CITES Secretary-General delivers the Biodiversity Liaison Group’s statement at CMS COP13

Updated on 24 February 2020

Joint Statement of the Liaison Group of Biodiversity-related Conventions to CMS COP 13

17 February 2020, Ghandhinagar, India


Thank you Chair.

Distinguished delegates:

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the members of the Liaison Group of Biodiversity-related Conventions: the Heads of the Secretariats of the CBD, CITES, CMS, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the International Plant Protection Convention, the International Whaling Commission, and the World Heritage Convention. We thank the Government of India for hosting CMS COP13 and for their exceptional arrangements and hospitality.

The Liaison Group serves as a platform for the convention secretariats to exchange information to enhance national implementation of each convention, while promoting complementarity and synergy in their implementation.


We would like to emphasize the important contributions of the CMS Secretariat to the BLG and to thank the CMS Parties for providing it with this mandate. Please allow me to use this opportunity also to congratulate Amy on behalf of the BLG on her appointment as Executive Secretary of the CMS. Welcome to our old friend now in her new role!

We welcome the attention being given by this COP to cooperation and synergies among biodiversity-related conventions, including in the context of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.


We commend CMS and its Parties for their selection of the COP theme which aligns well with its continuing contributions to the preparation of the new framework throughout its ongoing process.

The IPBES Global Assessment and other recent assessment reports highlight the stark deterioration of the world’s biodiversity and health of ecosystems. They stress the need for transformative change to restore and protect nature.

They are also clear that business as usual is no longer an option and yet it is not too late to achieve such change. Cooperation across our conventions will play an essential role in this.

The links and complementarity between our conventions are many.

The contribution to the conservation and sustainable use of migratory species and their habitats by World Heritage Sites, Wetlands on International Importance and protected areas established in implementation of the CBD, provides one such example.


Acting under the authority of our respective governing bodies, our Secretariats, have sought practical ways to enhance links for the implementation of the conventions.

The joint programme of work between CITES and CMS Secretariats, cooperating on species and issues of common concern, contributes to the achievement of complementary objectives of both conventions.

Cooperation between the Secretariats of the International Whaling Commission and CMS in developing an Online Whale Watching Handbook addressed a request by the Parties to both treaties.

The long-term collaboration between the Secretariats of the Convention on Wetlands and CMS promotes concrete mechanisms for synergies, for example through the Ramsar Regional Initiative for High Andean Wetlands and the CMS Memorandum of Understanding on High Andean Flamingos.

These are just a few examples.

Our conventions, individually and collectively, have an essential role in tackling the drivers of biodiversity loss at all levels.

The post-2020 global biodiversity framework provides a unique opportunity to serve as a unifying framework that builds on the strengths of each convention and reflect their priorities and contributions.

It can contribute to achieving the objectives of each of the conventions, including the conservation and sustainable use of migratory species and their habitats.

It can also promote synergies with other global frameworks, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to which each of our conventions makes an important contribution.

In this regard, we recognize the importance of priorities for the new framework that have been identified by CMS:

-Attention to addressing ecological connectivity and to endangered and threatened species;

-The importance of international cooperation in its implementation;

-Commitment to further enhance cooperation and synergies in the implementation of the related conventions; and

-The importance of integrating objectives of each of the conventions in the national biodiversity strategies and action plans for its implementation.

We shall therefore continue to work together to support the development of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework that can harness such mechanisms. We shall also foster strong collective ownership and support for its coherent and effective implementation after its adoption by CBD COP 15.


Thank you, Mr. Chair.