Noticias | 13 Feb, 2024

IUCN and the Convention on Migratory Species Secretariat sign agreement to mobilize funds and action to conserve threatened African carnivores

Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 13 February 2024 – Today, at the 14th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Secretariat. The agreement formalises a commitment for IUCN and CMS to work together to protect threatened African carnivores by raising conservation funds and facilitating implementation of the African Carnivore Initiative (ACI).

The ACI is a joint programme of work adopted by the CMS and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2021. The decline in population numbers of key carnivore species in Africa (lions, cheetahs, leopards and African wild dogs) has been a major concern for range state parties in recent years. Habitat degradation, fragmentation, poaching and human-wildlife conflict are posing major threats to these apex predators, which are critical for healthy ecosystems. As part of this MOU, IUCN’s Save Our Species Programme will work with the Secretariat of the CMS to raise funds and facilitate frontline conservation action targeted at protecting and recovering these four important species. Following the success of its eight-year SOS African Wildlife Initiative, IUCN brings a wealth of experience working with frontline conservation actors, range states, donor governments and scientists to the partnership.

“Nature does not recognise borders, and conservation needs to be coordinated internationally to be effective. After years of longstanding collaboration, IUCN is honoured to work even more closely with CMS Parties to save African carnivores and their habitats across the African continent,” said Dr Grethel Aguilar, IUCN Director General. “This agreement will enable us to foster inclusive conservation action to protect lions, cheetahs, leopards and African wild dogs – species that are vital to healthy ecosystems and on which many other species depend.”

"With this memorandum of understanding, the CMS Secretariat and IUCN are further intensifying their cooperation to support the range states of the African Carnivore Initiative (ACI) in implementing the ambitious programme of work they have adopted. The ACI funding mechanism will help address the funding gap, which has been a major concern for the range states," said Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary, Secretariat of the CMS.

 “Through the work of its Specialist Groups, including the Cat and Canid Specialist Groups, IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC) has long supported CMS Range States with species action plans, scientific evidence and expert networks to inform conservation action on behalf of African carnivores across their rangelands”, said Prof Jon Paul Rodríguez, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). “The SSC is mobilising its global network of partners and experts to strengthen the implementation of the ACI at the national level, a critical programme of work for protecting biodiversity in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The ACI forms an umbrella that brings together conservation action plans by different stakeholders, focusing on the four target carnivores and their habitats. The initiative aims to enhance conservation efforts for these species across their range, avoid duplication of activities and mobilise increasing resources and partnerships for sustained and impactful conservation efforts that contribute to the development of sustainable livelihood opportunities, poverty alleviation and other sustainable development outcomes for local communities.