By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Philippines has formally submitted to the Secretariat of the United Nations-led Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) a draft resolution calling over 120 nations to enhance their efforts in protecting migratory species.
The resolution, particularly on the conservation and promotion of the sustainable use of intertidal wetlands and other coastal habitats that are important to migratory species, would be put to a vote when parties to the CMS will gather in Manila on Oct. 23-28 for the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CMS (COP12).
Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) director Theresa Mundita Lim expressed hope that the CMS meeting would strengthen the country’s linkages with other nations in protecting migratory species.
“Since the Philippines is not a large or rich country, it is important that we form an alliance with other nations to protect migratory species,” Lim said.
In the draft resolution, the Philippines also urged other nations to stop further approval of intertidal flat conversion until a full assessment of the economics of ecological services and identification needs for migratory species and other biodiversity can be completed.
Intertidal wetlands and other coastal and estuarine habitats are critically important not only to migratory birds but also to cetaceans, dugongs, turtles and fish as areas for breeding, for staging during migration, molting, or during other nonbreeding periods.
The resolution also seeks to strengthen the relevant multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) concerning the coasts and wetlands, including the funding of scientific subsidiary bodies under MEAs.
Likewise, it looks forward to the adequate coverage of coastal and intertidal flats in protected area systems to reduce the loss of these migratory species habitats.
Further, it aims to recognize and promote these protected areas that shall demonstrate effective management of ecosystems vital to the survival of migratory species, and linked to community livelihoods and human well-being.