The Secretariat of the Convention on Migratory
Species (CMS), in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment
and Forests, Republic of Côte dIvoire, is organizing
an "International Conference on the Conservation
of Sea Turtles of the Atlantic Coast of Africa",
in Abidjan, from 25 to 29 May 1999. The meeting is
intended to review the conservation status of sea turtles
in the region, and to examine and agree on actions that
could be taken in the short- and medium-term to promote
the conservation of these endangered species.
The issues to be covered and expected outcomes include:
- a presentation of basic biology of sea turtles and an
overview of their regional conservation status;
- an introduction to possible areas of regional co-operation
(including common methodologies);
- creation of one or more regional specialist networks;
- consensus on a plan of short- to medium-term conservation
actions, perhaps taking the form of a memorandum of understanding
among Range States;
- preliminary identification of potential project proposals
for submission to funding agencies;
- agreement on a timetable for future activities, such
as a training workshop for technicians and an intergovernmental
meeting to formalize a regional Agreement.
The meeting, which is co-sponsored by CMS and the French
Ministry of Environment, is expected to assemble representatives
and specialists from as many of the Range States as possible,
extending from Mauritania to South Africa. Other countries
committed to the conservation of sea turtles in the region,
as well as interested intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations, are also invited to attend. The meeting
will be conducted in French, with simultaneous translation
In preparation for the meeting, the 1998 technical report
Marine Turtles of the Atlantic Coast of Africa
prepared for the UNEP/CMS Secretariat by Dr. Jacques Fretey,
will be revised and a penultimate draft submitted for discussion.
Additionally, a synthesis is presently being prepared of
the information gained so far from the detailed questionnaires
that were circulated to Range States in late 1998.
The UNEP/CMS Secretariat cordially invites government officers
and sea turtle researchers to attend this conference.
Unfortunately, due to budgetary constraints, the Secretariat
is not in a position to offer financial support for this
purpose. All those intending to participate should
contact the UNEP/CMS Secretariat by fax (+49 228 815 2449)
or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)
in order to receive a registration form and other details.