Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union in the seventh Meeting of the Parties of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds with regard to certain amendments to Annex 3 to the Agreement
1. The draft Council decision seeks agreement on the position to be taken by the European Commission, on behalf of the EU and its Member States, at the seventh Meeting of the Parties of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds with regard to certain amendments to Annex 3 to the Agreement proposed in resolution 7.3.
2. AEWA is an intergovernmental treaty dedicated to the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago. Developed under the framework of the Convention on Migratory Species and administered by the United Nations Environment Programme, AEWA brings together countries and the wider international conservation community in an effort to establish coordinated conservation and management of migratory waterbirds throughout their entire migratory range.
3. The AEWA Meeting of Parties (MoP) is the decision making body of the agreement with powers to assess the conservation status of migratory species and, subsequently, to review the listing of species to the relevant annexes to the agreement.
4. The EU has been a party to AEWA since October 2005. Article 3(1) of Council Decision 2006/871/EC authorises the Commission, on behalf of the Community, to approve amendments to the annexes of the AEWA agreement. However Article 3(3) limits that authorisation ‘to those amendments that are consistent with, and do not entail any modification of, Community legislation on the conservation of wild birds and their natural habitats’. In the present case, the amendments relating to the ‘up-listing’ of the 9 species will not be consistent with the Birds Directive – and hence the Commission is required to seek a council decision to vote to adopt the amendment.