Fourth Meeting of the Steering Committee of the UNEP/GEF Siberian
Crane Wetland project was held in Almaty, Kazakstan, from
30 November - 3 December 2005. The meeting was well-attended
by over 30 participants, including project administration
staff of the International Crane Foundation (ICF), as well
as representatives of UNEP/GEF and CMS.
Addressing the opening of the meeting, CMS Senior Advisor,
Douglas Hykle, highlighted the continuing support for the
CMS Siberian Crane Memorandum of Understanding agreed by
the recent meeting of the CMS Conference of the Parties.
He expressed satisfaction that the wetland project staff
were already beginning to assess the sustainability of their
activities, within the framework of a strengthened MoU,
after completion of the six-year project in early 2009.
Mr. Khairbeck Mussabayev, Deputy Chairman of the Forest
and Hunting Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture announced
that on 23 November 2005, Kazakhstan's parliament had approved
the draft law on accession to CMS, which is now awaiting
presidential signature in the coming weeks.
The meeting reviewed in detail the project's implementation
in the four participating countries: China, Iran, Kazakhstan,
and Russian Federation. Kazakhstan, which initiated the
project activities much later than the other partners, has
been working intensively over the past year to compensate
for its late start. The meeting highlighted strengths and
weaknesses of the various national efforts to date, with
useful exchanges of lessons learned and problem solving.
All of the teams will need to redouble their efforts over
the coming year, in anticipation of an indepth midterm review
of the project in 2007.