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Monday
Jun132016

Central Africa countries meet to support National Ivory Action Plan implementation

Kinshasa, DRC—countries from across Central Africa met in November last year to strengthen regional collaboration in implementing National Ivory Action Plans (NIAPs) in the region.

NIAPs are a practical tool to guide the implementation of actions to address the illegal ivory trade used by 19 of the countries identified by Parties to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) as being implicated as source, transit and/or destination countries.

The Collaborative Action Planning (CAP) workshop aimed to improve the management and conservation of African Elephants by reducing poaching levels and the associated illegal ivory trade through effective implementation of NIAPs at the national level and through strengthened regional collaboration.

Representatives from the NIAP implementing countries in Central Africa: Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Gabon, plus other affected countries in the region—Chad and the Central African Republic attended, while Nigeria sent information to support the meeting.

More than 40 delegates came from wildlife departments and ministries, national Management Authorities responsible for CITES implementation and NIAP Focal Points, plus representatives from the CITES Secretariat and TRAFFIC as co-conveners, the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the United-Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

NGOs present included TRAFFIC as convener and organizer, WWF, who assisted in the workshop planning and facilitation, Juristrale, who also provided logistical support, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Environment Fond Vert.

Donors from the United States and Germany were represented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (Germany’s Agency for International Technical Co-operation, GIZ), respectively.

Outcomes included a menu of priority actions for enhanced regional collaboration in NIAP implementation through effective co-ordination of regional and cross-border activities, and a call for enhanced efforts in non-NIAP countries to fight poaching and illegal ivory trade. Recommendations made by the participants included:

•    Integration of NIAPs into national conservation strategies and activities covered within national budgets;
•    Countries to consider applying to the African Elephant Fund, which was endorsed and adopted by CITES;
•    The establishment of platforms to permit discussions and actions across different State agencies beyond those responsible for nature and wildlife conservation, such as administration, finance, defence, and judiciary;
•    Building capacity on intelligence gathering techniques;
•    Establishing inter-State operational anti-poaching and anti-trafficking brigades;
•    The creation of protocols of accord.

The CAP workshop took place under the Wildlife Trafficking Response Assessment, and Priority Setting (Wildlife-TRAPS) project, which is supported by USAID and implemented by TRAFFIC and IUCN.

The full meeting report is available in English and French:
Workshop Proceedings: subregional action planning to strengthen regional collaboration. Support of the Implementation of National Ivory Action Plans (NIAPs) in Central Africa (PDF, 1 MB)

Rapport de l’atelier: action de planification pour renforcer la collaboration sous-régionale. Appui à la mise en œuvre des Plans d’Action Nationaux pour l’Ivoire (PANI) en Afrique centrale (PDF, 2.1 MB)

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