The Joint CITES-CMS African Carnivores Initiative was established in November 2018 to enhance multilateral cooperation for the conservation of African wild dog (also known as the painted wolf), lion, cheetah and leopard. The initiative is jointly owned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
The ACI aims to bring coherence and efficiency to the implementation of the resolutions and decisions of CITES and CMS relating to the lion, leopard, cheetah, and African wild dog.
At the 73rd meeting of the CITES Standing Committee, the Draft Programme of Work for the ACI was presented. This draft was developed by the Secretariats of CITES and CMS along with experts from the Canid Specialist Group and Cat Specialist Group of IUCN. The programme of work brings conservation strategies for the four target species together under one roof. The vision of the draft programme of work is:
Viable and ecologically functional African populations of the African Carnivores Initiative (ACI) species (lion, leopard, cheetah, and African wild dog) are restored and maintained through appropriate conservation measures of these species and their prey, effective conservation or restoration of suitable habitats, and sustainable management of natural resources for the mutual benefit of wildlife and humans, successfully coexisting with and valued by the people as a common heritage and part of the identity of the African continent.
The programme of work comprises 11 objectives that deal with the threats facing the animal as well as the coordination and funding needs for their conservation. The meeting agreed to set up an intersessional working group, to be chaired by Germany, to incorporate issues raised during discussions, to inform the next meeting of the CITES Animals Committee.