India to Host COP-13 Summit for Conservation of Migratory Wildlife Species
Conservation of wildlife species is the key to the survival of the planet from impending doom. Constant human interference has endangered many wildlife species and the global community is trying to prevent them from blinking into oblivion.
India will host the 13 Conference of Parties (COP) of the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) from 17 to 22 February at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. CMS is an environmental treaty under the protection of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Environmentalists and wildlife conservation experts from 126 signatory parties across the globe will participate and discuss strategies on saving the migratory species during the COP CMS. India is a signatory to the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Wild Animals since 1983.
As per the procedure, any country can propose the inclusion of any species in the appendix. Discussions are then held over it at the conference. A decision is then taken after thorough discussions between member countries.
During the conference, India will propose the inclusion of the endangered Asiatic Elephant, Great Indian Bustard and Bengal Florican in the world list of CMS.
Besides the Gujarat government, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is co-hosting for the conference held every three years. As the host, India will be designated the President for the next three years. The previous conference was held in the Philippines.
The Indian government has been taking the essential measures to protect and conserve migratory marine species. Including dugong, whale shark, and two species of marine turtle, seven species have been identified for the preparation of the Conservation and Recovery Action Plan.
India has also signed a non-legally binding Memorandum of Understanding with the CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian cranes, marine turtles, dugongs and raptors.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the five-day conference. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar will also attend the conference.
The mascot for the COP CMS is the Great Indian Bustard. India will also try to get dolphins included in the list of protected species. The bird is an endangered species, which was once a common sight in the dry planes. The total population of this bird has declined to 150, according to 2018 census.
Since 1986, Asiatic Elephant has been listed as endangered as its population has decreased by about 50 percent over the past decades. They are found in India and Southeast Asia. The Bengal Florican is found in the Indian subcontinent, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It is listed as critically endangered as the number of the bird has reached below 1,000 birds.
Various topics will be discussed during the conference, including conservation of specific animals such as jaguars, vultures and migratory species in the Himalayan landscape, and control of illegal trade of wildlife.