The 61st General Assembly of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) in Milan, Italy, under the motto “Youth, Hunting and Biodiversity” ended on April 26th after four days of intense deliberations by almost 450 participants from all over the world. Bernard Lozé was re-elected for a second term as President of the CIC. Together with a strong team of international experts President Lozé will lead the CIC to accomplish ambitious targets in the new 4-year CIC Campaign Plan announced during the opening session.
President Lozé explained “that the efforts of the CIC leadership will target six strategic areas: recognition of hunting as Living Human Heritage; wildlife conservation through science-based sustainable use options; strengthening the network of the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management; creating a sound financial basis through the CIC Conservation Fund; increase state membership in particular in Africa and Asia; and finally translating the Milan Declaration: Hunters United Against Wildlife Crime into action plans for African and Asian nations to curtail wildlife crime.”
“Some well-publicized international gatherings at government level neglected the crucial role of the hunting community and the real needs on the ground in the fight of wildlife crime”, President Lozé said, “destroying ivory stocks in New York, London, Sydney or Berlin does nothing for the prevention of the elephant slaughter in Africa” the CIC President continued. Benson Kibonde, Chief Game Warden of the Selous Game Reserve (Tanzania) reaffirmed this by stating “all recent summits stressed the necessity of large amounts of money in the battle against wildlife crime, but typically no funds have reached the front line.”
“Hunters have their boots on the ground in most of the heavily threatened areas in Africa, and are for many years financing dedicated anti-poaching efforts in cooperation with conservation and law enforcement bodies” said President Lozé. He highlighted that the Milan Declaration was unanimously approved in the closing session of the CIC General Assembly. President Lozé also announced the new CIC Conservation Fund and, as a kick-start, personally committed a substantial amount to the fund, adding that he “hoped this initial contribution would be matched by others quickly”.
The technical sessions of the General Assembly debated issues like certification of sustainable hunting, the economics of sustainable wildlife management, transboundary mammal conservation in cooperation with the Convention on Migratory Species, the use of lead-free ammunition, broad international cooperation in protecting migratory birds along their flyways, amongst many other topics. The CIC Division on Culture announced a symposium for hunting museums from the 19 – 20 March 2015 in Paris, organized in collaboration with the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature Fondation Sommer.
During the closing session of the General Assembly, CIC President Lozé and Mr. Yan Xun, Deputy Head of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Management of the State Forestry Administration of China signed a Cooperation Agreement as a milestone in the relationship between the State Forest Administration of China and the CIC.
The Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management (CPW), consisting of 12 member organizations, also met on the fringes of the CIC General Assembly. In addition to its own 1.5 days meeting, the participants actively contributed to the discussions of the Global Summit “Hunters United against Wildlife Crime”.
The 2015 CIC General Assembly will be hosted by Bulgaria in Sofia in cooperation with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) under the motto of “Healthy Wildlife – Healthy People”.
Note to Editors:
The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) is a politically independent advisory body which aims to preserve wildlife and hunting. To achieve this goal, the CIC is promoting on a global scale, sustainable use as a tool for conservation, while building on valued traditions. Membership consists of states, national and international organizations, individual members, as well as sponsors, all advocates of sustainable wildlife management around the world.
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