In addition to providing technical advice to CITES Parties, facilitating African Elephant Meetings, and working with MIKE and ETIS on the illegal ivory supply chain, the AfESG has also contributed to consultations around a number of the documents under discussion at CITES COP16.
Information from members of the IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group compiled for the 16th Conference of the Parties to CITES, 1 March 2013
In February 2013, the Secretariat of the IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG) queried the AfESG membership, soliciting short contributions about the current status of elephants in the site or country in which they work. The contributions were limited to 350 words, and restricted to evidence-based information. Members were informed that the full submission would be in the public domain, along with name and contacts of the AfESG member.
Nine responses were received and are attached here. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of IUCN, the Species Survival Commission or the African Elephant Specialist Group as a whole.
CITES CoP16 Doc. 26: Draft Revision of Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev CoP15) on Trade in Elephant Specimens
Decision 15.74 directs the Standing Committee to evaluate the need to revise Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP15) and present a summary of the consultations and its proposals in this regard at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
At the 61st meeting of the CITES Standing Committee in 2011, the Standing Committee requested the MIKE-ETIS Subgroup of the Standing Committee to review and propose revisions of the sections of the Resolution that are pertinent to MIKE and ETIS. The Standing Committee formed a second working group to review and propose revisions of the remaining sections of the Resolution.
The AfESG Secretariat participated in both these Groups, including intersessionally by email. CoP16 Doc. 26, submitted by the Chair of the Standing Committee, outlines the progress made so far.
CITES CoP16 Doc. 36 (Rev. 1): Decision-making mechanism for a process of trade in ivory
The process followed in implementing Decision 14.77 is outlined in CITES CoP16 Doc. 36 (Rev. 1). The AfESG was identified by the CITES Standing Committee as a key stakeholder to be consulted. The AfESG was consulted a number of times throughout this process. An outline of the consultations, and the AfESG’s responses, is provided below.
- In March 2012, following the recruitment of a team of consultants to undertake a study on the decision-making mechanism, the AfESG Secretariat was approached by the lead consultant seeking input and information from the AfESG on the various points within their terms of reference. The AfESG Secretariat referred this request to the AfESG membership via its email listserve, providing the contact details for the lead consultant to allow bilateral communications between the consultant and any interested AfESG members.
- The first draft of the study was made available for review in April 2012, with a request for the AfESG Secretariat to submit one set of comments to the CITES Secretariat. The AfESG Secretariat solicited comments from AfESG members through its email listserve. Member comments were compiled and submitted to the CITES Secretariat in May 2012 with a cover note from the Chair of the AfESG.
- The final report of the study was then submitted for consideration by the CITES Standing Committee in July 2012. The Standing Committee requested further comments from all identified stakeholders. Again, the AfESG Secretariat solicited comments from AfESG members through its email listserve. Member comments were compiled and submitted to the CITES Secretariat in August 2012 with a cover note from the Chair of the AfESG.
- The Standing Committee directed the CITES Secretariat to prepare a summary document for consideration by CoP16. In September, the draft Secretariat document was circulated to the AfESG and other identified stakeholders. Once again, the AfESG Secretariat solicited comments from AfESG members through its email listserve. Member comments were compiled and submitted to the CITES Secretariat in October 2012 with a cover note from the Chair of the AfESG.
- The final Secretariat document is now under consideration by the CITES Conference of the Parties at CoP16.