The second Meeting of the Parties (MOP2) of the Agreement on the Conservation of Gorillas and their Habitats (the Gorilla Agreement) under the auspices of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), met from Saturday 26 to Sunday 27 November 2011 in Bergen, Norway, immediately after the tenth meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP10) to CMS. The session was attended by over 30 people, including parties, non-party range states, other governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). MOP2 addressed: the election of three experts in forest management and conservation, environmental law and wild animal health to the Technical Committee (TC); the outcomes of the International Year of the Gorilla (YoG) 2009; the institutional arrangements for the Agreement; the review of Action Plans; and cooperation on law enforcement.
MOP2 adopted four resolutions on financial and administrative matters, institutional arrangements for the Agreement, law enforcement cooperation and the review of the Agreement Action Plans. Delegates also elected three experts to the TC and agreed on a draft reporting format.
Over the course of the two days, delegates tackled the agenda with enthusiasm and made swift progress. At some points, the issue of parties being in arrears and addressing revised action plans threatened to overshadow the achievements of the YoG and other progress highlighted in the country reports. Parties were reminded that as only six of the ten range states have joined the Agreement, there is already a shortfall in the budget but, as all parties are in arrears, attention is needed to secure the future Agreement. There was also concern that if the MOP defers the adoption of revised action plans, progress in furthering conservation efforts may be hindered. Ultimately, it was felt that the second meeting of the TC will provide an opportunity to hear progress and reflect on these issues and address ways to overcome them.
The meeting was immediately followed by the UN-Great Apes Survival Partnership (UN-GRASP) Executive Committee which met from 28-29 November 2011, to address the preliminary findings of the GRASP strategic review and provide feedback for the review process.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GORILLA AGREEMENT AND ASSOCIATED INITIATIVES AND PROCESSES
Gorillas have long been recognized for their important role in the ecosystems they inhabit and, as charismatic primates, considered a flagship species that serve as symbols and rallying points to stimulate conservation and action. Both the Gorilla gorilla (the Lowland and Western species)and Gorilla beringei (Eastern and Mountain Gorillas) are classified by IUCN as critically endangered and endangered respectively. Gorilla gorilla spp are also listed on Appendix I of CMS and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Global numbers continue to decline, despite current conservation efforts, principally due to: the bushmeat and wildlife trade; urban creep; forestry, deforestation and energy; mining; armed conflict; disease; and ecotourism. As the forest ecosystems that gorillas inhabit provide important ecosystem services, through being vital carbon sinks and important rainfall generation areas, their long-term health depends on a number of animals, including gorillas who assist in seed dispersal. The protection and conservation of gorillas and their habitats is important to continue their role in the environment, and secure the livelihoods associated with them.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was established as a response to growing concerns that over-exploitation of wildlife through international trade was contributing to the rapid decline of many species of plants and animals around the world. The Convention was concluded in 1973, and entered into force in 1975. There are currently 175 parties to the Convention. The aim of CITES is to ensure that international trade in wild animal and plant species does not threaten their survival. Parties regulate wildlife trade through controls and regulations on species listed in three appendices. Appendix I lists species threatened with extinction, permitting such trade only in exceptional circumstances. Appendix II species are those that may become endangered if their trade is not regulated, thus requiring controls aimed at preventing unsustainable use, maintaining ecosystems and preventing species from entering Appendix I. Appendix III species are those for which a party requests the cooperation of other parties to control international trade in specimens of that species. Gorillas have been listed since Appendix I in 1975.
CMS, concluded in 1979 and entered into force on 1 November 1983, recognizes that states must be the protectors of migratory species that live within or pass through their national jurisdictions, and aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their ranges. It currently has 116 parties. Also known as the Bonn Convention, it is a framework through which parties may act to conserve migratory species and their habitats by: adopting strict protection measures for migratory species that have been characterized as being in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their ranges (species listed in Appendix I of the Convention); concluding agreements for the conservation and management of migratory species that have an unfavorable conservation status or would benefit significantly from international cooperation (species listed in Appendix II); and joint research and monitoring activities. Gorillas were added to CMS Appendix I at the eighth Conference of the Parties to CMS (COP8) in 2005.
CMS COP10: The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) convened in Bergen, Norway from 20-25 November 2011. Approximately 300 participants, representing governments, NGOs, IGOs, multilateral environmental agreements, scientists and the private sector attended. COP10 addressed a full agenda and adopted 27 resolutions, including on: synergies and partnerships; overview of the process regarding the “future shape” of CMS, budget, enhanced engagement with the Global Environment Facility (GEF); wildlife disease and migratory species; migratory terrestrial species; global programme of work for cetaceans; and bird flyway conservation policy. COP10 also reviewed the YoG and its impact on gorilla conservation.
THE GORILLA AGREEMENT
The Gorilla Agreement was negotiated by nine of the ten gorilla range states during a series of primates meetings held in Paris, France, from 22-26 October 2007. The Agreement, which was negotiated under the auspices of the CMS and came into force into 2008, aims to conserve and restore gorilla populations in Central and West Africa, and promote the long-term survival of their forest habitat and dependent human populations, through the development of four sub-species specific Action Plans covering education, research and forest protection. Ten range states are listed in the Agreement, namely: Angola; Cameroon; Central African Republic; the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); the Republic of Congo; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Nigeria; Rwanda; and Uganda. Six of the range states are party to the Agreement: the Central African Republic; DRC; the Republic of Congo; Gabon; Nigeria; and Rwanda.
The UN Environment Programme’s Great Apes Survival Progamme (UN-GRASP) (formerly known as the UN Environment Programme/UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Great Apes Survival Project) was established in 2001 as an initiative to lift the threat of imminent extinction for gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans in their range states across Asia and Africa. UN-GRASP brings together a range of stakeholders to address their conservation. UN-GRASP works to assist in great ape conservation through: national and intergovernmental dialogue to influence policy for great ape conservation; planning and monitoring at the national, regional and international level; development and promotion of best practices, cooperation and technical support; and media, information and public awareness.
THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE GORILLA 2009
The YoG 2009 campaign was established to increase attention and focus on conserving gorillas in the wild. The initiative was organized by CMS in partnership with UN-GRASP and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). Through the campaign activities held throughout the year, it aimed to raise awareness and educate the wider public on gorillas’ importance, the threats they face and ways to counteract these threats. The YoG also sought to raise funds for conservation projects, attract public and political support for gorilla conservation and support the implementation of the Gorilla Agreement. With Jane Goodall as YoG Patron and Ian Redmond as CMS and YoG Ambassador, events such as ‘Gorillas on Ice’ in the UK, the launch of the “World Atlas of Great Apes and their Conservation,” the Gorilla Symposium and the ‘State of the Gorilla Journey’ undertaken by Ian Redmond took place throughout the year. The CMS Secretariat and Ian Redmond reported on the outcomes of YoG 2009 to CMS COP10.
THE FRANKFURT GORILLA SYMPOSIUM
The Frankfurt Gorilla Symposium met from 9-10 June 2009 under the title “Gentle Giants in Need,” to mark the YoG. Over 160 governments, inter-governmental organizations and NGOs as well as corporate representatives and conservationists attended the meeting. The meeting adopted the “The Frankfurt Declaration,” which highlights the threats to gorillas and their habitats, as well as the strategies available for their conservation. It was also agreed that the CMS Scientific Council Working Group on Terrestrial Mammals would act as the interim TC for the Gorilla Agreement until the formation of the Gorilla Agreement TC was complete.
The first Meeting of the Parties (MOP1) to the Gorilla Agreement was held in Rome, Italy on 29 November 2008. Approximately 60 participants attended the meeting, representing five parties, four non-party range states, 17 non-range states, ten NGOs, UNEP, UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and UN-GRASP. Participants adopted resolutions on the reporting format and the establishment of the TC, as well as designating the CMS Secretariat as the secretariat for the Agreement. They discussed administrative and financial matters, which set parties’ minimum annual contribution at €3000. Action plans on the Cross River, Mountain, Eastern Lowland and the Western Lowland gorillas were also adopted.
FIRST MEETING OF THE TC
The first meeting of the Gorilla Agreement’s TC took place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 29-30 March 2011. 39 participants from party and non-party range states, governments, NGOs and IGOs met to address, inter alia, activities undertaken to implement the Action Plans, transboundary gorilla populations, the nomination of three expert positions on the TC, monitoring and reporting system for the Gorilla Agreement and developments in wildlife law enforcement in the region. Five action points arose from the meeting, including on national reporting, identification of experts for the TC and wildlife law enforcement.
GORILLA MOP2 REPORT
On Saturday 26 November, Bert Lenten, Deputy Executive Secretary, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), welcomed participants to the meeting. Noting the attention gorillas attract, he underscored how important the Agreement on the Conservation of Gorillas and their Habitats (the Gorilla Agreement) under the auspices of CMS is for raising the profile of CMS as a whole. He stated that six countries have signed the Agreement and expressed hope that soon there will be ten. Saying that focus has, to date, primarily been on the Mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei), Lenten stressed that more attention needs to be given to other sub-species like the Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli), which has an estimated population of 200.
ADOPTION OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE
On Saturday morning, the Secretariat introduced the rules of procedure (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.2/Rev.1) for the Second Meeting of the Parties (MOP2) to the Gorilla Agreement, saying that should these be adopted they will also apply for future Gorilla MOPs. The rules of procedure were adopted with a minor amendment that removes reference to the Bureau being elected at the first MOP.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
On Saturday morning, John Mshelbwala, Nigeria, and Florent Ikoli, Republic of Congo, were elected as Chair & Vice-Chair respectively of Gorilla MOP2.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
On Saturday morning, the Secretariat introduced the agenda and annotated agenda for the meeting (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.4.1/Rev.1 and UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.4.2), noting that a draft resolution had been submitted by the Republic of Congo, which can be considered under the agenda item on ‘Cooperation on Law Enforcement.’ Delegates adopted the agenda by acclamation.
REPORT ON CREDENTIALS
On Saturday morning, the Secretariat noted that, of the three parties to the Gorilla Agreement present at the meeting, only one had submitted its credentials and thus there was no quorum. The Secretariat suggested, and delegates agreed, to proceed on the understanding that the credentials must be submitted to the Secretariat as soon as they have been obtained in order for the quorum to be established.
REPORTS AND STATEMENTS FROM PARTIES AND RANGE STATES
Introducing this topic on Saturday morning, the Secretariat said that three reports had been received from range states, namely Republic of Congo (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Inf.1.1), Rwanda (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Inf.1.2) and Equatorial Guinea (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Inf.1.3). She further noted that, although Gabon had not submitted its report (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Inf.1.4) at the first TC meeting, which was held in Kigali, Rwanda in March 2011, the report has now been received.
Nigeria reported that the Nigeria Park Service based at the Cross River National Park and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) were the main bodies working on gorilla conservation in his country. He noted that most of the funding for these activities was received from external aid, including from the US. Outlining activities undertaken, he highlighted the deployment of cyber trackers to monitor the gorillas as well as outreach and livelihood diversification programmes, including through bee-keeping. He lamented that it was difficult to quantify the extent of poaching as gorilla sightings are rare, and explained a market study was conducted to aid in this, which shows that poaching remains a problem.
The Republic of Congo noted the discovery of a gorilla population, saying that classification of this population is underway. He highlighted the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in conserving gorillas and their habitats. He said that of the 18 orphan gorillas that have been reintroduced into their natural habitats, 15 have survived and 11 have produced offspring.
Gabon stated that threats faced by their gorilla populations were poaching, disease and forest exploitation. She described activities Gabon has undertaken including: ranger recruitment and training; increased protected areas coverage, managed through the National Parks Agency, in charge of Gorilla habitats since 2007; adoption of the Management Information System (MIST) as a monitoring tool; and adoption and application of the IUCN Guidelines.
Uganda noted that, following their 2010 census outcomes, they now knew that their gorilla populations had increased by approximately 26% since 2003, from 380 to 480. He described the joint work under the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration between Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda for managing shared populations through joint patrols, management and planning. Underscoring that tourism generates 27% of Ugandan protected area revenue, he underscored the importance of the industry but cautioned that it also presents challenges, primarily the habituation of gorilla populations.
Noting the number of protected areas and national parks in the country, Cameroon said that some areas that had been allowed permits for logging have had these withdrawn as they are important habitats for gorillas. He highlighted a transboundary national park with Nigeria, which contains the Cross River gorilla, stating that a number of joint management opportunities for the park now exist. He said that a joint cooperation agreement on transboundary conservation activities between the two countries is currently being negotiated. He also noted: community livelihood activities being proposed as part of the management strategies such as bee keeping; increased budgets for law enforcement, resulting in increased training and staff strength; the improvement and reinforcement of management plans; and training and deployment of eco-guards.
Equatorial Guinea highlighted a study of their gorilla populations, which has been undertaken with assistance from IUCN, saying that it also looked at the affect of gorillas on livelihoods. He cited examples of threats to gorilla populations in his country, including urban creep, poaching and hunting, and agricultural land-use. He lamented that the preliminary study results indicates a drop of 1000 in the gorilla population.
Reflecting on the reports and statements from parties and range states, Ian Redmond, CMS Ambassador, requested clarification on the protection of gorillas outside protected areas. Nigeria noted their upcoming national Community-Based Sustainable Forest Initiative. Uganda requested the Gorillas Agreement adopt a resolution on ecological networks, like that adopted during the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) to CMS. Cameroon detailed their use of corridors and forestry concessions in gorillas’ conservation.
REPORT OF THE INTERIM SECRETARIAT
The Secretariat presented the Report of the Interim Secretariat (IC) to the Gorilla Agreement (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.7), on Saturday, 26 November. She detailed activities since MOP1 to the Gorilla Agreement in 2009, which included: the first meeting of the TC in March 2011 (UNEP/GA/MP2/doc.2); adoption of four action plans at MOP1; the 2009 Year of the Gorilla (YoG); publications like the UN Great Apes Survival Partnership’s (UN-GRASP) ‘The Last Stand of the Gorilla’ publication; and the Frankfurt Gorilla Symposium held in Frankfurt, Germany in June 2009, which led to the Frankfurt Declaration on Gorilla Conservation. She concluded that overall contributions were €6000, a figure that generated concern during the 37th Standing Committee of CMS held in November 2010. Deputy Executive Secretary Lenton requested that in the report of MOP2, parties are requested to give their contributions before 1 January 2013. Chair Mshelbwala supported this, stressing that parties should pay their contribution in arrears.
REPORT OF THE DEPOSITARY
On Saturday morning, the Secretariat introduced the Report of the Depositary (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.8), noting that six countries have acceded to the Agreement. He noted that four countries have still to accede and hoped that this would be done before the third MOP.
Chair Mshelbwala lamented that all accessions took place in 2008, noting that there has since been a three year lull and urged the remaining four countries to accede as a matter of urgency.
REPORT OF THE TC
On Saturday morning, the Vice-Chair of the TC, Fidelis Omeni (Nigeria) introduced the report of the first meeting of the TC (UNEP/CMS/GOR-TC1/Report), which took place in Kigali, Rwanda from 29-30 March 2011. Vice-Chair Omeni noted that two resolutions were passed at the meeting on monitoring and reporting as well as identifying experts for the TC. He bemoaned the lack of payment of dues, saying that only Rwanda had paid their contributions for two years and highlighted financial contributions from France, Germany and Monaco.
REPORTS FROM OBSERVERS
Delegates heard the reports from observers on Saturday, 26 November. Humane Society International, Australia, outlined their activities concerning gorillas, including: commitment of AUS$ 66000 for a three-year Mountain gorilla conservation programme between DRC, Uganda and Rwanda in 2007; and commitment of AUS$ 60000 for a further three-year programme to protect Eastern Lowland gorillas. She highlighted Humane Society International US’s commitment of US$ 5000 for establishing a gorilla rehabilitation and conservation foundation in DRC.
The Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) stressed the importance of enforcing wildlife laws. He explained that LATF facilitates cooperative enforcement across its seven member states, both gorilla range and non-range states. He listed the formal agreements LATF has signed with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2000, the Conservation of African Wild Fauna in 2005, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) in 2006 and the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) in 2010. He explained that inter-agency collaboration has enhanced the capacity of their members’ law enforcement agencies to support joint operations and capacity building programmes. He concluded by urging non-range states to become parties to the Gorilla Agreement, stressing the need for a united approach for achieving the objectives of the Agreement.
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) provided a short overview of their work in Cameroon, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea for conserving gorillas. He said that their work in Cameroon looks at using existing frameworks within the timber industry to account for affected wildlife in the timber concessions, particularly the great apes. He said that in Gabon their work focuses on addressing gaps in survey and gorilla population knowledge, and expressed the wish that their Cameroon programmes could be extended to Gabon. On Equatorial Guinea, he said that the primary focus of their projects is to assess the impacts of the bushmeat trade on great apes, with a view to formulating alternate strategies to reduce the pressure of hunting on gorillas.
The Migratory Wildlife Network said that although they had not been directly involved in gorilla conservation, the commitment of the delegates present at the MOP2 to gorillas’ conservation is evident. She extended an offer to parties to use the Migratory Wildlife Network to facilitate greater dialogue and interaction between the Agreement and policy makers. The Mountain Gorillas Veterinary Project (MGVP), noting that the project has been running for 27 years, said that their main focus is to monitor the health of habituated gorillas. He said that should intervention be necessary, the first priority is to treat wildlife in the wild and should that not be successful, they will then take them into sanctuaries for treatment. The MGVP also noted that part of their programme is to: rehabilitate confiscated orphans; ensure the good health of employees and their families; monitor domestic animal diseases; and conduct research on respiratory illnesses in communities around the affected area.
In the ensuing discussion, participants queried whether the orphans would be able to be released into the wild. The MGVP noted that the earliest age for them to be released would be 11 years old, but that he is not sure of the success of doing this as it may not be worth risking the rest of the gorilla population for one animal.
OVERVIEW OF THE CONSERVATION STATUS OF GORILLAS AND THEIR HABITATS ACROSS THEIR RANGE
On Saturday afternoon, WCS, on behalf of WWF and IUCN/Species Survival Commission (SSC) Primate Specialist Group presented the “Status of Western and Eastern Gorillas, update for CMS Gorilla Agreement MOP2.” On Western gorillas she discussed Cross River and Western Lowland gorillas, explaining threats to their populations included fragmentation of their habitat, hunting and disease and, for the Western Lowland gorilla, capture for the live pet trade. On Eastern Lowland and Eastern Mountain gorillas, she explained additional threats included habitat destruction through mining and wood collection for charcoal; and political insecurity, making law enforcement hard to impossible, as well as displacing local people into natural areas. She stressed that surveillance and law enforcement are critical to conservation. Ian Redmond reminded that climate change is also a threat. WCS acknowledged this as an omission from the presentation.
OVERVIEW OF THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE GORILLA 2009
Ian Redmond presented an overview of the YoG 2009 on Saturday afternoon. He noted activities, describing: publications that came out of YoG; their website, that has been visited by 50,000 “unique visitors”; the Frankfurt Declaration on Gorilla Conservation; his “State of the Gorilla Journey” across Africa through seven of the ten range states to compare gorilla conservation efforts and the benefits gorillas can bring to range states; and events organized by UN-GRASP NGOs at zoos that are members of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). He explained some of the successes of the year including: funding for wildlife law enforcement in Gabon and DRC; community involvement in Cross River gorilla conservation in Cameroon and Nigeria; surveillance and monitoring of Eastern Lowland gorillas; and introducing fuel-efficient stoves in DRC to reduce illegal harvesting of timber for charcoal. On the role of the CMS/UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Scientific Task Force on Wildlife Diseases, the Secretariat noted that the primary role of the Task Force is awareness-raising, but that the Secretariat will endeavor to ensure that Ebola remains on the Task Force’s priority list.
ELECTION OF SUPPLEMENTARY EXPERTS TO THE TC
On Saturday afternoon, the Secretariat introduced the report of the nominees for the three expert positions in environmental law, forest management and conservation and wild animal health to the TC (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.13). She noted that 17 nominations had been received for the three positions from five members of the TC, namely the Central African Republic, DRC, Republic of Congo, Uganda and UN-GRASP. She said that the nominations had been assessed by the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group and ranked on the basis of suitability of the candidates.
On the Forest Management and Conservation expert position, Vice-Chair Ikoli noted that Bonaventure Ebayi, Director of the LATF, should be included for consideration under the position of the Environmental Law expert. Following lengthy discussion, and with the assurance from IUCN that they could rank him among the other nominees for consideration for this position, the parties agreed to move Ebayi’s nomination. The delegates elected Conrad Aveling, consultant, to the position of expert on Forest Management and Conservation.
On the position of Environmental Law expert, many delegates noted the benefit of appointing a member of INTERPOL to the TC. The Secretariat, however, cautioned that the person currently heading up the Environmental Crime Unit would be appointed, and should he vacate the position a new person would have to be appointed to that position. Following further debate and consideration to see if INTERPOL could be appointed separately to the TC, delegates agreed to appoint the head of the INTERPOL Environmental Crime Unit. Delegates also agreed to appoint Patricia Reed, WCS, to the position of expert on Animal Health.
INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE AGREEMENT
On Sunday morning, the Secretariat introduced the draft resolution on the institutional arrangements for the agreement (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.14). She explained that the limited financial capacity of the Gorilla Agreement was preventing the funding of an Agreement Secretariat, and that an Interim Secretariat had been provided by the CMS Secretariat since MOP1. She proposed that the CMS Secretariat look at options regarding which relevant institutions or parties could host the Agreement Secretariat, acknowledging that, as things stand the Interim Secretariat could continue until MOP3. She also said that the announcement by the German government during CMS COP10 for funding for a Programme Officer to the CMS, who will spend 40% of their time working on the Gorilla Agreement, will help. Following discussion between Cameroon, Nigeria and the Migratory Wildlife Network the draft resolution was amended to include the wording “Appreciating the decision of CMS COP10 that the CMS Secretariat continues to provide the Interim Secretariat services for the Gorilla Agreement for the next triennium.” Responding to a query from the Secretariat about how to proceed if a suitable host for the Secretariat was found prior to MOP3, parties also agreed to text which “instructs the Interim Secretariat to prepare a formal proposal [about a potential Agreement Secretariat] for consideration and possible adoption at MOP3.”
COOPERATION ON LAW ENFORCEMENT
On Sunday morning, the Secretariat introduced the draft resolution on cooperation on law enforcement (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.15). She described activities undertaken for cooperation on law enforcement, including: the meeting of the TC in March 2011, attended by INTERPOL, TRAFFIC and the CITES Secretariat law enforcement officer; and the new International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) initiative between CITES, and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime. The LATF explained that their work in synergy with law enforcement agencies at national, regional and international levels has contributed to establishing the Last Great Ape Organization, Cameroon (LAGA), the Project for the Application of Law for Fauna, Congo (PALF) and the establishment of the NGO, Conservation Justice, in Gabon. He added that LATF has enhanced the profile of wildlife crime in INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization and CITES. He requested that the Gorilla Agreement reconsider their current position in the draft resolution to include the LATF as partner to the Agreement and, following discussion with the Secretariat and WWF, the LATF proposed amending the preamble and main text, making specific reference to the LATF and the broader need to enhance multilateral cooperation.
REVIEW OF THE AGREEMENT ACTION PLANS
On Sunday morning, the Secretariat introduced the report on the review of the Gorilla Agreement Action Plans (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.16). She noted that MOP1 adopted four Action Plans on gorilla conservation, which had been based on already established Action Plans. She also noted that Article VIII of the Agreement states that the Action Plans need to be reviewed at each MOP. She said that IUCN and other organizations are currently revising the Action Plans and suggested that focal points participate in the process of updating Action Plans, requesting that organizers include focal points. She emphasized ensuring that Action Plans are applicable to the Agreement and asked that parties adopt the new Action Plans at MOP3 and that during the interim period the Action Plans are provisionally adopted by range states upon their finalization.
WCS noted an upcoming Cross River gorilla workshop to take place in February 2011, which will assist in updating the Action Plan for the species. She noted that they wish to include a monitoring component but that this has yet to be established.
The Chair requested the East African range states to elaborate on the process they are undertaking to update their Action Plans.
Uganda stressed that they have already highlighted a number of the initiatives in their country reports. He said that they are trying to review what has already been implemented and to establish the value of the Gorilla Agreement would have for these action plans. Uganda noted that there was no unifying action plan, but that there are common databases. The Secretariat noted that the options at this meeting are to adopt the action plans that have already been developed, negotiate a new one or adopt ones that are currently being revised. WCS supported the latter. IUCN cautioned against developing a single action plan for the species as sub-species specific Action Plans are needed.
On Sunday morning, the Secretariat introduced the draft resolution 2.4 on a specific strategy for the survival of gorillas submitted by Republic of Congo (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.15.1). The Republic of Congo, acknowledging that strategies may differ between states as well as sub-species, said that the idea behind the proposal was that the management of fauna and flora is assigned to certain agencies, but that these agencies are not always able to address issues concerning gorillas specifically or submit proposals to address these issues. He noted that they also struggle to respond to certain requests and communicate effectively, saying this proposal requests the establishment of a small body in each range state that is specifically involved in gorilla management issues in each of the range states to monitor population dynamics as well as illegal activities. He noted that it would also facilitate information management and synergies between researchers, allow quantification of data from all areas to develop a more comprehensive data set and allow better data management to provide to the MOP.
The Chair noted that this proposal has the potential to become an umbrella strategy for the gorilla species, which could feed into the sub-species Action Plans. WWF, with TRAFFIC, endorsed the proposal, welcoming the strong emphasis on law enforcement. Nigeria expressed concern at a possible duplication of efforts as there is already a reporting system being developed. Chair Mshelbwala noted it would be advantageous to combine this proposal with that on Action Plans (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.16) and established a small drafting group to address this.
Following deliberations, Vice-Chair Ikoli introduced the revised resolution on “the Elements of Information Management for Gorilla Conservation.” On the first paragraph agreeing to adopt the four sub-species’ Action Plans “which are in process of revision or development as the formal action plans for the Gorilla Agreement,” the Secretariat noted that Action Plans were adopted at MOP1, but in the interests of progressing on the Action Plans, they suggested that they be adopted as soon as their revision is complete. Chair Mshelbwala expressed concern that parties would be adopting plans that may not exist, and suggested deleting the paragraph. Ian Redmond, suggested revising the text such that parties will adopt the Action Plan once the respective governments have done so. The Secretariat suggested looking to the other agreements negotiated under CMS, such as the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), which mandates its TC to adopt the Action Plans as they are a de facto Standing Committee, noting that the articles of the Gorilla Agreement allow this. Uganda queried this, suggesting that the correct forum to adopt the Action Plans would be MOP3. Cameroon cautioned against the three-year time lapse for adopting the revised Action Plans. Chair Mshelbwala noted that not adopting the revised Action Plans will not prohibit parties from taking stronger measures to conserve gorillas. Uganda confirmed that the articles of the Agreement allow this.
Chair Mshelbwala suggested that the Secretariat be asked to collate the revised Action Plans and circulate them to parties, non-party range states and interested stakeholders. Uganda requested that the Secretariat additionally notify parties to coordinate the revision of the sub-species Action Plans and keep parties informed. UN-GRASP noted that the Secretariat should perhaps be called on to “monitor” the Action Plan revisions. Cameroon cautioned against changing the text in a way that does not reflect the draft resolution presented.
Some parties suggested that an overarching Action Plan was needed, with UN-GRASP noting that this is a large undertaking to address at this stage of MOP2 and, with IUCN and the Migratory Wildlife Network, suggested returning to the original text. On the suggestion of Chair Mshelbwala, delegates agreed to take note of the revisions of Action Plans and moved the paragraph to the preambular text. Delegates further agreed to text on contributing to and liaising with the Ape Populations, Environments, and Surveys (APES) database on the status of gorillas across their range and using best practice and best practice guidelines for implementing the Action Plans.
REPORTING FORMAT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT’S ACTION PLANS
On Sunday morning, the Secretariat introduced the document (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.17/Rev.1) on the draft reporting format on the implementation of the Agreement. She noted that Interim Secretariat was asked at TC1 to draft a new reporting format for submission to MOP2, saying that it had to be as simple as possible and requested information on the implementation of the relevant components on Action Plans.
She said the Secretariat has opted for a table format, where parties are asked to submit data as required, noting that 11 fields of actions have been detailed in the table, including: law enforcement; national policy and legislation; monitoring; and human and gorilla health.
Uganda proposed, and parties agreed, to put which countries are concerned, the location of the action and the period of action. Gabon suggested including costs in the main table, and having results detailed separately. Delegates agreed to adopt the resolution with minor amendments.
FINANCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
On Sunday afternoon, the Secretariat discussed Financial and Administrative Matters (UNEP/GA/MOP2/Doc.18). She noted that according to the financial report of the Interim Secretariat, expenditure had been higher than anticipated when the budget had been drawn up at MOP1 because, inter alia: the CMS Executive and Deputy Executive Secretaries had spent more time on the Gorilla Agreement than anticipated; and the YoG 2009 had consumed both time and financial resources. On sources of funding, she said that more than half is coming from CMS core budget, noting that additional sources have included the donation from Germany to support a Programme Officer for three years, voluntary contributions from other countries likes Monaco and €6000 from Rwanda, representing two years of their party contributions.
On the upcoming budget for 2012-14, the Secretariat said the total amount required came to €589973, detailing that with the CMS core contribution of €146000, Party contributions of €47000, Germany’s donation of €100000. Noting a shortfall of €284000, she stressed that a significant fundraising effort is therefore required.
Germany requested the text of the draft resolution be amended to acknowledge them as the highest contributors to the Agreement.
On party contributions, the Secretariat reiterated that only Rwanda has paid their dues, noting that this was only for two of the three years and that therefore, all parties are in arrears. She stressed that whilst contributions are relatively modest, they would make a significant difference to the Agreement and would also encourage donor investment. Nigeria requested text in the draft resolution to include an invitation to parties, as well as non-parties range states, donor governments and other organizations to make voluntary contributions.
DATE AND VENUE OF NEXT MEETING
On Sunday afternoon, during the discussion of the date and venue of the next MOP, the Secretariat suggested MOP3 should be in Africa, towards the end of 2014, and urged parties and non-party range states to explore the possibility of hosting both the Secretariat and MOP3, underlining that it would be good to have a MOP in a place where there are gorillas.
Uganda, supported by Republic of Congo requested the Secretariat send an official letter to party governments, with a proposal identifying what is required of hosting the Secretariat and MOP3 and that the focal points will negotiate from there.
The Secretariat concluded that negotiations with governments will ensue and if an offer is not forthcoming, the meeting could be held in one of the UN offices like Nairobi. UN-GRASP said that, should it be necessary, in the absence of party and non-party range states coming forward, they would welcome opportunity and examine the possibility.
On Sunday afternoon, Ian Redmond urged the Secretariat to include mention of conservation education into the work of the Gorilla Agreement, referring to education materials generated by UN-GRASP members and Ape Alliance. Chair Mshelbwala requested the Secretariat collate conservation education materials. Redmond added that focal points should be tasked to talk to their national television stations, explaining that Ape Alliance had negotiated free contracts for dissemination of documentary programmes in the gorilla range states.
ADOPTION OF THE DECISIONS AND ACTION POINTS AND CLOSING SESSION
On Sunday afternoon, Secretariat summarized the achievements of the meeting including inter alia: the adoption of four resolutions on cooperation and law enforcement, financial and administrative matters, institutional arrangements for the agreement and a draft approach towards developing a specific strategy for the survival of gorillas; the adoption of a reporting format for the agreement; and the election of three new experts to the TC.
Chair Mshelbwala closed the meeting at 16.21pm.
UNFCCC COP 17 and COP/MOP 7: The 17th session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 7). dates: 28 November - 9 December 2011 location: Durban (Kwazulu-Natal), South Africa contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: 49-228-815-1000 fax: 49-228-815-1999 e-mail:[email protected] www: http://unfccc.int/meetings/durban_nov_2011/meeting/6245.php
Forest Day 5: Forest Day 5 will take place in Durban, South Africa, on 4 December 2011, on the sidelines of UNFCCC COP17. The Day will seek to inform the UNFCCC global agenda and forest stakeholders on ways to implement an international reducing emissions from deforestation and land degradation, including conservation (REDD+) funding mechanism that produces social and environmental benefits, above and beyond avoided emissions. The event will have a particular focus on Africa. date: 4 December 2011 location: Durban, South Africa email:[email protected] www: http://www.forestsclimatechange.org/events/forest-day/forest-day-5.html
CITES Animals Committee 26: The 26th meeting of the Animals Committee to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES AC26) This meeting will address a number of agenda items, including: sharks, snakes, sturgeons, corals, and listing criteria for commercially exploited aquatic species. dates: 15-20 March 2012 location: Geneva (Geneve), Switzerland contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41 22 917 8139/40 fax: +41 22 797 3417 e-mail: [email protected] www: http://www.cites.org
Joint meeting of the CITES Animals and Plants Committees: The joint meeting of the CITES AC and Plants Committee (PC) will address a number of agenda items common to the two scientific committees, including: cooperation with other conventions; guidelines on non-detriment findings (NDFs); transport of live specimens; and the evaluation of the review of significant trade (RST). dates: 22-24 March 2012 location: Dublin (Dublin), Ireland contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41 22 917 8139/40 fax: +41 22 797 3417 e-mail:[email protected] www: http://www.cites.org
CITES Plants Committee 20: The 20th meeting of the CITES PC will address a number of agenda items, including: orchids; aloes and Euphorbia; and application of the definition of ‘artificial propogation’ to cultivated material in plant nurseries. dates: 26-30 March 2012 location: Dublin (Dublin), Ireland contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41 22 917 8139/40 fax: +41 22 797 3417 e-mail: [email protected] www: http://www.cites.org
Primate Society of Great Britain (PSGB) Spring Meeting: dates: 17-18 April location: Kent (Kent) UK contact: Primate Society of Great Britain e-mail:[email protected] www: http://www.psgb.org
International Gorilla Workshop: dates: 11-15 June 2012 location: Apeldoorn (Gelderland) The Netherlands contact: Apenheul and GaiaParc, the Netherlands phone: +31 553575700 e-mail:[email protected] www: http://igw2012.wordpress.com/
UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD): This meeting (also referred to as Rio+20) will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. dates: 20-22 June 2012 [tentative] location: Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro), Brazil contact: UNCSD Secretariat e-mail:[email protected] www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/
International Primatological Society 2012 Congress: dates: 13-17 August 2012 location: Veracruz, Mexico contact: International Primatological Society e-mail:[email protected] www: http://www.ips2012.org.mx/
IUCN World Conservation Congress 2012: The theme of the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2012 will be Nature+, a slogan that captures the fundamental importance of nature and its inherent link to every aspect of people’s lives, including Nature+climate, nature+livelihoods, nature+energy and nature+economics. dates: 6-15 September 2012 venue: International Convention Center location: Jeju (Cheju-Do), Korea contact: Enrique Lahmann phone: +41 22 999 0336 fax: +41 22 9990002 e-mail:[email protected] www: http://www.iucnworldconservationcongress.org/about/
Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Conference: dates: 8-13 September 2012 location: Phoenix (Arizona), United States contact: Cheryl Wallen e-mail:[email protected] www: http://www.aza.org/annualconference/
CBD COP 11: The provisional agenda for the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) includes consideration of inter alia: the status of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their Utilization; implementation of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; issues related to financial resources and the financial mechanism; and biodiversity and climate change. dates: 8-19 October 2012 location: Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), India contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1 514 288 2220 fax: +1 514 288 6588 e-mail:[email protected] www: http://www.cbd.int/meetings/
CITES COP 16: The 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to CITES is expected to convene in March 2013. dates: 3-15 March 2013 location: Thailand contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41-(0)22-917-81-39/40 fax: +41-(0)22-797-34-17 e-mail:[email protected] www: http://www.cites.org/
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) Conference: dates: 7-12 October 2013 location: Melbourne (Victoria), Australia contact: Gerald Dick phone: +41 (0)22 999 07 90 fax: +41 (0)22 999 07 91 e-mail:[email protected] www: http://www.waza.org/en/site/pressnews-events/press-releases/66th-waza-annual-conference-a-global-commitment-to-species-conservation
CMS COP 11: This meeting is expected to be convened in the period October - December 2014. dates: tbc location: tbc contact: UNEP / CMS Secretariat phone: +49 228 815 2426 fax: +49 228 815 2449 e-mail:[email protected] www: http://www.cms.int/