14. The Permanent Secretary of the Organization for the Conservation of African Wildlife informed the Working Party of its move from Khartoum to Yaoundé and explained its role in facilitating cooperation on wildlife issues between countries. The Organization recently took part in a meeting in the context of ongoing negotiations in Central Africa for the signature of a Protocol of Agreement on bushmeat.
15. FAO activities were implemented in the context of the Regular Programme, projects and the FAO/Netherlands Partnership Programme [FNPP]. Regular Programme activities included research and information gathering, publications and meetings. Project activity included the US$6.5 million Central African World Heritage Forestry Initiative, which is funded by the United Nations Foundation, a Technical Cooperation Project in Ghana aimed at improving food security by resolving human/wildlife conflicts, and participation in Task Force 6 of the Millenium Project, which is
developing a work programme to achieve Millenium Development Goal 7 on environmental sustainability. FNPP-supported activities generated bushmeat action plans in Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and Gabon, and documented ecosystem services provided by the Mt Kenya forest ecosystem to surrounding farms. In Morocco, FAO is implementing a project on captive breeding of mountain sheep with the ultimate aim of generating income from trophy hunting, funded by the Czech Republic, and an Italian funded project on range management and sustainable use of biodiversity.
16. Follow-up to the Fourteenth session of the Working Party involved a review of the feasibility of an African Protected Areas Network, which concluded that this is currently not a viable option; reporting on a decision not to establish a committee to monitor intersessional activities because this was not justified by the low level of activity, and preparation and dissemination of a report on the In-Session Seminar of the Fourteenth session of the Working Party.
17. The Country Director of Conservation International (Ghana) presented a review of the current status of the bushmeat issue in West Africa. The urgency of the problem was highlighted and a number of practical responses to it were proposed. These included generating improved statistics on the commercial bushmeat trade and fully documenting the supply chain. The Working Party was informed of the preparations by the WWF of a regional workshop on bushmeat and deemed the initiative relevant for attention and participation of its members.
18. At the request of FAO, Dr Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, WWF's Director for Africa and Madagascar, presented a report on the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress which took place in Durban from 8 to 17 September 2003. The report described the aims of the meeting, congress activities and outputs and the implications of the results of the congress for African protected areas. The recommendations of the Congress were deemed very appropriate to the activities of the Working Party and delegates recommended that their follow-up be incorporated in its work.