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Migratory Species Connect the Planet

The theme also underscores the urgency of protecting natural habitats, which migratory species rely upon as part of their movements

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Migratory Species, Planet, Delegates
Based on an ancient Sanskrit saying, it highlights the need for governments and stakeholders across the world to provide a hospitable place for migratory animals. Pixabay

In less than 100 days, approximately 1,500 delegates, including representatives of national governments, international organizations, scientists, conservation groups and other wildlife experts will gather in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar for the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP13).

COP13 will run from February 17 to 22, 2020, with a high-level event preceding it on February 16.

CMS COP13 will be guided by the theme: ‘Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home’.

Based on an ancient Sanskrit saying, it highlights the need for governments and stakeholders across the world to provide a hospitable place for migratory animals.

Migratory Species, Planet, Delegates
COP13 will run from February 17 to 22, 2020, with a high-level event preceding it on February 16. Pixabay

The theme also underscores the urgency of protecting natural habitats, which migratory species rely upon as part of their movements, throughout their life cycles and migration ranges.

CMS COP13 comes at a crucial time for migratory species.

The UN global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services, released earlier this year, documented the dramatic decline of biodiversity in all parts of the world and concluded that without increased action, over one million species could face extinction in our lifetimes.

COP13 will also provide important inputs to the negotiations of a new global framework on biodiversity which will be adopted at the end of 2020 in China.

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CMS Acting Executive Secretary Amy Fraenkel said in a statement to IANS: “Migratory species play a vital, role for ecosystems around the world. CMS species include some of the most iconic species on the planet, including elephants, whales and dolphins, raptors and songbirds. The recent UN global assessment tells us that we must step up our actions to address the threats to migratory species and biodiversity more broadly.”

“COP13 will be an important meeting to advance our collective efforts to meet this challenge.”

What to expect at COP13?

The COP will consider adding new species to the CMS Appendices to provide them with better protection.

Migratory Species, Planet, Delegates
CMS COP13 will be guided by the theme: ‘Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home’. Pixabay

Proposals for CMS Appendix I (for endangered species, providing the strictest protections), include the Asian elephant, the great Indian bustard, the Bengal florican, the antipodean albatross, and the oceanic white-tip shark.

Threats to the Asian elephant include habitat loss and fragmentation, poisoning, poaching, illegal trade, and obstacles to migration such as railways.

The jaguar is the largest native feline in the Americas.

It is now found only in about 60 per cent of its historic range of a hundred years ago.

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Deforestation, hunting, illegal trade, cattle ranching and obstacles to migration pose serious threats.

The smooth hammerhead shark, the tope shark, and the urial (wild sheep) have been proposed for listing under CMS Appendix II (migratory species with an unfavourable conservation status).

The jaguar and the little bustard have been proposed for listing on both CMS Appendices.

Proposals for concerted actions — focusing conservation measures efforts on specific species among range states — will also be considered.

Twelve new proposals have been submitted for adoption at COP13, including for the Asian elephant, the giraffe, the nut-cracking chimpanzee, the Irrawaddy dolphin, the South Asian river dolphin, and the harbour porpoise.

COP13 will also consider the impacts of climate change on migratory species, which is a key driver of species extinction and exacerbates other threats.

While renewable energy is a key part of the solution to climate change, the COP will also consider efforts to strengthen the CMS Energy Task Force, which focuses on reconciling renewable energy infrastructure with the conservation of migratory species.

COP13 will also discuss further action to address the illegal killing of birds, a major problem across the Mediterranean. (IANS)

Next Story

China To Launch its First Mars Probe in July This Year

In November last year, China unveiled an experiment simulating the process of a probe hovering, avoiding obstacles and descending to land on Mars

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Mars
This is the first time the country disclosed the launch month of its Mars exploration programme, according to the newspaper which cited sources from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). Pixabay

China announced that it will launch its first Mars mission probe in July this year, China Youth Daily reported on Thursday.

This is the first time the country disclosed the launch month of its Mars exploration programme, according to the newspaper which cited sources from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

The Mars probe will be sent by the Long March-5 Y4 carrier rocket.

The Long March-5 Y4 rocket has recently completed a 100-second test for its high thrust hydrogen-oxygen engine, which is the last engine examination before the final assembly, Xinhua reported.

According to the CASC, China will send a probe to orbit and land and deploy a rover on Mars.

In 2020, the Long March-5 rocket will carry out several missions, including the Mars probe launch and the lunar sample return.

A total of 24 high thrust hydrogen-oxygen rocket engine tests will be conducted this year for these missions.

Mars, Red Planet, Planet, Starry Sky, Space, Universe
 China announced that it will launch its first Mars mission probe in July this year, China Youth Daily reported on Thursday. Pixabay

In November last year, China unveiled an experiment simulating the process of a probe hovering, avoiding obstacles and descending to land on Mars.

The experiment was held on a trial ground, the largest one in Asia for test landing on extraterrestrial bodies, in Huailai county, Hebei province, reported Xinhua.

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How to safely land on Mars is one of the biggest challenges facing the mission.

The experiment simulated the gravity of Mars, about one-third of the gravity on Earth, to test the design of the lander. (IANS)