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Daily News Analysis


13th February, 2024 Environment


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Picture Courtesy: https://www.iucn.org/cms-cop14

Context: The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) is taking place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan from February 12-17, 2024.


  • The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) is an international treaty that aims to conserve and protect migratory animals and their habitats across the world. It covers more than 500 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and invertebrates that cross national boundaries during their life cycles.
  • The 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) of the CMS is taking place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan from February 12-17, 2024. The representatives of the 132 parties to the CMS, as well as observers from other governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and scientific experts, will meet to review the progress and challenges of the convention.

Key topics that will be discussed at the COP14 include:

  • Habitat conservation and restoration: The COP14 will consider how to enhance the protection and management of habitats that are critical for migratory species, such as wetlands, grasslands, forests, mountains and marine areas. The COP14 will also explore how to restore degraded habitats and promote ecological connectivity across landscapes and seascapes.
  • Threats to migratory species: The COP14 will address the various threats that affect migratory species, such as overexploitation, habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, climate change, invasive alien species, wildlife diseases and human-wildlife conflicts. The COP14 will adopt measures and guidelines to prevent or reduce these threats and mitigate their impacts.
  • New initiatives and reports: The COP14 will launch several new initiatives and reports that will provide valuable information and guidance for the conservation of migratory species. These include:
    • The first-ever report on the State of the World's Migratory Species, which will assess the status and trends of migratory species and their habitats, identify the drivers of change and evaluate the effectiveness of conservation actions.
    • The global guidelines on light pollution will provide recommendations on how to prevent or minimize the negative effects of artificial lighting on migratory species, especially nocturnal animals such as bats, birds and sea turtles.
    • The best practices for linear infrastructure will provide advice on how to plan, design, construct and operate linear infrastructure such as roads, railways, pipelines and power lines in a way that minimizes impacts on migratory species and their habitats.

Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and why is it important?

  • Migratory species are animals that move across or outside national boundaries as part of their natural life cycle. They include birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Some of them travel thousands of kilometres every year, following seasonal changes, food availability, breeding opportunities and other environmental factors.
  • Migratory species are vital for the health and functioning of ecosystems. They provide ecological services such as pollination, seed dispersal, pest control and nutrient cycling. They have cultural, economic and recreational values for humans. For example, migratory birds are a source of inspiration, education and tourism.
  • They face many threats along their journeys. These include habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, overexploitation, climate change, pollution, invasive species, diseases and conflicts with human activities.
  • The CMS aims to conserve migratory species throughout their range. It was adopted in 1979 in Bonn, Germany, and entered into force in 1983.
  • The CMS recognizes that migratory species require the concerted action of all States within their range to ensure their survival and well-being. It provides a framework for international cooperation and coordination to address the challenges faced by migratory species.

The CMS works through two main mechanisms: Appendices and Agreements

  • The Appendices list the migratory species that are covered by the Convention.
    • Appendix I include migratory species that are endangered and need strict protection.
    • Appendix II includes migratory species that have an unfavourable conservation status or would benefit from international cooperation.
  • The Parties are obliged to take measures to conserve and restore the habitats of Appendix I species, prevent or minimize factors that endanger them, and prohibit their taking (killing, capturing or harassing) except in exceptional circumstances.
  • The Agreements are legally binding or non-binding instruments that focus on specific regions, habitats or taxonomic groups of migratory species. They provide more detailed measures and actions to address the specific needs and threats of the target species.


  • The CMS is a unique and vital instrument for global wildlife conservation. It recognizes the ecological and economic value of migratory species and their role in maintaining ecosystem services and functions. It also acknowledges the cultural and social significance of migratory species for many peoples and communities around the world. By promoting international cooperation and action for migratory species conservation, the CMS contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and other global environmental targets.


Q. Technology presents both opportunities and risks for the environment. How to navigate the ethical and practical challenges of deploying technologies like geoengineering, carbon capture, and genetic engineering to address environmental issues?

Answer Structure:

Identify the main environmental issues that the technologies aim to solve, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, or pollution.

Evaluate the potential benefits and drawbacks of each technology, considering their effectiveness, feasibility, cost, side effects, and social acceptability.

Compare and contrast the different technologies, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, trade-offs and synergies, and uncertainties and risks.

Discuss the ethical and practical implications of using the technologies, such as who should decide, how to monitor and regulate, what are the rights and responsibilities of the stakeholders, and how to ensure fairness and justice.

Propose some recommendations or guidelines for deploying the technologies responsibly and sustainably, taking into account the values, interests, and preferences of the affected parties.