By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Philippines has proposed the urgent protection of five migratory wildlife species, including the whale shark, locally called “butanding,” under a global treaty that addresses various threats to migratory species.
Five species were proposed by the Philippines for urgent protection, namely whale shark (Rhincodon typus), black noddy (Anousminutus), white-spotted wedgefish (Rhynchobatusaustraliae), Christmas frigatebird (Fregataandrewsi), and yellow bunting (Emberizasulphuratain).
At the 12th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP12) slated in the Philippines on October 23-28, signatories to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals or CMS will discuss measures on how to address the threats to these animals.
The negotiations will revolve around placing these species on Appendix I or Appendix 2.
Appendix I species are those threatened with extinction and are strictly protected globally by CMS parties, while Appendix II lists species which may not be highly threatened or endangered but need conservation through international agreements.
A total of 35 species have been proposed by parties to the CMS, according to Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Director Theresa Mundita Lim.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Jonas Leones said these migratory species are constantly threatened by hunting, pollution, fish by-catch, habitat loss, and collision with man-made structures, among others.
Also being pushed for discussion during the event are resolutions promoting marine protected area networks in the ASEAN region; sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, poverty reduction and environmental protection; and the conservation of critical intertidal and other coastal habitats for migratory species.
DENR Undersecretary Ernesto Adobo Jr. said around 1,000 participants from 124 countries which are parties to the convention are expected to attend the CMS-COP12.