Identifying opportunities for improving the coherence of global agreements for species conservation



Kuunal S, Mair L, Pattison Z & McGowan PJK (2020) Identifying opportunities for improving the coherence of global agreements for species conservation. Conservation Science and Practice, 2 (12), Art. No.: e294.

The current global biodiversity governance system is failing to adequately protect species and halt extinctions. This raises concerns that a lack of coherence among conventions has hindered their effective implementation. We assessed the possibility for improved convention coherence by identifying overlaps among four major international biodiversity conventions; Conservation of Wetlands of International Importance especially as a Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). We applied topic modeling to convention texts to identify overlaps in treaty implementation and purpose. We assessed overlap among species listed under CITES and CMS, and threatened species, which are targeted by CBD's Aichi Target 12. We found that convention texts shared similar articles on their implementation, but differed in articles relating to their purpose. We identified 137 threatened species that are also migratory and threatened by unsustainable international trade. The geographic distribution of species common to two or more conventions showed a concentration in parts of Asia. Our analysis suggests that implementation mechanisms are already well aligned to support increased cooperation across conventions, and that cooperation would provide complementarity rather than result in redundancies. We demonstrate that it is possible to identify where co-operation could have a disproportionately positive impact on alleviating the complex of pressures affecting species.

Aichi biodiversity targets; international conservation policy; IUCN; red list; multilateral environmental agreements; species conservation; Target 12; threatened species; topic modelling

Conservation Science and Practice: Volume 2, Issue 12

FundersNewcastle University
Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online06/10/2020
Date accepted by journal18/09/2020

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Dr Zarah Pattison

Dr Zarah Pattison

Senior Lecturer in Plant Sciences, Biological and Environmental Sciences