Government Stakeholder Engagement meetings in Sousa teuszii range countries
In November 2020, the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Cetacean Specialist Group was awarded an IUCN SSC EDGE grant to support the development of tools to engage government stakeholders in Atlantic humpback dolphin (AHD) range countries and to hold engagement meetings in at least three countries. Under this project, an infographic was designed to highlight the most salient aspects of the species’ conservation status and needs. It can be downloaded in English, French and Portuguese from the CCAHD website.
Additionally, a ‘master’ power point presentation was developed that covers basic aspects of the species’ ecology and conservation status, current conservation frameworks, and recommended conservation actions based on the CCAHD priorities report. This power point presentation has been translated into French, English, and Portuguese, and shared with all CCAHD members. It is designed to be adapted for use in each range country to support government or industry stakeholder engagement meetings.
Two meetings have been held so far:
- On June 17th, a meeting in Gabon was hosted by the Ministry of Water and Forests’ ‘Direction Générale des Ecosystèmes Aquatiques’. The meeting involved roughly 25 representatives of different government agencies, including the Ministry of Water and Forests, the National Parks Agency (ANPN), The Direction General (DG) of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the DG of Maritime Affairs, the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES focal point), six separate government research institutes, and two NGOs. The meeting began with the delivery of the CCAHD power point presentation, adapted with specific information about AHD in Gabon, as well as the legal and conservation frameworks available in Gabon. This was followed by a lively question and answer session, assisted virtually by two CCAHD steering committee members. Finally, participants discussed ways to maximise collaboration between stakeholders to implement the highest priority actions identified by the group.
- On June 21st a similar workshop was hosted by the IUCN office in Senegal. This meeting was smaller, with only 7 participants, but adopted a similar format. It was followed by in-person engagements with National Parks and Marine Protected Area stakeholders during fieldwork conducted in the Saloum Delta. Infographic posters, marine mammal identification cards and other supporting materials were shared with Park Managers and staff, and staff joined the survey team during boat surveys between July 10th and 18th, 2021.
The third meeting is planned to take place in Cameroon on July 29th, and will be jointly hosted by the African Marine Mammal Conservation Organisation (AMMCO) and the Association Camerounaise de Biologie Marine (ACBM). The future goal will be to use these three initial meetings as a baseline from which to host similar meetings in other AHD range states.