UNEP / CMS – The Bonn Convention


The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, signed in Bonn, Germany, on 23 June 1979, aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. It is an intergovernmental treaty, concluded under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme, concerned with the conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale. Since the Convention''s entry into force, its membership has grown steadily to include 92 Parties (as of 1 August 2005), among them over 30 European countries.

Migratory species of wild animals represent only a fraction of the total biodiversity, yet they are a very significant portion of the world’s genetic resources. They have evolved in intricate interrelationships, in many cases still to be fully understood, with resident plant and other animal species. They also play a unique role as indicators for the interdependence of and linkages between ecosystems and for ecological change. And they are, most of all, vulnerable as a result of their long migrations, which involve many risks.

The development of models tailored according to the conservation needs throughout the migratory range is a special capacity to CMS, which brings a unique contribution to the work undertaken at the international level for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The 8th Conference of the Parties, which will be held 20-25 November 2005, features the motto “on the move to 2010”, highlighting the crucial role CMS plays in helping countries achieve the 2010 goal, set by WSSD and endorsed by CBD, of significantly reducing biodiversity loss by that date.

CMS is the only world wide convention that was founded exclusively for the preservation of migrant animals. It''s task is the embodiment of the Species and Habitat Conservation in international law and its trans-boundary co-ordination. CMS and Global Nature Fund have a lot in common: nowhere the necessity of intact living spaces for the survival of migratory animals becomes more evident than in lake regions. The protection of migrant species is also a link between the "Living" Lakes. Examples are many thousands of Wilson''s phalaropes migrating from Mono Lake, California to Mar Chiquita in Argentina or the huge number of different duck species flying from Lake Constance to Lake La Nava, Spain. The result of this successful co-operation was presented on 15 May 2000 in the headquarters of UNEP in Nairobi, Kenia. There, UNEP Executive Director, Professor Dr. Klaus Töpfer and Arnulf Müller-Helmbrecht from the Bonn Convention presented the official CMS poster. This poster originated from a painting''s competition with 150 Bonn schoolboys and schoolgirls. This event was backed up by Lufthansa and the Global Nature Fund.


Detailed information on all questions concerning migratory animals gives the UNEP/CMS website in English:


A current and detailed database is the Global Register of Migratory Species (GROMS). More information you find under:

 Waterfowl at the La Nava Wetlands in Spain

Information are also available at the UNEP/CMS Secretariat Bonn



Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP / CMS)
United Nations Premises in Bonn
Hermann-Ehlers-Str. 10

53113 Bonn, Germany

Phone: + 49 - 228 - 815 24 - 26
Fax: + 49 - 228 - 815 24 - 49


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