Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats
The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats is an international treaty that binds the Parties on the conservation of bats in their territories. It was set up in 1991 under the auspices of the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), also known as “Bonn Convention”. Today the Agreement covers 35 of 63 range states.
The Agreement was concluded as "Agreement on the Conservation of Bats in Europe" in September 1991 during the Third Meeting of the Parties of the Convention on Migratory Species. It entered into force on 16 January 1994, after the required number of five states (Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and UK) had ratified it.
In 2000, the Parties decided to change the Agreement's name into its current form "Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats". In 2001, the Agreement became part of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Aim of the agreement
The overall goal of the Agreement is to provide a framework for bat conservation for the member states and those that have not yet joined. According to the agreement text, member states prohibit the deliberate capture, keeping or killing of bats except for research purposes for which a special permit is required. Furthermore, the member states identify important sites for bat conservation, survey the status and trends of bat populations and study their migratory patterns. Based on the result of these monitoring activities the Agreement develops and reviews recommendations and guidelines that shall be implemented by the Parties on national levels.
Bodies of the agreement
Meeting of the parties
The Meeting of the parties is the highest decision-making body of the Agreement and adopts Resolutions. Every Party has one vote. Non-Party range states as well as bat conservation organisations may be represented as observers at the meetings.
The Meeting of the Parties takes place at changing locations every three to four years, most recently in Prague, Czech Republic, 20 – 22 September 2010. (Status: October 2012)
The advisory committee is the working body of the agreement. It evaluates data and discusses scientific issues concerning bat research and conservation to set priorities for the Agreement’ future work. The committee deals with topics like bat migration, light pollution or the impact of wind turbines on bat populations. Furthermore, it drafts the Resolutions to be adopted at the Meetings of the Parties.
The Committee meets once a year, most recently in Dublin, Ireland, 15–17 May 2012. (Status: October 2012)
The standing committee is the administrative body of the Agreement. It monitors the execution of the Secretariat’s budget, oversees the implementation of policies by the Secretariat and discusses further administrative matters like staff issues. The Committee was established by the 5th Meeting of the Parties in autumn 2006 to redesign the Advisory Committee to scientific issues.
The Committee shall meet once a year, if a meeting is needed, at the UN Campus in Bonn/Germany. The first Meeting took place in March 2007, the most recent one in Paris, France, on 28 March 2012. (Status: October 2012)
The Secretariat is the executive body of the Agreement. It coordinates and organises the activities of the Meeting of the Parties, the Advisory Committee and the Standing Committee and undertakes initiatives for implementing the aspired aims, attracting more member states and exchanging information. Furthermore, it coordinates international research and monitoring activities.
Another main task of the Secretariat is to raise public awareness. The “European Bat Night” goes back to an initiative of the EUROBATS Secretariat and is today an event in more than 30 European states.
The Secretariat was established by the 1st Meeting of the Parties in 1995 and started its work in Bonn/Germany in 1996. Since June 2006 it is accommodated at the UN Campus in the former parliamentary building of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Agreement area covers continental Europe from the Caucasus and Turkey in the East to the Mediterranean coast in the South. In includes the British Isles, Cyprus and Malta and most of the islands belonging to European states (except the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores).
The following 35 of possible 65 range states have ratified the Agreement by the end of 2012; alphabetical order, in brackets the date of the ratification.
- Albania (22 June 2001)
- Belgium (14 May 2003)
- Bulgaria (9 November 1999)
- Croatia(8 August 2000)
- Cyprus (2012)
- Czech Republic (24 February 1994)
- Denmark (6 January 1994)
- Estonia (11 November 2004)
- Finland (20 September 1999)
- France (7 July 1995)
- Georgia (25 July 2002)
- Germany (18 October 1993)
- Hungary (22 June 1994)
- Ireland (21 June 1995)
- Italia(20 October 2005)
- Latvia (1 August 2003)
- Lithuania (28 November 2001)
- Luxembourg (29 October 1993)
- Macedonia (15 September 1999)
- Malta (2 March 2001)
- Moldova (2 February 2001)
- Monaco (23 July 1999)
- Montenegro (2011)
- Netherlands (17 March 1992)
- Norway (signing: 3 February 1993)
- Poland (10 April 1996)
- Portugal (10 January 1996)
- Romania (20 July 2000)
- San Marino (2009)
- Slovak Republic (9 July 1998)
- Slovenia (5 December 2003)
- Sweden (signing: 4 March 1992)
- Switzerland (2012)
- Ukraine (30 September 1999)
- United Kingdom (9 September 1992)