CITES Secretariat Announces New CITES MIKE Coordinator

Geneva/Nairobi: The CITES Secretariat has publicly announced today that Ms. Thea Carroll has been appointed as the new CITES MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) Coordinator.

“Ms. Carroll has close to two decades of experience in implementing CITES at national and international levels, including through the roll-out of the MIKE Programme in South Africa, and the development and implementation of the African Elephant Action Plan and the African Elephant Fund, for which she served as its first Chair. Thea is a wonderful addition to the Secretariat and we warmly welcome her to the team” said John E Scanlon, CITES Secretary General.

The overall goal of MIKE is to provide information needed for elephant range States to make appropriate management and enforcement decisions, and to build institutional capacity within the range States for the long-term management of their elephant populations. The primary mandate of the MIKE programme is to monitor levels of illegal killing of elephants at a sample of sites spread across the range of African and Asian elephants. The MIKE Programme includes the MIKES (Minimising the Illegal Killing of Elephants and other Endangered Species) project, which is implemented together with African elephant range States with the support of the European Union.

Ms. Carroll has vast governmental experience from South Africa and has been involved in implementing CITES for more than 15 years. She has administrative and financial management experience and around 10 years of managerial experience within the departments of Environmental Affairs and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. She left her assignment as Chief Director, Biodiversity Planning and Management in Pretoria.

Trained in environmental management, wildlife management, zoology and genetics, she has worked with and on various programmes and projects in government, including the roll-out of the MIKE programme in South Africa; the development and implementation of national biodiversity legislation, which includes CITES provisions; the development and implementation of training and capacity-building interventions for the relevant authorities in South Africa, as well as the development and implementation of monitoring mechanisms. She coordinated the process to develop, among others, the Norms and Standards for the management of Elephants in South Africa and was involved in the implementation of these norms and standards, including the evaluation of elephant management plans. She also served on the Scientific Authority since 2010 and was the first chairperson of the African Elephant Steering Committee established to oversee and administer the allocation of funds in the African Elephant Fund.