UNEP Current Affairs

India to host UN Summit on Conservation of Migratory Species in 2020

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced that India will host next Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Conference of Parties 13 (CMS COP13) in year 2020. CMS COP is also known as a Global Wildlife Conference.

Key Facts

The announcement was made during 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties 12 (COP12) to CMS held in Manila, Philippines. It was held from 23 to 28 October 2017 and was attended by over 500 delegates from more than 91 countries participated in the summit which is held once in three years. The theme of the CMS COP12 was “Their Future is Our Future – Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People”. This was for first time the summit was held in Asia. The CMS COP12 was also the largest-ever meeting in the 38-year history of the convention.

Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

CMS is an international treaty concluded under aegis of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), concerned with conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale. It is commonly abbreviated as Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention.

CMS aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. It was signed in 1979 in Bonn (hence the name), Germany and entered into force in 1983. Its headquarters are in Bonn, Germany. Since its entry into force, its membership has grown steadily to include over 120 Parties from Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

CMS is only global and UN-based intergovernmental organization established exclusively for conservation and management of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range.

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June 17: World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed every year on June 17 to promote public awareness to combat desertification.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had designated June 17 as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought in 1994. It was observed for the first time in 1995. The day is observed globally to promote public awareness on the issue, and the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in those countries experiencing serious desertification or drought, particularly in Africa.

This year’s theme for World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is “Our Land. Our Home. Our Future“.  This edition will examine the link between land degradation and migration. Among others, Poverty, political instability, deforestation, overgrazing and bad irrigation practices are responsible for desertification. They have increased the number of international migrants worldwide who have increased from 173 million in 2000 to 244 million in 2015.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development especially the Goal 15 emphasises the need to halt and reverse land degradation.

Desertification

Desertification refers to degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas due to an array of factors. The direct impact of desertification is reduced biodiversity. The reasons are many such as climatic changes such as drought, or human such as overgrazing. Desertification is a major economic, social and environmental problem of concern to many countries in all regions of the world. In 1977, the United Nations Conference on Desertification (UNCOD) adopted a Plan of Action to Combat Desertification (PACD).

On 17 June 1994, on the basis of the direct recommendation of Agenda 21, “United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa” was adopted in Paris. The permanent Secretariat of the UNCCD was established during the first Conference of the Parties (COP 1) held in Rome in 1997. It has been located in Bonn, Germany since January 1999.

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