CMS Family Guide: The Encyclopaedia of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

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by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

Shelfmark: CP/CV.cms/005ii (box)

This is the third edition of the CMS Family Guide. Agreements / memoranda of understanding are presented on individual A4 fact sheets. For example: the Memorandum or Understanding concerning conservation measures for the West African population of the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) provides information on the secretariat responsible, background of the species, signatories, key dates, actions to be taken and key facts.

The 4th revision of this CMS outreach material is available online at


The UNEP/CMS Secretariat had long considered producing a history of the Convention. The question was: what form should the history take?

The aim was to cover all aspects of CMS’s history, from its conception when the idea of an instrument to protect migratory species was first suggested, to the present day, over 25 years after the Convention was concluded.

We wanted to devise a flexible, readily digestible and attractive format. This comprehensive compilation of information sheets explains the Convention’s history, structure, species coverage and modus operandi. As the Convention and its associated Agreements evolve, the information contained in the Family Guide can be amended, updated and expanded as necessary. Each sheet has been designed to be self-standing and to contain the essential facts concerning the subject covered.

CMS would like to express its gratitude to UNEP who provided the funds, which enabled the Family Guide to be published and to all those who contributed ideas for improving it in this fourth, fully revised edition.


History and structure
Agreements and MoUs (Memoranda of Understanding)
Threats and challenges
CMS information and capacity building

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