Many animals – including birds, fish and mammals – migrate along set routes in search of food or breeding grounds. How best to protect them in a rapidly changing world is the focus of a major UN wildlife meeting which opened in Gandhinagar, India, on February 17, 2020.
The Thirteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, or CMS COP13, is taking place as the world faces the threat of losing one million species to extinction unless protective efforts are increased.
"COP13 comes at a critical time for wildlife conservation, with continued downward trends of habitat loss and species decline," said CMS Executive Secretary Amy Fraenkel.
COP13, which runs through 22 February, is being held under the theme "Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home". These creatures bring multiple benefits to humans, such as seed dispersal and pollination, and provide economic benefits and jobs such as in the tourism sector, for example.
"These species move between countries without any passports or visas, but are messengers of peace and prosperity, and it is our responsibility to protect that," said Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi in his keynote address. Delegates at the meeting will consider the need for guidance and other measures to mitigate the impact of roads, railways and other infrastructure on migratory species, which can injure or kill birds and other animals, increase pollution and cut through natural habitats.
Compiled by Law Desk.