Albatross chick prepares for their first flight
Image: DOC

Introduction

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species is an international convention that came into force for New Zealand in 2000.

The Convention of the Conservation of Migratory Species promotes co-operation between countries in identifying, understanding and conserving endangered and threatened migratory species and their habitats, and taking action to prevent other migratory species becoming endangered.

Why it was established

While any country can pass legislation to protect species in its territory or jurisdictional area, it can only offer protection for migratory species until they leave its shores or waters.

To extend this protection along migratory routes that cross national boundaries, conservation agreements between countries are needed. The Convention was established in Bonn, Germany on 23 June 1979 and provides a framework for generating these agreements.

Key elements

There are 120 countries signed up to the Convention (as of May 2014). They agree to:

  • promote co-operation in identifying, understanding and conserving endangered migratory species and their habitats
  • take action to prevent other migratory species becoming endangered.

Principal tools for this work are research and the development of formal international agreements or conservation instruments relating to the Parties' migratory species.

The Convention lists, in two appendices:

  • migratory species that are threatened with extinction (Appendix I)
  • others that would significantly benefit from the co-operation that could be achieved from international agreements (Appendix II).

It encourages signatory countries (called Range Parties) to provide immediate protection for their species included in Appendix I and to conclude agreements covering the management of species included in Appendix II.

Its work is supported by other international conventions, such as the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.



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