Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE)

MIKE  Subgroup Meeting

6th July 2000

In attendance:
Mr Pieter Botha (Chair - South Africa) , Dr Hany Tatwany (Saudi Arabia), Mr Julius Kibebe (Tanzania), Dr Susan Lieberman (USA), Dr Richard Ruggiero (USA), Dr Kanjana Nitaya (Thailand), Mr Charles Evans (Thailand), Mr Patrick Omonde (Kenya), Dr Jim Armstrong (Secretariat), Mr Nigel Hunter (Rapporteur).

Burkino Faso and Cameroon were notified of the meeting but were unable to participate.

Mr Pieter Botha welcomed participants and the agenda was agreed as follows : action items; selection of MIKE TAG members; Kenya correspondence; MIKE funding; AOB (to include progress reports).

Action Items (as provided in 15th March record):

Item 1. Develop an alternative formal process for progressing data handling and ownership issues.

The Secretariat reported that it was preparing a draft proposal in regard to a formal process, but this was not yet complete. The Secretariat would wish to have TAG inputs before submitting it to the Subgroup for consideration. The Secretariat intention was to have the proposal come to the Subgroup by the last meeting of the current year.

Item 2. Provide examples of types of specialist for consideration in the TAG membership ToRs. Done.

Item 3. Incorporate agreed changes in TAG ToRs, place on CITES web and start the TAG formation process . Done.

Item 4. Put existing MIKE protocols on CITES web site. Done.

The Chairman thanked the USA and Secretariat for their inputs in getting the action items accomplished.

Selection of MIKE TAG members:

Dr Armstrong summarised the process that had been followed by the Secretariat. The first call for nominations had been very disappointing, so a second call was undertaken with a much better response. This still left some gaps, which the Secretariat, as required, covered with its own nominations. The Secretariat then drew up a matrix, using the qualifications specified in Notification No. 2000/025, for making an objective assessment. Based on the information available and balancing regional and technical representation, the Secretariat had evolved some recommendations, which were now before the Subgroup for consideration. In putting these recommendations forward, Dr Armstrong highlighted that the nominees had not yet been approached re their availability, and in the case of those nominees who were consultants, it was not known yet whether they would provide a free 'delivery of input' into TAG. In addition, the recommendation re East African representation was different from Kenya's preferred choice and in considering the technical experts, special regard had been had to linking to the Central Africa Pilot 'mini' TAG. Before considering the recommendations, Dr Armstrong was anxious to have the Subgroup confirm that the Secretariat had followed due process.

Kenya expressed its concern that the range states were not involved sufficiently in the process, that the membership number of 10 was too small and would prefer the sub-regions to consider the nominations before any decisions were taken re membership. In the ensuing discussion, it was clarified that the Secretariat were answerable to the Subgroup and they were following the processes set out by the Subgroup, that the Subgroup was constituted under agreed CITES procedures, that regional representatives were meant to consult within their sub-region, that TAG had been discussed at the last African Range State meeting, that the process had been put in a notification and that the process had been placed on the CITES web-site. Furthermore recognising that TAG would have limited membership, the Subgroup had approved the process of putting MIKE protocols, TAG comments, etc. on the web-site, so that comments could be provided by others. Concern was therefore expressed over the delays that would be caused by any change to the procedures that had been previously agreed.

Having agreed that the TAG formation should not be delayed, the Subgroup confirmed that the Secretariat had followed due process and turned its attention to the recommended nominations. These were unanimously adopted with one change. TAG membership , subject to individual confirmation, would therefore be as follows:

Central Africa :

M. Tchamba (Cameroon)

West Africa :

M.K. Sam (Ghana)

Southern Africa :

C. Craig (Namibia)

East Africa :

I. Douglas-Hamilton (Kenya)

South Asia :

R. Sukumar (India)

South East Asia :

Z. Yue (China)

Technical Specialists :

R.F.W. Barnes

K. Burnham

H. Dublin

H. Jachmann

Since TAG members skills and experiences were not universally known by Subgroup members, it was also agreed that the CVs of all members should be circulated by the Secretariat to the Sub- group, who would then be in a better position to answer any queries that may be put to them from their sub-regions, in particular.

The Subgroup concluded its deliberation under this agenda item, by agreeing the following next steps :

• Secretariat to get in touch with TAG members and confirm their acceptance

• Secretariat to follow up with a notification

• Secretariat to put on the CITES web-site

It was also agreed that the Secretariat would seek Subgroup guidance (postally), if any technical specialist declined to participate, but that TAG would start functioning regardless of that possible problem.

Correspondence from Kenya:

Kenya felt that much of the concerns expressed in their correspondence with the Secretariat had been addressed by the Subgroup in the discussion under the previous item. With the clarifiaction that had been provided and if the Subgroup and Sub-region consultation processes are further encouraged and undertaken, then this should prevent such concerns emerging in the future. Finally Kenya requested the Subgroup to keep under consideration the adequacy or otherwise of the current TAG membership size.

Report on MIKE Funding: 

Dr Armstrong informed the Subgroup that the Central Africa Pilot was continuing largely due to the US FWS financial support, which was gratefully acknowledged. The Secretariat was therefore concentrating on securing the EC Euro 4 million for Africa, which had already required several rewrites. There did seem to be good EC internal support, and if the EC procedures continued without further hiccup, then a September meeting should confirm the project and the money would be forthcoming shortly after that. In the meantime, the Secretariat was now developing an EC proposal for Asia and was currently investigating the appropriate format for such a proposal. Once the EC proposals had been concluded, then the Secretariat would turn its attention to the World Bank and the GEF.

The Subgroup acknowledged the Secretariats efforts in getting EC funding and looked forward to a successful conclusion. However in the ensuing discussion, Dr Armstrong brought to the attention of the Subgroup, some external pressure being brought to bear on the EC to delay any funding until, the Central Africa Pilot had been completed. This provided the opportunity for the Subgroup to reaffirm that it was responsible to the Standing Committee for the implementation of 10.10 as agreed at CoP11. The Subgroup therefore had no mandate but to follow the decisions reached. The decision at CoP 11 was that the improved 10.10 should be implemented throughtout the elephant range in the form agreed under a co-ordinated rather tha bilateral approach, without any preference to any region and without any structured delays between regions. The Subgroup therefore confirmed its collective responsibility and agreed that members of the Subgroup would exercise 'good faith', when bilaterally dealing with the EC, in promoting support for MIKE implementation. It was also agreed that any support requested bilaterally would be in order to facilitate that range state to adapt its efforts to better integrate and co-ordinate with the MIKE protocols and implementation processes. In this situation, it was also confirmed that it was important for any such country to keep the Secretariat well informed, as agreed at a previous Subgroup meeting.

Any Other Business:

In response to the Chair's request, Dr Armstrong provided the following progress report. Practically speaking, there was not much implementation difference from the previous report. This was due to the funding bottleneck, The Central Africa Pilot was continuing, thanks to US funding, and a first trimester report was under review and would shortly be available on the web-site. There was also progress in Southern Africa, thanks to their own funding, whereby a capacity workshop was scheduled for September. This workshop would involve many of the region's range states, under the co-ordination of Namibia, and would be attended by the Secretariat. West Africa, as previously reported, had had a succesful prelimary meeting, but could not really progress until funds were available. For the South East Asia Pilot, negotiations with US FWS were under way for funds to facilitate the development of adapted forest techniques, as it was recognised that a simple transfer could not be made from the Central Africa forest experience. Lastly the Secretariat confirmed its anxiousness to start the process in East Africa and South Asia, and that these two regions would need some priority as soon as the EC funds permit, since such funds were not tied to any particular region in Africa. In initiating a regional process, the Secretariat would be pursuing a planning workshop, a co-ordinating country, site selection, an implementation programme and capacity development. This is done in conjunction with the Management Authority (MA) and the involvement of any NGO, etc. is at the request of the MA

7. Next Meeting:

September/October was set as the target date for the next Subgroup meeting.

8. Conclusion:

The Chairman then concluded the meeting by thanking members for their active participation, notwithstanding the early problems of GMT and Summer time confusion.

Action Items

1. Carry out next steps in getting TAG functioning [Secretariat].

2. Progress EC funding request for Africa and Asia [Secretariat].

This was done by the Secretariat on 7th July 2000.