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IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group host side event for the conservation of Asian Elephants at CITES CoP19 at Panama City

2nd December 2022: The third Asian elephant range states meeting in collaboration with IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG) in April this year concluded with the drafting of the “Kathmandu Declaration for Asian elephant conservation” charting out 9 key priority actions underlined and agreed upon by all range states to attempt to fulfil by 2025. Taking the way forward, IUCN SSC AsESG organised a side event at the CoP 19 of CITES on “Kathmandu Declaration and its implication for conservation of Asian elephants” on 16th November, 2022 at Panama Convention Centre, Panama City. About 100 people participated at the side event.

Mr. Vivek Menon,Chair AsESG introduced the Kathmandu Declaration and the role of IUCN SSC AsESG in assisting the range countries in meeting the priorities outlined in the Declaration.

Dr. Jon Paul Rodriguez, IUCN SSC Chair highlighted the role of IUCN SSC in providing support and leadership in working with Asian elephant range states to address the conservation issues of Asian elephants and taking appropriate steps in meeting targets of the Kathmandu Declaration.

Mr. Azzedine Downes, President IFAW called out for collaboration and synergistic efforts needed to take forward the priorities outlined in Kathmandu Declaration, role of IFAW in working in tandem with countries to conserve both Asian and African elephants and IFAW’s commitment in supporting the IUCN AsESG.

Dr. Maheshwar Dhakal, DG, Govt. of Nepal shared the plans of Govt. of Nepal in taking forward the targets outlined in the Declaration.

Dr. S. P. Yadav, ADG, Govt. of India committed to the involvement of Indian Govt. in working with the Asian elephant range countries for conservation of elephants and on fulfilling the targets outlined in the Declaration.

Ms. Rahmah Illias, Principal Assistant Director, Govt. of Malaysia agreed with the views of India and Nepal in conserving Asian elephants and agreed to work forward to meet the targets of the Declaration.

Ms. Tanya McGregor, MIKE Coordinator, CITES shared the role of MIKE in working in tandem with Asian elephant range countries and how MIKE can synergise its efforts with AsESG to ensure effective conservation measures to protect Asian elephants.

Dr. Benson Okita-Ouma, Chair AfESG and Ms. Rose Mayienda, AfESG reflected on the challenges and advantages that AfESG faced in creation of African elephant database and the African Elephant Conservation Fund.

This event brought together the Asian range countries as well as other stakeholders to an agreement to establish transboundary collaboration, create pan India Asian elephant database, complete national elephant conservation plans and establish an Asian Elephant Conservation Fund.


The Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG) is a global network of specialists concerned with the study, monitoring, management, and conservation of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in its 13 range states