservation reserves. According to the Wildlife Institute of India, there are only 150 Great Indian Bustards left in the country.

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CMS COP 13: Insects Decline to be discussed for the first time

The United Nations Conference of Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP-13) is to discuss the effects of insects decline on migratory species for the first time.

Highlights

According to Convention on Migratory Species, around half of the insect species are declining. Also, the third phase which is insect extinction is to begin. The IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) says that at the current rate, 40% of the world insect species will be extinct in next few decades.

The insects play vital role in the functioning of ecosystems, especially for the insectivorous (the species that feed on insects) migratory species. It mainly includes bats and birds.

Steps taken

The draft resolution has been presented by the European Union for the discussion at CMS COP 13. This will help to understand insects die off and its effects on migratory species. The EUROBATS agreement is one such agreement that focuses on insect decline. However, it focuses on Conservation of Bats Population and indirectly adopts resolution towards insect conservation to save bats. CMS COP 13 will be the first convention to focus on insects on a larger scale.

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