Thursday

Kenya’s plan for CITES COP17 in South Africa revealed



At the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP17), Kenya plans to call for the listing of all African elephants in CITES Appendix I, closure of domestic markets for ivory, enhancing management of ivory stockpiles including where possible, their destruction, ending discussion on the Decision-Making Mechanism for legalizing future trade in ivory and prohibiting the export of live African elephants to zoos.  

A preparatory consultative process through a national multi-agency came up with proposals for consideration at the conference.

In total, Kenya has submitted fourteen (14) proposals covering a wide range of wild species, including the African elephant, African Pangolins, species of snakes endemic to Kenya, the thresher Sharks, species of chameleons, plant species and others on measures to combat illegal wildlife trafficking.
These proposals, together with others submitted by other Parties to the Convention, have since been uploaded on the CITES website www.cites.org in readiness  for discussion as agenda items of  the triennial World Wildlife Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa from 24 September to 5 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre. Over 180 proposals are lined up for discussion as agenda items of the Conference of the Parties that will bring together 182 States that are Parties to the Convention. The Parties will take critical decisions on wildlife trade policy and the scope of regulatory control over international trade in specific wild species
As part of Kenya’s roadmap to Johannesburg, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Prof Judi Wakhungu this week convened a two-day retreat in Naivasha for the National CITES Technical committee to review and develop a country position on all items of CoP17.  

The committee brings together experts from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya Wildlife Service, National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs State Department of Fisheries and Blue Economy and representatives of Conservation Alliance of Kenya, an umbrella body bringing together more than 50 NGOs.  

Meanwhile, plans are underway to convene a briefing session for national stakeholders, including members of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources ahead of the conference.  
Kenya remains committed to playing its rightful role in ensuring that international trade in endangered species of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival in the wild. That is why it is lobbying and persuading Parties to the CITES Convention to ensure discussions of the proposals before the CoP17 bear this intention in mind.  

Kenya will be calling for Parties to CITES to adopt the proposals, key among them are the five complementary proposals on African elephant under the framework of the African Elephant Coalition calling for decisive action to ban trade in elephants and elephant ivory to save the species from imminent extinction.


Tuesday

ACAI, IITA-CWMP and BASICS commend IITA-BoT decision to allow Dr Sanginga another 5 years




Dr Sanginga
Researchers and staff working under the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative, IITA Cassava Weed Management Project, and the Building An Economically Sustainable, Integrated Seed System for Cassava in Nigeria (BASICS) project have lauded the decision by IITA Board of Trustees (BoT) allowing Dr Nteranya Sanginga to lead IITA for another five years as the Director General.
On Thursday, Dr Bruce Coulman, Chair of IITA BoT announced, “Dr Nteranya Sanginga has accepted our offer of an additional five year term as Director-General, beginning 01 November, 2016.”
This resolution, researchers say, brings stability and continuity to cassava research in particular, and the IITA in general.
Since assumption in office in 2011, Dr Sanginga championed the rejuvenation of IITA and the resuscitation of key programs to help change Africa’s agriculture narrative. For instance, the investment in the Weed Science Program facilitated the funding of the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project, the investment in IITA Youth Agripreneurs has attracted the interest of several African countries, development partners, and the AfDB. The cassava bread program revived the interest of African governments in cassava production with Nigeria reintroducing the 10 percent cassava inclusion in wheat bread policy.
Dr Sanginga has more than doubled the Institute’s budget and during his tenure, staff morale has remained high. He initiated and completed in record time the Science Buildings/Hubs in Tanzania,
Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia. His concept of delivery has led to the building and establishment of the Business Incubation Platform in Ibadan while IITA Cotonou has been transformed to a Center of Excellence for research on biotic stresses linked to climate change.
Dr Coulman said IITA had undergone a period of unprecedented growth in its science capacity under Sanginga’s first five years of leadership. Dr Sanginga remained committed to his vision that Africa can feed itself and that science and technology are the key enablers that would make the vision come true.

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