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The IWC is participating in a workshop in Muscat, Oman that will consider how conservation can complement development in the Arabian Sea, particularly in the context of the Arabian Sea humpback whale.

The two-day workshop brings together scientists, conservation organisations, industry and the government of Oman. Central to their agenda is consideration of a potential Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for the Arabian Sea humpback, which is listed as endangered by the IUCN.

The IWC introduced CMPs in 2010.  They provide a framework for countries within the range of vulnerable populations (known as range states) to work together and in collaboration with other stakeholders to protect and rebuild those populations. The actions taken under a CMP are decided by the governments and their stakeholders.  The IWC provides the framework as well as scientific support and advice on policy implementation and management.

The workshop creates an opportunity to explain the CMP application process and hear from the coordinator of an existing CMP on the local, national and regional benefits of adopting the CMP framework.

Five CMPs are already in operation.  They cover very different cetacean populations in very different parts of the world but all are benefitting from a clear, collaborative framework as well as support and guidance from both the IWC’s Scientific and Conservation Committees.  The potential CMP for the Arabian Sea humpback has the added dimension of support from the Convention for Migratory Species (CMS) as the proposed plan would involve both IWC and CMS.     

The workshop is a national event, sponsored by the Sultanate of Oman Environment Authority, the Environment Society of Oman and HSBC Bank.  It runs 28-29 November.