Conservation through Research, Awareness and Education

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TEAMWORK! The First few days at CMS CoP11

With CMS CoP11 entering its final days, and the plenary sessions for sharks, reef mantas and mobulas looming, Isabel Ender reflects on the week’s beginnings and a success we can take away regardless of the outcome of the proposals – the unity shown between many of the NGOs and IGOs attending the event.

For major updates from our team at CMS, please CLICK HERE for our CMS CoP11 page.

If there is one word to summarise the last few days at CMS CoP11 in Quito, Ecuador, it is TEAMWORK. It is amazing to see how pretty much all the NGOs and IGOs present work together to collaborate, support and inform each other on how to best push for listing and protection of the proposed species – PEW Environment, The Shark Trust, WWF Sharks, WildAid, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Shark Advocates, Project AWARE and the IUCN just to name a few! In fact the teamwork has been so apparent and abundant that it was even highlighted positively by the CMS Secretariat Communications team – what a fantastic energy exists between us!

This collaboration and support, prior and during these important Conventions, is possibly part of the reason why this year’s CMS is looking so promising – with only a few minor comments from the attending Parties, and numerous strong interventions to support the proposals, the majority of shark and ray species proposed have been accepted by consensus, and will be forwarded to plenary on Sunday morning. That’s a massive hurdle made!


CMS CoP11 © Daniel Fernando, Manta Trust-4 WM

Isabel Ender with our official delegation sign!


Among plenary sessions, working groups and other meetings, there have also been several great side events on sharks and rays. The PEW Environment group organised a fantastic evening where the governments of Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji and the EU shared with us why sharks and rays are so important to their nations, and why they are worth conserving. Last night, a special event by the Fiji delegation (who put forward the CMS proposals for Manta alfredi and all Mobula species), gave us insights into the cultural importance and value of shark and rays to the Pacific nations.

With such a buzzing, energetic atmosphere, we have our fingers tightly crossed that Sunday will see all proposed sharks and rays protected on CMS. Then the celebrations can begin!


CMS CoP11 © Daniel Fernando, Manta Trust-10 WM

Daniel Fernando (third from left) and Isabel Ender (third from right) with the Fijian delegation.


CMS CoP11 © Daniel Fernando, Manta Trust-15 WM

Working with PEW Environment to talk to delegates about the need t conserve sharks, reef mantas and mobulas – and how CMS can help!


Fiji Side Event @CMS-1203 WM

‘Pacific Voices’ – a side-event ran by the Fijian delegation to showcase the cultural value of sharks and rays to the Pacific Nations.


PEW Side Event @CMS-1129 WM

Governments talking about their success stories in helping to conserve manta and mobula rays. Organised by PEW Environment.


PEW Side Event @CMS-1116 WM

A small gift to the Fijian delegation for all their support and effort in proposing reef mantas and all mobulas for listing under CMS.


PEW Side Event @CMS-1139 WM

A full-house at PEW’s side event ‘Taking Action to Save Sharks & Rays’


PEW, Manta Trust, IFAW, WWF © Isabel Ender, Manta Trust WM

Group photo! Including Isabel & Daniel (The Manta Trust) and colleagues from WWF Sharks, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and PEW Environment.

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