Subregional Meetings Held for 2021 in West and East Africa
The CITES MIKE Sub-Regional Steering Committee Meeting for the western and eastern Africa sub-regions took place through virtual means from 11 – 12 October 2021 and 10 – 11 November 2021 respectively.
The role of the MIKE Sub-regional Steering Committees is to ensure that the concerned African elephant range States are delivering on their national commitments, including regular collection of accurate, up to date and objective data on elephant status and mortality and law enforcement efforts.
The Steering committee advises the CITES MIKE Central Coordination Unit (MIKE CCU) on priorities, including training and make recommendations to strengthen the implementation of the programme in the respective sub-region.
Chaired by Niger, the MIKE Sub-regional Steering Committee for west Africa held its first-ever online meeting and, despite some connectivity challenges, ten of the eleven African elephant range States that participate in the MIKE programme in the sub-region were represented at the meeting.
The United Republic of Tanzania chaired the MIKE Sub-regional Steering Committee meeting for eastern Africa, which also held its first-ever online gathering for the sub-region, with 5 of the 6 elephant range States participating in the MIKE Programme in attendance. Eritrea could not join the meeting due to connectivity challenges, but shared information with the MIKE Central Coordination Unit relating to the items discussed.
The two meetings discussed MIKE implementation and acknowledged the support by the European Union (EU) as the main long-term donor of the programme. The MIKE CCU shared information with members of the Sub-regional Steering Committee on the implementation of the MIKES+ project, while participating range States reported on progress made in the implementation of the MIKE programme in the respective countries, including challenges to elephant conservation and MIKE implementation.
Participants also discussed data collected at the different sites and identified potential training needs. The Steering Committees also considered the potential expansion of the MIKE site network in eastern and west Africa. The sub-regional representatives on the African Elephant Fund Steering Committee provided an update on the African Elephant Fund and TRAFFIC presented information relating to Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS), with a focus on the ETIS Online system and the aggregated data for the sub-region.
The next meetings of the MIKE Sub-regional Steering Committee for the two sub-regions will take place in 2023.