GOBI had an opportunity to showcase some of its outputs during the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP13) in Gandhinagar, India, 15-22 February 2020. Infused throughout the COP13 agenda was the concept of ecological connectivity, essential for migratory species whose life journeys span long distances and require habitat protection in the form of corridors, flyways, and swimways. In a dedicated Side Event to promote the mainstreaming of ecological connectivity, GOBI partners Daniel Dunn (University of Queensland) and Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara (Tethys Research Institute), chaired by GOBI Coordinator David Johnson, presented some of the tools available to support the CMS’s mission (i.e., IBAs, IMMAs and MiCO).
In addition, during the plenary sessions of CMS COP13, Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara – the COP-appointed Councillor for Aquatic Mammals – introduced a document on IMMAs, which requests (1) Parties to draw upon the IMMAs posted on the website of the IUCN WCPA Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force, and (2) that dugong range-state Parties consider whether their regional population merits inclusion in CMS Appendix I – Endangered migratory species.
A significant outcome of CMS COP13 was the adoption of the Gandhinagar Declaration, which calls for migratory species and the concept of ecological connectivity to be integrated and prioritised in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.