The First Range State Meeting of the Joint CITES-CMS African Carnivore Initiative (ACI1) was held from 5 to 8 November 2018 in Bonn, Germany. It brought together representatives of 31 African countries that are range States to the four iconic carnivore species covered by the African Carnivore Initiative, namely the African lion (Panthera leo), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), leopard (Panthera pardus) and African wild dog (Lycaon pictus).
The African Carnivore Initiative emerged under the scope of the CMS-CITES Joint Work Programme 2015-2020, aiming to bring more coherence to the implementation of resolutions and decisions adopted by both CITES and CMS on the four African carnivore species. During the meeting in Bonn, conservation strategies for the concerned species were reviewed, progress with the implementation of relevant CITES and CMS decisions was discussed, and range States agreed on decisions on African lion and leopard to be submitted for consideration at CITES CoP18 and on cheetah and African wild dog and lion for consideration at CMS CoP13.
Range States welcomed the establishment of the Initiative as a concerted effort to conserve the four African carnivore species and recognized the importance of the collaboration between themselves, CITES, CMS and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to undertake urgent and effective conservation action in favour of the four species. Participants discussed possible governance structures that the ACI could assume and provided guidance as to how the Initiative could be taken forward under the scope of two Conventions.
The official communiqué adopted by range States at the closing of the meeting is accessible here, and highlights its relevant outcomes.