30th Anniversary of the Bonn Convention (UNEP/CMS)

30th anniversary poster by Manuel Merino
Bonn, 23rd June 1979 - 2009. Representatives of
over 100 countries as well as many intergovernmental agencies
and non-governmental organisations met in Stockholm, Sweden
in June 1972 to discuss the state of the world’s environment
at the UN Conference on the Human Environment. One major
outcome of the Conference was the decision to establish
the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Conference also recognized the special
threats faced by migratory species on their often arduous
journeys across political boundaries. The delegates agreed
that an international instrument to protect migratory species
was necessary.

In 1974 the German Government, through
the then Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry
(the predecessor of the Federal Ministry of the Environment,
Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety) was mandated by UNEP
to prepare an appropriate draft text of a Convention. The
German Government enlisted the support of the legal experts
of the IUCN‘s Environmental Law Centre. After long
consultations with potential Parties, the IUCN ELC produced
a text which formed the basis of negotiation.

The final version of this text was signed
on 23rd June 1979, in the Bonn district of Bad Godesberg.
In November 1984 a Secretariat was established in Bonn at
the invitation of the German Government. It is provided
by UNEP and, therefore, is sometimes known as the “UNEP/CMS

The Convention on Migratory Species had
a membership of 15 when it entered into force on 1st November
1983. Membership reached 50 when Peru acceded in 1997 and
at the time of the Sixth Meeting of the Conference of the
Parties in Cape Town in 1999, there were 65 contracting
parties. Yemen became the 100th Party on 1st December 2006.
Further accessions, most recently that of Montenegro, have
since taken the total to 111 (as of 1st March 2009).

A number of countries participate in regional
Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding despite not being
Parties to the parent Convention; this phenomenon is particularly
evident in Asia and Africa

On 23rd June 2009 the Bonn Convention,
concluded under the aegis of the United Nations Environment
Programme, will celebrate its 30th Anniversary. The Convention
on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
(CMS) aims to conserve and manage avian, marine and terrestrial
migratory species as well as their habitats throughout their

Countless animal species migrate. Some of them do not get
very far. They swim, fly or travel long distances and they
cross borders without a passport. They are hunted or they
perish as a result of by catch in the nets of fishermen.
Their habitats are being destroyed. However, there is hope
and progress in the worldwide conservation of migratory

The Bonn Convention stands for the worldwide
protection of these species. CMS plays a major role in the
conservation of migratory species and their habitats on
a global scale. Nature conservationists in 111 member states
know the work and the outcomes

The 30th Anniversary of CMS is an excellent
opportunity to analyse what has been achieved until now
and how the Convention might operate in future. Cooperation
with other organizations and initiatives from all over the
world improve the conservation status of migratory species.
On the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Bonn Convention
the City of Bonn and UNEP/CMS will organize a reception
in the Old Town Hall of the City of Bonn.

The artist, Manuel Merino, has produced
a poster commemorating the Convention’s thirtieth
anniversary. The poster depicts thirty species protected
by agreements concluded under the Bonn Convention.

CMS invites you to celebrate in our 30th
Anniversary! Happy Birthday Bonn Convention.

To find more information about UNEP/CMS, please go to

See the CMS Film - YES WE CAN

Dernière mise à jour le 16 Juin 2014