Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE)

26th September 1999

In attendance:
Mr Pieter Botha (South Africa) , Dr Kanjana Nitaya (Thailand), Mr Ken Stansell (USA), Dr Jim Armstrong, Dr Malan Lindeque (Secretariat), Mr Nigel Hunter (Rapporteur). Apologies were received from Dr Hany Tatwany (Chair - Saudi Arabia).

Dr Armstrong introduced Dr Lindeque, who had recently joined the Secretariat  and would be taking on responsibilty for interaction with the Sub-group. In the absence of the Chairman, the Sub-group elected Mr Botha as Chair for the duration of the Standing Committee.

The agenda was agreed to be as follows: approval of July minutes; action items; data ownership; CCU funding arrangements; sub-regional priorities; aob ( CIC letter and Range state meetings).

1. 29th July 1999 Minutes:
The record of the teleconference was approved. It was noted that Dr Dublin had recently submitted a few minor suggested improvements and these would be attached to this record.

2. Action Items (as provided in 29th July record):
Item 1. Provision of Documents by Secretariat. Done

Item 2. Submission of Comments by USA. Done

Item 3. Contact with Burkino Faso. To be addressed during the Standing Committee meeting.

Item 4. IUCN Submissions. Dr Hart had submitted the budget proposal, as required by the MoU, to the Secreariat.

Item 5. Secretariat Support Mission. Phil McGowan had carried out his visits to the relevant range ststes and a meeting had been agreed for the last week in October to be held in Thailand. It had been further agreed that the Secretariat will attend the meeting and then follow-up with visits to each country for signalling the agreements reached at the meeting and providing further explanation re the pilot phase. This would be done before the year end and all range states in the S.E. Asia region would be visited.

Item 6. Budget Proposals. Phil McGowan and Robin Sharp had developed and submitted a budget proposal for the S. E. Asia pilot. The Secretariat were now communicating this proposal to possible donors, with the prospect of having the funds secured before the October meeting. The only small risk in this approach was that the budget might miss an item agreed at the meeting. The Secretariat expected all the sub-regional countries to be interested, but some decisions will be necessary in regard to which states will be involved in the initial implementation.

The sub-group then went on to clarify and agree that pilot funding must be centrally co-ordinated and negotiated by the Secretariat and that any bilateral funding should only kick in once the pilot was up and running. The meeting also confirmed the importance of the Secretariat's central role in ensuring and overseeing the implementation of MIKE and its mechanisms, particularly during the pilot phases.

Item 7. Data Ownership. Deferred as a main agenda item (see 3 below).

Item 8. Recruitment Costs. The Secretariat confirmed that the more accurate assessment had been discussed with IUCN, but essentially such refinement was dependant on feedback at the end of the current implementation process. However given the requirement to have a proposal into the EC by the end of October, the Secretariat would finesse as much refinement as possible by then. The Sub-group then reaffirmed the principle that funds should be identified in the budget as closely as possible to where the cost items actually occur.

Item 9. Training. The Secretariat confirmed the approach recommended at the previous meeting was being followed. The Sub-group then re-emphasised that training and capacity building was an essential and integral part of MIKE.

Item 10. Funding arrangements. Deferred as a main agenda item (see 4 below).

Item 11. Central Information System. The Secretariat acknowledged the responsibility, but is hampered by a lack of the Central Co-ordinating Unit, which it was agreed should be directly responsible to the Secretariat and independent of any other ownership claims. The Sub-group re-iterated the vital importance of having a central point of information relating to all contributions to the MIKE process, particularly as this would avoid the risk of double funding, donor embarrassment, etc.

Item 12. Funding Strategy. Given the importance of this item, considerable discussion took place leading to the following conclusions:

  • It was the role of the Sub-group to provide guidance to the funding strategy and in particular there needed to be sensitivity so as to avoid undue expectations.
  • The funding strategy paper presented in July was useful and provided a basis for further evolution.
  • The Sub-group interpreted the revised MIKE document referred to in the July paper as one that reflected the original approved framework, but must be further adapted to take on board the evolving incremental and subregional approach.
  • In line with that interpretation, the Sub-group agreed that the 'next steps' needed further work and refinement to reflect the pilot and subregional processes.
  • Tables A and B in the July document therefore provide a context for MIKE implementation over time and did not preclude the incremental and sub-regional approach.
  • It was clarified that the proposal to the EC would include the elements identified as appropriate in section 4(a) and (b) of the July document. The Sub-group strongly endorsed this proposal as the main immediate funding priority.

Item 13. Information Dissemination. The Sub-group agreed to inform the Standing Committee that information on MIKE would be placed on the CITES website, as the vehicle for disseminating such information for the benefit of non-participating countries, potential donors, etc.

Item 14. Invitation to next Meeting. Done

Item 15. IUCN Progress Report. Dr Dublin had submitted a progress report as requested. The Sub-group accepted the report but noted that its interpretation of the 'chronology module' mentioned under 1(b) referred to MIKE processes rather than to MIKE implementation phasing.

Data Handling:

The Secretariat tabled two documents produced by WCMC / BCIS in regard to data custodianship and data access as a contribution to the deliberation of this issue. After careful consideration and given the requirement of IUCN under MoU item 3(f) to produce data protocols, the Sub-group agreed that IUCN should be asked to look at providing the answers to the key issues listed in the July minutes, taking into account the BCIS documents and any other relevant source of guidance.

3. CCU Funding Arrangments:
The Sub-group agreed that it was a very high priority to have the Central Co-ordinating Unit operational and undertaking its responsibilities from November 1999 onwards. The request for funding the CCU under the EC proposal would not produce funds for a further 12 months. The Secretariat had therefore drawn up a proposal for Swiss Francs 200,000 to cover the 12 month gap, and this had now to be submitted to possible donors, without further delay. The Sub-group again emphasised that the CCU must remain directly responsible to the Secretariat and not be outsourced under a contract with another agency.

4. Sub-regional Priorites: 
The Sub-group agreed a threefold strategy. The priority over the next 18 months should be to have the C. Africa and S.E.Asia pilots fully implemented. Opportunities and interactions with other sub-regions should occur as they present themselves, as for example with arranging the W. Africa meeting that has been requested. Thirdly those countries with existing capabilities and programmes relevant to MIKE should be encouraged to work on adapting their surveys and data to be compatible with MIKE processes.

5. Any Other Business:

  • A letter from CIC offering help with poaching intelligence was tabled. The Sub-group agreed that it was not its mandate to deal with such detail and that CIC should be requested to get in touch with the Secretariat, who would advise on the possible protocols and arrangements for handling such offers.
  • By way of information, it was noted that that Sub-regional meetings were the most productive way of involving Range States in the MIKE implementation process.

6. Next Meeting:
It was agreed that the next teleconference should be held sometime in January 2000.

7. Conclusion:
The Chairman concluded the meeting by thanking members for their active participation.



Action Items


Discuss contact arrangements with Burkino Faso during Standing Committee week in Lisbon. [Secretariat]




Attend October meeting in Thailand and follow up with visits to S.E.Asia range states. [Secretariat]




Obtain donor funds for S.E.Asia Pilot before October meeting. [Secretariat]




Undertake central co-ordination and negotiation of pilot funding. [Secretariat]




Set up and maintain central information system re MIKE contributions. [Secretariat/CCU]




Refine and evolve "next steps" of funding strategy to reflect pilot and subregional processes. [Secretariat]




Submit proposal to EC by end October covering items identified in 4 (a) and (b) of the July document. [Secretariat]




Provide data protocols (MoU item 3 (f)) responsive to the key issues listed in the July minutes, taking into account the BCIS documents and any other source of relevant material. [IUCN]




Obtain funding as soon as possible ( funds needed for November 99 onwards) for 12 month cover of CCU. [Secretariat]




Request CIC to get in touch with Secretariat directly. [Rapporteur]