MIKE Subgroup Meeting
28 March 2002
Dr Pieter Botha (Chair – South Africa) , Mr Patrick Omondi (Kenya), Dr Richard Ruggiero (USA), Ms Nina Marshall (CEPF), Dr Malan Lindeque (Secretariat), Mr Nigel Hunter (Director).
Probably due to the teleconference being on the eve of the Easter Break, many of the participants were not on hand. However because it was anticipated that no decisions were being requested of the Subgroup, the Chairman was supported in his suggestion that the meeting should go ahead, as the minutes would serve as a useful progress report to the members.
The agenda as sent out by the Secretariat was agreed with no additions.
Minutes of the last teleconference:
The minutes of the 11th September 2001 meeting were approved as an accurate record.
The Director reported that this had been done
Provide information on the forest MIKE sites in Africa to the USA [Director]
The Director reported that Dr Ruggiero had provided a list of projects currently supported by the African Elephant Conservation Period and at least 5 of the projects had direct relevance to MIKE. However the approval by USFWS of projects was a dynamic process and more were likely to come on stream of relevance to MIKE. It was agreed that Dr Ruggiero and the Director would maintain good liaison in this regard.
Collated information on bilateral support programmes for MIKE related projects [USA]
The Director reported that this had been done and the description would be attached to the minutes as an annex (see annex 1).
Update the description of the composition of the MIKE Subgroup (indicating ex-officio membership) [Director]
The Director reported that as a result of such liaison, Japan had very kindly donated US$200,000 to the current project as matching funds. The liaison had also clarified that the Japanese Embassy in Geneva was regarded as the official contact for all matters relating to CITES.
Liaise with Japanese Embassy (Nairobi) for further MIKE funding [Director]
Update Work Plan [Director]
The Director had done this and had it agreed by the Chairman. This document provides the framework for making progress reports to the Subgroup.
Progress Report (Technical):
Since the first quarter progress report had been provided with the notice of the meeting, it was agreed that the Director would simply provide an update in regard to the 11 activities contained in the work plan.
Establishment of MIKE CCU
The Director first wished to record thanks to Patrick Omondi of Kenya for the significant assistance provided in facilitating the Directors Resident Permit. He then went onto to report that the appointment of the Financial Manager had been delayed, due to short-listed candidates becoming unavailable. However it was now expected that the selected candidate would sign the contract within the week and would start with the MIKE CCU on 1st May 2002.
Suitable candidates for the Data Management Officer were under consideration, but it was likely that data management support would require a team effort over the next 12 months and this was under active consideration by the Director.
The TAG was operational, but Asia participation was still missing – see below.
The country programmes were in the process of being finalised and got under way in all Sub-regions. Improving communications in some countries was problematic, and was likely to be an ongoing process
Setting up in Range States
This has been achieved and the two Sub-regions represented in the meeting confirmed that their SSOs were active. The Director reported there had been problems with the email system, but a change of hosts had seemed to solve the problem.
Establishment of Sub-regional Support Officers
This was almost completed, with the SSOs now working on engaging the site teams in the process. A specific question was raised in regard to whether Sierra Leone was yet a participating country. The Director responded by stating that the current policy was to get the existing "on Board" range states up and running, before turning attention to those who could yet become part of the MIKE process, but were facing difficulties such as Sierra Leone. However it was agreed that CI discussions with Sierra Leone could help facilitate that country’s future involvement in the MIKE programme.
Establishment of MIKE in Range States
The production of harmonised forms was a real step forward, but the Director felt that the recent feedback in the 2 Sub-regions containing range states with existing systems, indicated that the Ground Patrol Form still needed further effort to get good harmonisation in those countries. To encourage such harmonisation, it was agreed that the important principle was that the data collected must be uniform. Discussion on this issue reflected concern that the harmonisation process looked to be taking longer than anticipated which could have a knock on effect on the data analysis. It was agreed that getting this LEM harmonisation finalised was an important component of the field work over the next couple of months. Kenya also emphasised the importance of getting together when starting the data analysis as part of the harmonisation process
The Director reported on the strong possibility of an EC project specifically supporting R & D on the cybertracker, but project details and confirmation were awaited.
Work on developing the data analysis system was fully under way and was still on course to be presented to the next TAG meeting in May 2002.
Establishment of Protocols and Analysis Systems
The first round of Sub-regional LEM training would be completed by 17th May 2002. Further training provided by the SSOs carrying out site visits was an immediate priority following the regional workshops, and this should be undertaken within 2 months of the workshops. The Director explained that the process adopted was to get the LEM underway, followed fairly soon by the data management training. The population survey training would then take place as the final stage over a longer time frame, but this would not delay the population survey programme, which would initially rely on greater external support.
Procurement of the GPSs was almost complete. The Director had been holding back on the forest sites, since the production of the recommended Garmin 12 series was now being stopped and replaced by the eTrex series. A forest trial had been initiated and the eTrex with no external antenna was outperforming the 12. Procurement would now be completed.
The Director was working on engaging a specialist to assist with the computer procurement in the USA. The target was to try to deliver the computers to each site by end of June
The Director would be making a push to get an update on the adequacy or otherwise of digitised maps for each site, as these were critical for the data analysis.
The population survey programme was underway and it was anticipated that every site would have a population figure within the next 18 months. Guidelines for maintaining Survey standards were in draft form for the savannah aerial methods and were in preparation for the forest ground methods.
The Director emphasised the importance of the computer systems being in place so that a major thrust on training could then take place. Equally important was to have the data analysis system in place by June as well.
The Sub-regional Steering Group meetings still had to be scheduled, but given that a CoP was scheduled for November this year, the Director thought there would be merit in using scarce funds to having all four Sub-regional groups come together in September – see below.
This was reported on under the financial progress report – see below
The Director reported that this was in hand.
Progress Report (Financial):
The Director stated that a funding strategy was in place and had been updated when the Director recently visited the Secretariat in Geneva. This report was therefore provided in 3 parts.
The EC had approved the expenditure of US$3,108,329 under the agreement with the CITES Secretariat, but the EC was only providing 67% of that expenditure (i.e. US$ 2,064,547). It was therefore important to provide a progress report on the balance required - especially as the 67% could only be realised on the matching funds actually obtained.
To date the Director was able to confirm that US$ 947,949 had been obtained from Belgium, Japan, the CEPF fund administered by CI, and the "Beeswax" Fund. This left a shortfall of US$ 95,833.
However the Director reported that he had just been provided a commitment of US$ 29,000 (Euro 35,000) from GTZ for D.R. Congo MIKE implementation. In addition there would be funds forthcoming from WWF-Int. (Elephant programme), WCS (MIKE support, especially Central Africa), GTZ (Rwanda) and USFWS (African Elephant Conservation Fund). Requests have also been made to Japan (US$ 150,000) and UK (US$ 84,000) for further funds. Lastly no financial figure has been finalised as yet for the local contributions provided by the Range States themselves.
The Director felt therefore that the matching fund requirement was on course to being fully met.
Subsequent discussion agreed that it was important to keep the MIKE Subgroup and Sub-regional Steering Groups informed, particularly in the case of the latter, with regard to Range State contributions and any further expectations. On this last point, the MIKE programme was requested to consider providing a contribution to covering non-budgeted overheads in regard to getting the LEM underway over the next 3 months. It was agreed that the Director should follow up on this.
The Director reported that he and hopefully the Deputy Secretary General would be travelling to the USA towards the end of April, with the specific objective of discussing with WCS, CI and USFWS the possibility of supporting a MIKE start up in South East Asia and, if successful, to follow as soon as possible with a project proposal. This initiative was supported and the Director will follow up with CI and USFWS for initial meetings on the 26th April. A meeting with WCS has already been scheduled for 24th April.
Long Term Funding
The Director reported on a visit that he and Dr Armstrong had made to the EC, Brussels on the 7th March. The outcome of the visit was an agreement that an application for the longer term funding of MIKE should be made to the EC "All ACP" Fund. Because the administration of this fund would have different EC personnel, it was also agreed that the Continued support of Commissioner Nielson should be sought. Furthermore the ACP Secretariat has a say in the projects supported by this fund and so it was agreed that contact with the ACP Secretariat should be initiated. The meeting welcomed this information and the Chairman requested that each Sub-regional Chair should provide whatever support is requested of them in gaining ACP secretariat backing.
The Director went on to report that approaches had also been made to Japan and Belgium in regard to possible support for the longer term. It was agreed that the Secretariat would provide feedback on these approaches.
Since membership of the TAG was subject to MIKE Subgroup approval, the Director wanted to flag that the two Asian Sub-regional members were not currently responding to any communication. The matter was being followed up, but it might be necessary to come back to the Subgroup with a recommendation for a change of membership in regard to one or both of those Sub-regions.
The Director reported that he felt, in line with what had been agreed at implementation meetings, that it was important to present the draft CoP MIKE Progress Report to the Range States so that the report could have their inputs and approval. Given that the progress report had to reach the Secretariat at least a month in advance of the CoP, in order to allow translation, etc., the Director felt that such a meeting should be held in September.
Clarification was provided on the difference between this proposed MIKE meeting and a Range State Dialogue meeting. The Subgroup strongly supported the holding of such a meeting, but the Subgroup also felt that the Director should ascertain what could be included in the agenda that would add value to such a meeting, without compromising any proposed Range State Dialogue Meeting.
Any Other Business
Kenya put forward a request for Paula Kahumbu to attend the next TAG meeting. It was agreed that Kenya should clarify whether the request was for the actual TAG meeting or for the open day that had been requested by the NGOs as a follow on to the TAG meeting. The Subgroup then decided to mandate the Director to handle the matter.
Date of next meeting:
The date of the next teleconference meeting was agreed as Thursday 18th July 2002.
The Chairman concluded the meeting by thanking participants for their useful and helpful contributions and thanked the Director and his staff for their efforts in getting MIKE up and running.
MIKE Subgroup membership
South Africa (Chair)
Ex Officio: Chairs of Sub-regional Steering Committees:
United States of America
Deputy Secretary General
Chief Scientific Support Unit
Senior Scientific Officer (Fauna)