Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE)

Establishing a Long Term System
for Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE)

Annex 1: Relevant Decisions and Resolutions from CITES COP 10

CITES Decisions 10.1 & 10.2
CITES Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP16)

10.1 Conditions for the resumption of trade in African elephant ivory from populations transferred to Appendix II at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties

Part A


Trade in raw ivory shall not resume unless:


a) deficiencies identified by the CITES Panel of Experts (established pursuant to Resolution Conf. 7.9, replaced by Resolution Conf. 10.9) in enforcement and control measures have been remedied;


b) the fulfilment of the conditions in this Decision has been verified by the CITES Secretariat in consultation with the African regional representatives on the Standing Committee, their alternates and other experts as appropriate;


c) the Standing Committee has agreed that all of the conditions in this Decision have been met;


d) the reservations entered by the range States1 with regard to the transfer of the African elephant to Appendix I were withdrawn by these range States prior to the entry into force of the transfer to Appendix II;


e) the relevant range States1 support and commit themselves to international co-operation in law enforcement through such mechanisms as the Lusaka Agreement;


f) the relevant range States1 have strengthened and/or established mechanisms to reinvest trade revenues into elephant conservation;


g) the Standing Committee has agreed to a mechanism to halt trade and immediately re-transfer to Appendix I populations that have been transferred to Appendix II2 , in the event of non-compliance with the conditions in this Decision or of the escalation of illegal hunting of elephants and/or trade in elephant products owing to the resumption of legal trade;


h) all other precautionary undertakings by the relevant range States in the supporting statements to the proposals adopted at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties have been complied with; and


i) the relevant range States1 , the CITES Secretariat, TRAFFIC International and any other approved party agree to:


an international system for reporting and monitoring legal and illegal international trade, through an international database in the CITES Secretariat and TRAFFIC International; and


an international system for reporting and monitoring illegal trade and illegal hunting within or between elephant range States, through an international database in the CITES Secretariat, with support from TRAFFIC International and institutions such as the IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group and the Lusaka Agreement.

  Part B  

a) If all of the conditions in this Decision are met, the Standing Committee shall make available its evaluation of legal and illegal trade and legal offtake pursuant to the implementation of Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP16) as soon as possible after the experimental trade has taken place.


b) The Standing Committee shall identify, in co-operation with the range States, any negative impacts of this conditional resumption of trade and determine and propose corrective measures.


10.2. Conditions for the disposal of ivory stocks and generating resources for conservation in African elephant range States



The African elephant range States recognise:


i) the threats that stockpiles pose to sustainable legal trade;


ii) that stockpiles are a vital economic resource for them;


iii) that various funding commitments were made by donor countries and agencies to offset the loss of assets in interest of unifying these States regarding the inclusion of African elephant populations in Appendix I;


iv) the significance of channelling such assets from ivory into improving conservation and community-based conservation and development programmes;


v) the failure of donors to fund elephant conservation action plans drawn up by the range States at the urging of donor countries and conservation organizations; and


vi) that, at its ninth meeting, the Conference of the Parties directed the Standing Committee to review the issue of stockpiles and to report back at the 10th meeting.



Accordingly, the African elephant range States agree that all revenues from any purchase of stockpiles by donor countries and organizations will be deposited in and managed through conservation trust funds, and that:



such funds shall be managed by Boards of Trustees (such as representatives of governments, donors, the CITES Secretariat, etc.) set up, as appropriate, in each range State, which would direct the proceeds into enhanced conservation, monitoring, capacity building and local community-based programmes; and



these funds must have a positive rather than harmful influence on elephant conservation.



It is understood that this decision provides for a one-off purchase for non-commercial purposes of government stocks declared by African elephant range States to the CITES Secretariat within the 90-day period before the transfer to Appendix II of certain populations of the African elephant takes effect. The ivory stocks declared should be marked in accordance with the ivory marking system approved by the Conference of the Parties in Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP16). In addition, the source of ivory stocks should be given. The stocks of ivory should be consolidated in a pre-determined number of locations. An independent audit of any declared stocks shall be undertaken under the auspices of TRAFFIC International, in co-operation with the CITES Secretariat.


The African elephant range States that have not yet been able to register their ivory stocks and develop adequate controls over ivory stocks require priority assistance from donor countries to establish a level of conservation management conducive to the long-term survival of the African elephant.


The African elephant range States therefore urge that this matter be acted upon urgently since any delays will result in illegal trade and the premature opening of ivory trade in non-proponent range States.


This mechanism only applies to those range States wishing to dispose of ivory stocks and agreeing to and participating in:



an international system for reporting and monitoring legal and illegal international trade, through an international database in the CITES Secretariat and TRAFFIC International; and



an international system for reporting and monitoring illegal trade and illegal hunting within or between elephant range States, through an international database in the CITES Secretariat, with support from TRAFFIC International and institutions such as the IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group and the Lusaka Agreement.


Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP16) Trade in Elephant Specimens



RECALLING Resolution Conf. 9.16, adopted by the Conference of the Parties at its ninth meeting (Fort Lauderdale, 1994);

NOTING that the African elephant Loxodonta africana was transferred from Appendix II to Appendix I at the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Lausanne, 1989) but some populations were transferred back to Appendix II, under certain conditions, at the 10th meeting (Harare, 1997);


Regarding definitions

AGREES that:


the term 'raw ivory' include all whole elephant tusks, polished or unpolished and in any form whatsoever, and all elephant ivory in cut pieces, polished or unpolished and howsoever changed from its original form, except for 'worked ivory'; and


'worked ivory' be considered readily recognizable and that this term shall cover all items made of ivory for jewellery, adornment, art, utility or musical instruments (but not including whole tusks in any form, except where the whole surface has been carved), provided that such items are clearly recognizable as such and in forms requiring no further carving, crafting or manufacture to effect their purpose;

Regarding marking

RECOMMENDS that whole tusks of any size, and cut pieces of ivory that are both 20 cm or more in length and one kilogram or more in weight, be marked by means of punch-dies or, where this is not practicable, with indelible ink, using the following formula: country-of-origin two-letter ISO code, serial number for the year in question/the last two digits of the year and the weight in kilograms (e.g. KE 127/9714). This number is to be placed at the "lip mark", in the case of whole tusks, and highlighted with a flash of colour;

Regarding control of internal ivory trade

RECOMMENDS to those Parties in whose jurisdiction there is an ivory carving industry that is not yet structured, organized or controlled and to those Parties designated as ivory importing countries, that comprehensive internal legislative, regulatory and enforcement measures be adopted to:


register or license all importers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers dealing in raw, semi-worked or worked ivory products; and


introduce recording and inspection procedures to enable the Management Authority and other appropriate government agencies to monitor the flow of ivory within the State, particularly by means of:

  i) compulsory trade controls over raw ivory; and
  ii) a comprehensive and demonstrably effective reporting and enforcement system for worked ivory;

Regarding monitoring of illegal hunting of and trade in elephant specimens

AGREES that:


a comprehensive, international monitoring system shall be established under the supervision and direction of the Standing Committee with the objectives of:

  i) measuring and recording current levels and trends of illegal hunting and trade in ivory in African and Asian range States, and in trade entrepots;
  ii) assessing whether and to what extent observed trends are a result of changes in the listing of elephant populations in the CITES appendices and/or the resumption of legal international trade in ivory; and
  iii) establishing an information base to support the making of decisions on appropiate remedial action in the event of any problems with compliance or potential detriment to the species; and


this monitoring system shall be in accordance with the framework outlined in Annex 1 for monitoring of illegal trade in ivory and other elephant specimens and in Annex 2 for monitoring of illegal hunting in elephant range States;

Regarding assistance to elephant range States

RECOMMENDS that Parties assist range States to improve their capacity to manage and conserve their elephant populations through improved law enforcement, surveys and monitoring of wild populations;

Regarding quotas for and trade in raw ivory



each State that has a population of African elephants and wishes to authorize export of raw ivory establish, as part of its management of the population, an annual export quota for raw ivory expressed as a maximum number of tusks;


each export quota be communicated to the CITES Secretariat in writing by 31 December for the next calendar year;


Parties ensure that significant amounts of confiscated ivory are notified separately to the Secretariat and are not incorporated in quota submissions;


the CITES Secretariat assist in the implementation of the quota system by: reviewing information submitted on each quota, together with any information received about the status of the population in question; discussing any concern with the relevant State; and, if there is no cause for concern, communicating the current quota to the Parties not later than 31 January of each year;


the Secretariat maintain its Ivory Trade Control Procedures Manual and that the Parties follow the procedures for quota submissions documented in this Manual;


if the quota is not submitted by the deadline, the State in question have a zero quota until such time as it communicates its quota in writing to the Secretariat and the Secretariat in turn notifies the Parties;


no export, re-export or import of raw ivory be authorized unless it is marked in accordance with this Resolution or in accordance with the Secretariat Manual;


Parties accept raw ivory from producer States only where the export permit was issued in a year for which a quota for the State in question has been communicated to the Parties in accordance with this Resolution;


Parties may accept raw ivory from a producer non-party State only if a quota for that State has been reviewed by the Secretariat and communicated to the Parties and if the Secretariat has received from the State an annual report on its ivory trade, and if the State meets all the other conditions in this Resolution and Article X of the Convention (as interpreted by Resolutions of the Conference of the Parties);


in compiling their annual reports, producer party and non-party States that have authorized the export of raw ivory relate such exports to their quota for any given year, providing the Secretariat with as much relevant information as possible, including, as a minimum, the number of whole or substantially whole tusks and their individual weights and identification numbers;


all Parties maintain an inventory of the stock of raw ivory held within their territory, and that they inform the Secretariat of the level of this stock each year before 31 January, indicating the source of the ivory; and


Parties assist the Secretariat to ensure that the duties set out in this Resolution are carried out;

Regarding resources required for implementation of this Resolution

APPEALS to all governments, non-governmental conservation organizations and other appropriate agencies to provide funds for the resources required in the Secretariat and producer States to ensure that the recommendations in this Resolution can be effectively implemented; and

REPEALS Resolution Conf. 9.16 (Fort Lauderdale, 1994) - Trade in African Elephant Ivory.



Annex 1

Monitoring of Illegal Trade in Ivory and Other Elephant Specimens

1. Introduction

In order to monitor and record levels of illegal trade in ivory and other elephant specimens on a global basis, there is a need for a system to collect and compile law enforcement data on seizures and confiscations. The Conference of the Parties recognizes the Bad Ivory Database System (BIDS) established by TRAFFIC for this purpose in 1992. Currently, BIDS contains the details of more than 4,000 ivory seizures, representing nearly 100 tonnes of ivory from over 40 countries around the world since 1989.

The Conference of the Parties further recognizes that BIDS has been useful in assessing ivory trade developments since its seventh meeting (Lausanne, 1989). The African Elephant Range State Dialogue Meeting (Dakar, 1996) agreed that illegal trade in ivory is a concern and improvements in enforcement and management capacity should be a priority for all African elephant range States. It also agreed that all CITES Parties should provide information about ivory seizures to TRAFFIC for inclusion in its database.

Although further development and refinement are necessary, BIDS is designated as the appropriate instrument for monitoring the pattern and measuring the scale of illegal trade in ivory and other elephant specimens.

2. Scope

BIDS will include the details of law enforcement records for seizures or confiscations of elephant ivory and other elephant specimens which have occurred anywhere in the world since 1989.

3. Methods

Data and information on illegal trade in elephant ivory and other elephant specimens will be collected by TRAFFIC using a refined version of the existing BIDS. In this regard, a standardized methodology for the collection of data will be developed, including, but not limited to, information on:


- source of information


- date of seizure


- type of transaction


- country of seizure


- country of origin


- country of export


- country of destination/import


- type of ivory and quantity


- mode of transport


- modus operandi


- profile of offenders/suspects


- status of cases in the courts


- law enforcement effort.

A data collection format will be designed by TRAFFIC and circulated to all Parties by the CITES Secretariat within 90 days of this Resolution taking effect.

4. Data collection and compilation

BIDS will be managed and co-ordinated by TRAFFIC from an appropriate location in Africa.

All Parties should provide information on seizures and confiscations of ivory or other elephant specimens in the prescribed format to TRAFFIC within 90 days of their occurrence. In addition, law enforcement agencies in States not-party are also requested to provide such information.

TRAFFIC will oversee collection of data, ensure data quality and consistency, and provide training in data collection and information management techniques to designated officials around the world as appropriate.

5. Data analysis and interpretation

The analysis and interpretation of data will be co-ordinated by TRAFFIC in association with the CITES Secretariat and institutions involved with monitoring elephant poaching (see Annex 2).

6. Reporting

TRAFFIC will produce a comprehensive report to each meeting of the Conference of the Parties.

7. Intersessional remedial action

In the event that there is a need for urgent intersessional action, TRAFFIC will report to the Standing Committee via the Secretariat as appropriate.

8. Funding

A funding mechanism will be established to ensure that BIDS is fully operational.

Annex 2

Monitoring of Illegal Hunting in Elephant Range States

1. Introduction

In order to address the concerns of many elephant range States, it is necessary to establish a system through which the impact of CITES decisions with respect to elephants and trade in elephant specimens can be measured. Of primary importance is the establishment of a simple system of international reporting of incidents of illegal hunting as a baseline against which changes in trends can be detected.

It is recognized that such measurement must consist of two elements. The first of these is the monitoring of parameters relevant to the issue, such as the pattern and scale of illegal killing, the pattern and scale of illegal trade in ivory, the effort and resources being applied to detection and/or prevention and the monetary value of illegally traded ivory, as well as other factors that might affect these parameters, such as civil strife, the flow of illegal arms and ammunition, loss of habitat and drought.

The second element is the determination of whether or noth there is a causal relationship between changes in these parameters and the decisions of the Conference of the Parties with regard to elephants.

The overall aim is to build institutional capacity within the range States for the long-term management of their elephant populations.

2. Scope and methodology

The monitoring system will include elephant range States in both Africa and Asia and trade entrepots.

It will be based on a standardized methodology for the reporting of illegal hunting by CITES Management Authorities in range States and for monitoring in specific sites or areas. A database and a standard reporting protocol will be established by the CITES Secretariat in consultation with IUCN/SSC and TRAFFIC, for approval by the Standing Committee.

Sites will be selected on the basis of representative sampling (since it is neither possible nor practical to cover all range States) and will include a variety of habitat types, geographical regions and protected and non-protected areas. The sites for inclusion in the system will be selected through the range State representation within the IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG) and the Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG).

For countries wishing to include in the monitoring system sites other than the selected ones, it will be possible and desirable to contribute data voluntarily on additional sites.

3. Data collection and compilation

Data collection will cover the following topics:

- elephant population data/trends - incidence and patterns of illegal hunting - measures of the effort and resources employed in detection and prevention of illegal hunting and trade.

Data and information on illegal trade in ivory will be collected by TRAFFIC using a refined version of their existing BIDS (Bad Ivory Database System) (see Annex 1).

The CITES Secretariat will request/sub-contract technical support from AfESG and AsESG to:

  a) select sites for monitoring as representative samples;
  b) develop a standardized methodology for data collection analysis;
  c) provide training to designated officials in countries with selected sites and to CITES Management Authorities of elephant range States;
  d) collate and process all data and information from all sources identified; and
  e) provide a report to the CITES Secretariat for transmission to the Standing Committee and Parties to CITES.

4. Funding

Substantial funding will be required for the above activities.

Annex 2 Data requirements
5. References