Southern African MIKE Training Workshop
Mopane Camp, Kruger National Park
12-14 September 2000
This workshop was aimed at reviewing the implementation of the system known as MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) in the southern African sub-region (Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe), and in ensuring full implementation in the region, by involving Mozambique and Zambia. Following on from a meeting held in November 1999, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe begun implementation of MIKE at the selected sites at the beginning of the year 2000. In total there were 40 participants from the six different countries and one representative from the CITES Secretariat.
The meeting was officially opened by Dr P. Botha of the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, who also chaired and facilitated the venue of the workshop. The programme covered the background on MIKE and the specific requirements for full implementation. Each form required by the MIKE system was presented by different delegates. All presentations lead to lively and detailed discussions by participants on problems experienced or clarifications needed. It was pleasing to note the active participation from many of the delegates in these discussions.
The need to customize the forms to be better suited to the southern African situation was identified, and an evening and early morning session of the MIKE National and Site Coordinators was held to address this issue. The proposed changes to the forms were then presented to the entire group, and further discussion took place until agreement was reached.
Mr N. Nuulimba from IRDNC (Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation) in Namibia presented a practical session on the use of GPSs (Global Positioning Systems) and Cyber-trackers to facilitate data collection during patrols. The IRDNC has developed these devices in the Caprivi region where they have been used successfully by community game guards during ground patrols. Although this equipment is by no means essential for conducting patrols, the technology can greatly enhance the collection of information.
On the second afternoon, all delegates were driven out to an elephant carcass to discuss in a more practical way the completion of the elephant carcass report.
The workshop was officially closed by Mr T. Erkana, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Namibia, on the afternoon of Thursday 14th September.
National and Site coordinators were identified for all six countries.
A steering committee comprised of the six National Coordinators was established to coordinate the implementation of MIKE in the sub-region. The National Coordinators are I. Theophilus (Botswana), S. Bonito (Mozambique), P. Lindeque (Namibia), P. Botha (South Africa), F. Chisangano (Zambia) and E. Chidziya (Zimbabwe).
A strategy for data flow within the sub-region was developed.
Forms were customized to reflect local conditions. The participants recognized the need for a standard database, and it is to be developed within 6 weeks of the meeting. All countries committed themselves to continue the implementation of MIKE at the selected sites. Each country identified new sites to be considered for MIKE implementation. A meeting of the National and Site coordinators will be convened within six weeks to discuss any problems with implementation, to discuss and finalize the database and to fine-tune the sub-regional coordination.
The Game Products Trust Fund of Namibia kindly sponsored the delegates of Mozambique and Zambia, as well as Mr N. Nuulimba from the IRDNC, covering their travelling, accommodation and meals.
The Governments of Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe covered the costs of their delegates. Discover Africa sponsored the airfares of all Namibian Official delegates, with other costs covered by the Government of Namibia. The CITES Secretariat covered the costs of their participant.
The South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism paid for the conference facilities, and provided the transport to and from Johannesburg.
The South African National Parks Board is thanked for making the venue available.
Click here to see the report of the workshop.