Signed in 1979, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention; CMS) is an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme. It provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. CMS is the only global and UN-based intergovernmental organisation established exclusively for the conservation and management of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range.
The Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation works closely with CMS due to the Wadden Sea’s significance for migratory birds, but also on aquatic migration. On the topic of seals, the three Wadden Sea states signed the Agreement on the Conservation of Seals in the Wadden Sea (WSSA), which entered into force in 1991. The Agreement was the first daughter agreement concluded under the CMS’s auspices. The Common Wadden Sea Secretariat acts as the secretariat of the WSSA. The aim of this trilateral environmental agreement is to cooperate closely in achieving and maintaining a favourable conservation status for the harbour seal population of the Wadden Sea. The WSSA contains provisions, amongst others, on research and monitoring, taking, protection of habitats and awareness.