Introduction to the Scientific Council (ScC)

The Scientific Council was established by the 1st meeting of the Conference of Parties (Bonn, 1985) to provide advice on scientific matters to other CMS bodies and CMS Parties foreseen in Article VIII of the Convention. The Scientific Council has the following general functions:

  • Provides scientific advice to the Conference of the Parties, the Secretariat and, if approved by the Conference of the Parties, to bodies set up under the Convention or an Agreement or to Parties;
  • Recommends research and the co-ordination of research on migratory species, evaluating the results of such research in order to ascertain the conservation status of migratory species and reporting to the Conference of the Parties on such status and measures for its improvement;
  • Makes recommendations to the Conference of the Parties concerning the inclusion of migratory species in Appendices I and II, together with an indication of the range of such migratory species;
  • Makes recommendations to the Conference of the Parties as to specific conservation and management measures to be included in Agreements on migratory species; and
  • Recommends solutions to problems relating to the scientific aspects of the implementation of this Convention, in particular with regard to the habitats of migratory species, to the Conference of the Parties.

The Scientific Council shall undertake the following additional tasks:

  • Keep under review the composition of Appendices I and II of the Convention;
  • Advise on measures for the conservation of Appendix I species and their priorities;
  • Advise on the development of existing Agreements and on priorities for development of new Agreements; and
  • Advise on selecting and monitoring Small Grants Programme projects which will promote the implementation of the Convention.

The 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Quito, 2014), through Resolution 11.4 on the restructuring of the Scientific Council, agreed on a number of institutional and organizational changes for the Council.  In particular, while reaffirming that the Scientific Council will continue to be composed of members appointed by individual Parties and members appointed by the Conference of the Parties, decided that, for each intersessional period between two consecutive meetings of the Conference of the Parties, a representative selection of the membership of the Scientific Council, to be named the Sessional Committee of the Scientific Council, should be identified, composed of:

(a)    nine COP-appointed Councillors with expertise in taxonomic and thematic issues; and

(b)   fifteen Party-appointed Councillors selected from within the Standing Committee’s geographic regions, as follows: three from Africa; three from Asia; three from Europe; three from Oceania; three from South and Central America and the Caribbean.