At the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in March 2010 in Doha, Qatar, the parties adopted Decision 14.79 which directed the Secretariat of CITES to establish an African Elephant Fund that will be applied to the implementation of the African Elephant Action Plan. The CITES Secretariat requested the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to establish and administer a general, multi-donor, technical cooperation trust fund for receiving and accounting for voluntary contributions to fund activities related to the implementation of the African Elephant Action Plan. Subsequently, the creation of the African Elephant Fund was approved by the Executive Director of UNEP on 12 February 2011, and its establishment was approved at the 26th meeting of the UNEP Governing Council. The CITES Secretariat was further directed to establish a Steering Committee consisting of representatives of the range States and donors to govern the African Elephant Fund. The Steering Committee was mandated to decide on the organization of the administration of the fund.
These rules of procedure shall apply to the conduct of business of the Steering Committee of the African Elephant Fund and, by decision of the Steering Committee, these rules of procedure shall be applied mutatis mutandis to committees, sub-committees and working groups established by the Steering Committee.
I. COMPOSITION OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE
The Steering Committee shall be composed of African elephant range States, donor representatives and ex-officio members.
The Steering Committee shall consist of 11 members: eight African elephant range States (comprising two from each sub-region2) and three donor representatives, ensuring gender balance to the extent possible.
Range States representative to the Steering Committee of the African Elephant Fund shall be from a national government entity responsible for wildlife.
In addition, a representative of UNEP as the host of the Fund, a representative of CITES and a representative of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) secretariats shall participate in the Committee as ex-officio members and without the right to vote.
Observers are welcome to attend the Steering Committee meetings and must be an official representative of a range State or a donor to the Fund. Observers shall not exceed the members of the Steering Committee attending the meeting.
1.1. The Steering Committee shall meet at least once a year in one of the African Elephant range States or alternatively online as decided by the Chair and subject to paragraphs 1.2 and 1.3 of these Rules of Procedure.
1.2. In-person meetings of the Steering Committee shall be hosted on a rotational basis between the four sub-regions unless otherwise decided by the Steering Committee.
1.3. At each meeting, the Steering Committee shall confirm the date and venue of the next meeting as appropriate.
1.4. The Steering Committee will, as appropriate and in addition to the annual meeting in one of the range States, meet on the side-lines of one of the regular meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) or of its subsidiary bodies or the Conference of Parties to the Convention of the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) or of its subsidiary bodies to discuss urgent matters and allow the Secretariat to update the Steering Committee on the operations of the Fund.
1.5. At least one-third of the members of the Steering Committee or the Secretariat may request an alteration of the date of a regular meeting. In either case, the Chair shall forthwith communicate the request to the other members of the Steering Committee, together with appropriate observations. If within 14 calendar days of the inquiry, a majority of all members of the Steering Committee concur in the request, the Chair shall convene the regular meeting accordingly.
Ad-hoc Meetings and Urgent Matters
2.1. The Chair of the Steering Committee may call for ad-hoc virtual meetings (conference calls or conference video calls) or use postal procedure (electronic correspondence) with the Steering Committee to deliberate on urgent matters. The ad-hoc meetings shall be held at the written request of the Chair or of a majority of the members of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will develop guidelines for convening the above-mentioned ad-hoc meetings which will be annexed to these rules of procedure.
2.2. All documents for such meetings shall, where possible, be made available at least 14 calendar days in advance or as early as possible.
Representation at the Meeting
3.1. Each member (range State, donor or ex-officio) of the Steering Committee shall be represented by an accredited representative in the Steering Committee meetings.
3.2. Each member (range State, donor or ex-officio) of the Steering Committee shall act as focal point with whom communication with the AEF Secretariat regarding the work of the Committee should be conducted.
3.3. A member (range State, donor or ex-officio) having designated an accredited representative who cannot attend a meeting of the Steering Committee may appoint an alternate representative to serve on the Steering Committee for that meeting. The appointment should be communicated in writing, including by electronic means, to the Chair of the Steering Committee, with a copy to the Secretariat.
Notice of the Meeting
4.1. Notice of regular in-person meetings shall be issued by the Chair of the Steering Committee through the AEF Secretariat at least 3 months in advance or as soon as possible after the dates and venue of the meeting have been confirmed.
4.2. Notice of Ad-hoc meetings, and online meetings shall be issued by the Chair of the Steering Committee through the Secretariat at least 14 calendar days in advance or as early as possible.
Date and Venue of Meetings
5.1. The date and venue of the regular in-person meetings shall be communicated to the Steering Committee members by the Secretariat in consultation with the Chair and the range State hosting the meeting at least 3 months before the meeting.
5.2. The notice of the meeting shall also be posted on the African Elephant Fund website.
Agenda for the Meetings
6.1. The provisional agenda of regular in-person meetings shall be prepared by the AEF Secretariat in consultation with the Chair and shared with the Steering Committee for comments and inputs at least 2 months before the meeting.
6.2. The provisional agenda for ad-hoc and online meetings shall be transmitted to the members of the Steering Committee for comments and inputs at least 14 calendar days before the meeting.
6.3. Members of the Steering Committee are encouraged to contribute and make suggestions to the agenda for the meetings.
6.4. The Steering Committee shall adopt its agenda at the beginning of a meeting. During a meeting, the Steering Committee may, by a majority of its members present and voting, amend the agenda by the deletion, addition or modification of any item.
Documents for the Meeting
7.1. Except for urgent and virtual meetings, documents to be considered at a meeting will be submitted to the members of the Steering Committee by the Secretariat at least 30 calendar days before the meeting.
7.2. The Secretariat may use electronic means of transmission, distribution and storage of documents, without prejudice to other means of circulation of documentation.
7.3. Comments of Steering Committee members on meeting documents will be transmitted promptly by the Secretariat to all Steering Committee members.
7.4. Meeting documents will also be posted on the website of the Fund except for documents classified as confidential. The Steering Committee will determine criteria for the classification of documents as confidential.
8.1. As Secretariat of the African Elephant Fund, UNEP shall share all information pertaining to logistical arrangements for the meetings of the Steering Committee under the guidance of the Chair and in consultations with the host country.
9.1. The working languages of the meetings of the Steering Committee shall be English and French, subject to the availability of resources.
9.2. The documents to be considered by the Steering Committee will be translated into the working languages when requested and subject to the availability of resources.
9.3. Intersessional communications to the Steering Committee members shall be provided in English, and when requested in French, subject to the availability of resources.
9.4. Range States hosting the Steering Committee meeting shall provide interpretation services for the meetings whenever possible.
9.5. The Secretariat shall provide assistance with translation services for all communications as necessary, subject to the availability of external funding.
10.1. The Steering Committee will make arrangements for effective participation of observers in its meetings.
10.2. Observers attending a Steering Committee meeting will not be entitled to vote.
10.3. Attendance and participation of observers in a Steering Committee meeting will be at the Observer’s own cost and expense.
10.4. Observers may receive, in accordance with the applicable rules and procedures, all meeting documents.
11.1. The Steering Committee may invite experts to attend some of its meetings (or parts thereof) as observers to share knowledge and contribute to an issue under discussion.
11.2. Experts may receive, in accordance with the applicable rules and procedures, meeting documents that are related to the agenda item under consideration.
12.1. The Chair may declare a meeting open and permit the debate to proceed when at least six members of the Steering Committee are present. The quorum must include a minimum number of five range States (with at least one representative from each sub-region), and one donor representative, either in attendance or with a transferred instructed vote. A member cannot receive more than one transferred vote.
12.2. The existence of a quorum will be verified by the Chair at the beginning of the meeting and at the time of the adoption of any decision at the meeting, as well as at the time of adoption of the meeting report, and at the request of a member of the Steering Committee.
12.3. In case of a transferred instructed vote, the member transferring the vote to another representative present in the meeting should send a letter to the recipient and copy the Chair through email prior to the meeting with voting instructions and comments on each agenda item. The Chair shall be informed of the recipient of the transferred vote.
12.4. In absence of a quorum, decisions shall be approved provisionally.
12.5. Decisions that are provisionally approved shall be shared by the Secretariat with the members of the Steering Committee that are absent. Appropriate documentation shall be communicated for their review and approval within 14 calendar days.
12.6. In the absence of feedback from members of the Steering Committee within the 14 calendar days, all provisional decisions will be considered approved.
Report of the Meeting
13.1. A summary record of each meeting shall be prepared by the Secretariat and shared with the members represented at the meeting within 14 calendar days after the meeting.
13.2. Comments and feedback from members of the Steering Committee shall be received within 14 calendar days of circulation of the report.
13.3. If within 14 calendar days no comments are made, the report of the meeting shall be considered adopted.
13.4. The Secretariat shall communicate the final report to all members after it is approved by the Chair. The report of the meeting shall also be posted on the African Elephant Fund website.
13.5. The summary of the meeting shall follow the order of the agenda. The summary should comprise of a short statement for each agenda item, indicating the main points discussed and the relevant actions points and decisions.
13.6. The Secretariat will keep records of all Steering Committee meetings.
14.1. The Steering Committee will strive to take all decisions by consensus.
14.2. If the Chair determines that every effort to achieve consensus on any matter has been exhausted, that matter may be put to a vote by the Chair or at the request of a member of the Steering Committee. Voting shall be made by the members present by show of hands or by another means as agreed upon during the meeting with each member having only one vote.
14.3. The ex-officio members, observers and invited experts shall not be eligible to cast a vote.
14.4. Decisions by voting will be adopted by a simple majority of the members present and voting. For the purposes of these rules, the phrase “members present and voting” means members present and casting an affirmative or negative vote. Members which abstain from voting are considered as not voting.
14.5 In case of a tie in a vote, the Chair shall cast a decisive vote.
15.1. A call for proposals will be launched by the Secretariat as decided by the Steering Committee.
15.2. The Steering Committee in collaboration with the Secretariat shall agree on the modalities for inviting, receiving, reviewing and evaluating proposals. The modalities for inviting, receiving, reviewing and evaluating proposals will be annexed to these rules of procedure.
15.3. Project proposals should be submitted by range States. Non-governmental organizations, international governmental organizations and academic and research institutions, working in collaboration with range States, may also submit project proposals provided an endorsement letter from the national government entity responsible for wildlife accompanies the proposal.
15.4. The Secretariat will provide the project proposal template and budget template to be used by those submitting proposals.
16.1. As host of the African Elephant Fund, UNEP shall inform the Chair immediately when funds have been paid into the African Elephant Fund and shall provide every six months statements relating to the status of the Fund.
17.1. Publicity material and publications related to African Elephant Fund shall acknowledge the role of the relevant contributors, government, donors or any other entities as appropriate.
Matters not covered by the rules
18.1. Members of the Steering Committee may adopt any decision to cater for any circumstance not covered by these rules.
OVERRIDING AUTHORITY OF THE CONSITUTING INSTRUMENT
19.1. Any of these rules may be amended by the Steering Committee.
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