As an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. CMS brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.
As the only global convention specializing in the conservation of migratory species, their habitats and migration routes, CMS complements and co-operates with a number of other international organizations, NGOs and partners in the media as well as in the corporate sector.
Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention. CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them. Besides establishing obligations for each State joining the Convention, CMS promotes concerted action among the Range States of many of these species.
Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. For this reason, the Convention encourages the Range States to conclude global or regional agreements.
In this respect, CMS acts as a framework Convention. The agreements may range from legally binding treaties (called Agreements) to less formal instruments, such as Memoranda of Understanding, and can be adapted to the requirements of particular regions. The development of models tailored according to the conservation needs throughout the migratory range is a unique capacity to CMS.
The CMS Office - Abu Dhabi is the CMS Secretariat’s largest out-posted office. It is hosted by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), on behalf of the Government of the United Arab Emirates. The office includes the Coordinating Unit of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MOU), and the Secretariat of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout Their Range (Dugong MOU). The office aims to address common threats to migratory species of regional interest, such as marine mammals and marine turtles in relation to by-catch, while promoting CMS and its agreements in the West Asian and north-west Indian Ocean regions.