Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE)

 

MIKE SUB-GROUP MEETING
27 May 1999

In attendance

Dr Hany Tatwany (Chair - Saudi Arabia), Dr Schwann Tunikorn (Thailand), Mr Pieter Botha (South Africa), Mr Kenneth Stansell, Dr Sue Lieberman, Dr Richard Ruggiero (USA), Dr Jim Armstrong, Dr Mario Hernandez (Secretariat), Mr Nigel Hunter (Rapporteur), Mr Robin Sharp (CITES Senior Advisor).

Introduction

Dr Armstrong introduced Mr Hunter by explaining that the Chairman of the Standing Committee had offered Mr Hunter's free services for the purposes of providing rapporteur support to the Sub-group. Mr Robin Sharp was attending as the contracted CITES Advisor, to report on efforts to secure MIKE funding under agenda item 5.

Agenda

The agenda was accepted with the addition of "Further Meetings" and "Participation" under Any Other Business.

1.

MIKE Sub-group Terms of Reference

 

 

 

Following discussion on the scope of work for the Sub-group, it was agreed that the Standing Committee had established the Sub-group to "Oversee, on the Standing Committee's behalf, further development, refinement and implementation of MIKE, in collaboration with IUCN and the Secretariat and to report back to the next meeting of the Standing Committee."1

 

 

2.

MIKE Pilot Phase Proposal in Central Africa

 

 

 

In introducing this item, Dr Armstrong stated that the Standing Committee in approving progress on the basis of Doc. SC.41.6.3 (see footnote) and authorizing a budget of CHF 140,000 from the Trust Fund, had placed an obligation for the Secretariat to come up with proposals for consideration of the Sub-group. After careful consideration, the Secretariat was recommending a "pilot phase" approach for Africa and Asia.

 

 

 

For Africa, the criteria for selection took into account the most technically difficult region and a desire to avoid any further marginalization. The Secretariat therefore identified Central Africa and, together with the Chairman of IUCN's African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG), organized a meeting in Libreville, Gabon, with relevant governments and NGOs in order to secure agreement on the pilot process and implementation partnerships. This meeting was particularly successful because it firstly addressed the perceived marginalization of the region in regard to the larger elephant conservation picture. Secondly it allowed the proper consideration of the the region's point of view and facilitated their input in regard to the proposal, design and implementation of MIKE. Thirdly it helped the improvement of communication between the AfESG and the range States of that region. The meeting therefore became the basis for the eight "deliverables" included under the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Dr Armstrong went on to explain that whilst it had been agreed that the World Conservation Society (WCS) would provide the regional co-ordination for the pilot phase in Central Africa (with Dr John Hart as the elected co-ordinator), the financing of the first six months was being suggested under a single contract with IUCN. This arrangement was proposed because IUCN had been specifically identified by the Standing Committee in addition to the simpler administrative advantages for the Secretariat.

 

 

 

Questions asked of Dr Armstrong brought the following clarifications:

 

- Since the pilot phase would require 18 months in total and the current budget was only for six months, deliverable (i.e. output) No. 6 had been included in the MoU.

 

- Given the role of WCS and the importance of collaboration and local agreement and ownership, IUCN would move to sub-contract WCS to provide the outputs specified in the MoU for the pilot phase in Central Africa.

 

 

 

Following this clarification, the Sub-group agreed the following points:

 

- Any top-down process must be avoided and local collaboration and ownership fully promoted. Particular reference was made to the need to decentralize data management as much as possible in the MIKE process. This decentralization would be best achieved by enhancing the ability of different regions and/or sub-regions to develop methodologies in regard to data compilation, database capture, statistical modelling, data analysis and data interpretation. The challenge will be to develop such methodologies that suit country and regional needs and capacities, are useful and actionable, but maintain the ability to be harmonised and aggregated at the continental level.

 

- The Secretariat will provide the Sub-group with copies of the IUCN Sub-contract arrangements as well as the minutes of relevant meetings, starting with the minutes of the Libreville meeting as soon as they are ready.

 

 

 

Dr Armstrong concluded this item by informing the Sub-group that the Secretariat was sending its Regional Assistant for Francophone Africa (Dr Jonas Nagahuedi) on mission to Central Africa to discuss any or all relevant CITES issues, including commitment to MIKE and its planned implementation.

 

 

3.

MIKE Central Co-ordination Function

 

 

 

Dr Armstrong highlighted the four points in this section of the MoU, including tasks (a)-(i) listed under point 3. He went on to stress the importance of getting the central co-ordination function on board and operational as soon as possible in readiness for other phases. A total of CHF 90,000 had been allocated to this component of the MoU. Subject to the Sub-group's agreement, IUCN had headhunted two candidates for the consultant position, of which one would be used for the first two months and the second for the remaining four months. It was intended to base the central unit in Nairobi.

 

 

 

Questions asked of Dr Armstrong brought the following clarifications:

 

- During the first six month period, it would be essential to undertake a review and seek a longer term funding commitment for MIKE.

 

- Continued linkages between the Sub-group and the central unit would be achieved through participation in any further teleconferences/meetings, including providing progress reports, indications of the way forward, etc.

 

 

 

Following this clarification, the Sub-group agreed the following points:

 

- It was essential for the Sub-group to maintain an oversight of and inputs to the work being undertaken in regard to MoU.

 

- Task 3(g) should be amended to include specific references to tasks 3(d), (e) and (f). [Amendment of MoU].

 

 

4.

MIKE Pilot Proposal for SE Asia

 

 

 

Clearly, MIKE could not be regarded as operational globally unless Asia also had a pilot phase in place. Using similar criteria to Africa, the Secretariat suggested that a pilot phase for MIKE should be established. Potential collaborators for a pilot phase in SE Asia included WCS and FFI (UK).

 

 

 

Questions asked of Dr Armstrong brought the following clarifications:

 

- There was no Asia pilot phase in place, but given the importance of having one, the recommendation was that the next six months should be used to actively prepare for one by undertaking local meetings, seeking partners, obtaining Government commitments, preparing budgets, and defining technical issues. Furthermore the budget requirements should be in place by August, so that the essential extra funds could be actively sought.

 

 

 

Following this clarification, the Sub-group agreed the following points:

 

- It was important to have an Asian pilot phase and the Secretariat, through its contract with IUCN, should go ahead with preparing one through the necessary regional meetings, etc., as outlined in the MoU.

 

 

5.

Approval of the CITES/IUCN Contract (MoU)

 

 

 

Following the discussions in relation to agenda items 2, 3 and 4, the Chairman then asked for the Sub-group to consider approving the MoU. The Sub-group fully endorsed the MoU, subject to the amendments agreed and flagged under agenda items 2 and 3. Furthermore the Sub-group requested the Secretariat to move promptly in implementing this decision. In addition the Sub-group wanted the decision to be supported by a full record of the meeting being circulated to all members of the Sub-group.

 

 

6.

Funding for MIKE

 

 

 

Mr Sharp reported that he and the Secretary General had followed up earlier meetings with the EC, with a meeting the previous week with DGVIII and DGXI. The meeting was successful in that, whilst there was no available funding for the current financial year, the EC was very willing to receive an application for funding MIKE from 2000 onward for a six year period. If, as recommended, this application sought a 25% contribution then the EC could well provide a total of USD 3.75 million. It would therefore be very important for a full application to be submitted to the EC before October 1999. Such application should take into account any costing refinements arising from implementation experience over the next few months.

 

 

 

Apart from this EC initiative, the future strategy would include approaches to the World Bank and the GEF. Other donors who had indicated interest in contributing to MIKE at SC41, included the United States of America and Japan. Mr Stansell confirmed the United States of America's continuing support for funding the further development and implementation of MIKE. However he emphasized that the Fish and Wildlife Service preferred to make most or all of its contributions to the MIKE start-up process from the African and Asian Elephant Conservation Funds through organizations involved in carrying out the field work. The USFWS objective was to help build capacity in the field.

 

 

 

Following further discussion, the Sub-group agreed the following points:

 

- There was a need for a fairly detailed technical breakdown of the budget, since there would be donors willing to support some components.

 

- The Secretariat, utilising Mr Sharp's contract, will develop a strategy for obtaining the future long term funding security of MIKE. Furthermore this document will be made available to members of the Sub-group 2 weeks in advance of the next teleconference meeting (i.e. by 15 July 1999).

 

 

7.

Any Other Business

 

 

 

Further meetings

 

Following discussion about future meetings, the Sub-group agreed the following:

 

- There would be a teleconference meeting on Thursday 29 July at 14h00s (Swiss time). This would tie in well with MoU implementation schedules and allow the "six weeks before SC42" requirement for document distribution to be satisfied.

 

- There should be an actual meeting of the Sub-group on the weekend immediately preceding SC42. The Secretariat was requested to look at organizing such a meeting, which would avoid clashing with the Strategic Plan Working Group and the Finances Working Group meetings also scheduled immediately prior to SC42.

 

 

 

Participation

 

Dr Armstrong requested consideration of participation by the Central Co-ordinator, by Pilot Phase Co-ordinators, by ESG Chairs and by IUCN personnel. After discussion the Sub-group agreed the following:

 

- There needed to be a balance between proper representation and avoiding logistical problems due to increasing the size of the Sub-group. Inclusion should therefore be based on an "If need be" requirement.

 

 

 

Burkina Faso

 

The Sub-group regretted the absence of a representative from the government of Burkina Faso. Mr Stansell very kindly offered to seek the assistance of the USA Embassy in Burkina Faso to facilitate the involvement of Burkina Faso at the next meeting of the Sub-group.

 

 

8.

Conclusion

 

 

 

The Sub-group concluded the meeting by expressing their thanks to the Secretariat for moving the MIKE process forwards and facilitating the possibility of making a positive progress report to the next Standing Committee.

1 Relevant to the above ToR, is the Standing Committee's related decision that "MIKE should be further developed and implementation started, in co-operation with IUCN and range States, on the basis of proposals in document Doc. SC.41.6.3".

Action Items

1.

The Secretariat will provide the Sub-group with copies of the IUCN Sub-contract arrangements as well as the minutes of relevant meetings, starting with the minutes of the Libreville meeting as soon as they are ready. [Secretariat]

 

 

2.

Task 3(g) in the MoU should be amended to include specific references to tasks 3(d), (e) and (f). [Secretariat]

 

 

3.

Secretariat , through its contract with IUCN, should go ahead with preparing the Asian Pilot Phase through the necessary regional meetings, etc., as outlined in the MoU. [Secretariat]

 

 

4.

Secretariat to move promptly in implementing the MoU. [Secretariat]

 

 

5.

A full record of the meeting to be circulated to all members of the Sub-group. [Rapporteur]

 

 

6.

Provision of a fairly detailed technical breakdown of the budget. [Secretariat]

 

 

7.

The Secretariat, utilising Mr Sharp's contract, will provide a strategy for obtaining the future long term funding security of MIKE. Furthermore, this document will be made available 2 weeks in advance of the next Teleconference meeting (i.e. by 15 July 1999). [Mr Sharp]

 

 

8.

There would be a teleconference meeting on Thursday 29 July at 1400hrs (Swiss time). [Secretariat]

 

 

9.

There should be an actual meeting of the Sub-group on the weekend immediately preceding SC42. [Secretariat]

 

 

10.

Inclusion in future meetings of the Sub-group should be based on an "If need be" requirement. [Secretariat]

 

 

11.

Seek the assistance of the USA Embassy in Burkina Faso. [Mr Stansell]