For a variety of reasons, language among them, the Crocodile Specialist Group of the IUCN-SSC has not been particularly effective in extending its activities into Francophone Africa, despite there being important crocodile populations located there, and conservation, management and sustainable use being pursued at different levels by different countries.


At the 18th Working Meeting of the CSG in Montelimar, France (June 2006), the first steps at overcoming this problem were taken. In consultation with West African countries that attended, the CSG decided to hold a working meeting in West Africa, during 2007. A meeting which could be attended by regional countries, and serve as a forum for open exchange of information about crocodiles.


From a CSG perspective, the key goals of the meeting are to :


(a)     Obtain a summary of the current and historical status of crocodiles, as best it is known, in each of the countries concerned.


(b)   (b) Become familiar with the aims and aspirations of regional countries with regard to the conservation, management and sustainable use of crocodiles, and where appropriate, the constraints preventing those goals from being achieved.


(c)    To assess areas where the CSG may be able to offer technical assistance in the future ; and,


(d)   To foster such contacts and networking that may be possible within West Africa, and between West Africa and the international community, to increase activities with crocodiles within the region.


(e)    To agree on some attainable priorities for regional action in the short-term.


In order to achieve these goals, it is proposed that the agenda of the Workshop should include, among other things, three major themes :


(1)     The CSG to give an overview of crocodilian conservation, management and sustainable use around the world, with particular reference to the diversity of different types of programs implemented successfully in different countries with different socio-economic contexts, with their crocodile populations at different stages of recovery.


(2)   Regional countries each present brief summary national reports, of the current and historical status of crocodiles, as best they are known, describing the aims aspirations and the factors constraining their achievement.


(3)   Separate working groups address 4-6 of the common priorities identified in (2) above, and draft resolutions for action, that can be considered, amended and endorsed by all participants during a plenary session. These will constitute the main recommendations of the Workshop, and which can be used independently by each participant to further the interests of crocodile conservation, management and sustainable use.




General information papers ; 2. National reports summarising status of each species from each country ; 3. Workshop recommendations (resolutions) ; and, 4. Contact/networking information


Suggested format for National Reports


To ensure that the key elements associated with crocodile conservation, management and sustainable use in each country are included in the summary National Reports, so they are comparable, delegations/participants could be provided with a standard template for the reports, with the same headings, and perhaps some explanation. This should make it easier for those compiling the information.


The oral presentation should aim to be no more than 10 minutes per country, given that the written papers will be available, ideally in advance. There are various ways this could be structure like : 6 talks + 10 minutes discussion at the end to constitute a 70 minute session. So you would need 3 sessions : 2 sessions (140 minutes) + a coffee break of 20 minutes (total = 160 minutes) then 1 session of 70 minutes (total of 230 minutes).


Suggested headings for the summary national reports are :


A. Title : Conservation and management of crocodiles in ............... B. Species present : historical and current (1 paragraph) C. Distribution : historical and current (1-3 paragraphs + perhaps some maps) D. History of conservation, management and use : (1-4 paragraphs) E. Current status (a) Legislation (1-2 paragraphs) (b) Protected Areas (1-3 paragraphs) (c) Uses of wild populations (1-3 paragraphs) (d) Human crocodile conflicts (1-2 paragraphs) (e) Domestic trade (1-2 paragraphs) (f) Farming (1-2 paragraphs) (g) International trade (1-2 paragraphs) (h) Research (1-2 paragraphs) (i) Population monitoring (1-2 paragraphs) F. Aims and aspirations - the future (2-10 paragraphs) G. References H. Contact names, positions and details


Suggested overview papers by CSG


Paper 1. Crocodiles : conservation and sustainable use (20 min) Paper 2. Crocodiles : management case histories (60 min)


Working Group Meetings


Separate working groups (4-6) should be allocated a problem and asked to draft a resolution concerning it, within a 2-3 hour period. The final plenary, session, in which these are discussed and debated, edited and agreed, should take 2 hours.


Opening addresses, closing addresses social protocols.


Whatever is considered appropriate ?


To see the CSG website, click






Ralf Sommerlad

Regional Vice Chair, IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group