Main conclusions of the second meeting of the Sub Working Group on Protected Areas and Wildlife in Central Africa ( SGTAPFS )
The second meeting of the Sub Working Group on Protected Areas and Wildlife in Central Africa (SGTAPFS ) which took place from 25 to 27 February 2014 in Libreville, Republic of Gabon, gathered experts in wildlife and protected areas from the Wildlife and / or Protected Areas Departments of COMIFAC countries, the COMIFAC National Coordinating Bodies of Congo and Gabon , the Central African Biodiversity Working Group (GTBAC) , the General Secretariat of ECCAS, the Executive Secretariats of COMIFAC and RAPAC , development partners (FAO, GTZ , JICA, UNODC, IUCN , WCS and WWF) , CEFDHAC member networks ( REFADD , REJEFAC ) and the media (Afrique Environnement Plus and RECEAC).
The meeting was structured around plenary sessions during which participants followed presentations on:
• The draft guide on the creation of transboundary protected areas in Central Africa ;
• stories of JICA Malaysia’s experience in protected area management;
• the wildlife crime analytic toolbox;
• Prospects for collaboration between UNODC and COMIFAC countries in the fight against wildlife crime;
• the Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Rainforest through Sustainable Coexistence between Humans and Wild Animals Project;
• the status of implementation of the LAB TRIDOM Agreement between Cameroon , Congo and Gabon with a view to updating the implementation roadmap for the Agreement.
and group work, which helped to deepen reflection on issues raised.
Interactive sessions held between the participants led the meeting to its first accomplishment which was the validation by the participants of the TPA Creation Guide, the framework of the strategy for sustainable management of wildlife subject to incorporation of amendments and observations made and updated roadmaps for the implementation of the LAB Agreements ( TRIDOM and Cameroon - CAR - Chad Tripartite), rephrasing of the title of the strategy for sustainable wildlife management and integration of the Forest and Wildlife Crime Analytic Toolbox and suggestions on the subregion’s participation in the IUCN World Parks Congress in November 2014 . The second milestone was a series of recommendations addressed to various stakeholders in protected areas and wildlife issues in Central Africa. The recommendations called for:
• the finalization of the sub-regional strategy for the sustainable wildlife use by indigenous and local communities in COMIFAC countries;
• necessary measures to foster ownership and implementation of PAPECALF by existing agencies dealing with issues related to strengthening wildlife law enforcement;
• joint celebration of the Central African Protected Areas Day on March 3 which was recently instituted as World Wildlife Day;
• the Congo Basin’s participation in the upcoming IUCN World Parks Congress;
• and inclusion of the Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolbox, to be forwarded to the CITES Secretariat with a copy to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC ) .
As the meeting came to a close, the participants lauded the success of the SGTAPFS 2 reflected by the results achieved. They equally commended COMIFAC and RAPAC for their organizational support, as well as GIZ and JICA for their technical and financial support.
Please see the final communiqué below for more details on the proceedings.