1. The African Elephant Fund was established in 2010 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). The Parties adopted Resolution Conf.16.9 on the African Elephant Action Plan and African Elephant Fund, outlining the mandate of the Fund in order to provide resources to implement the African Elephant Action Plan (AEAP). The African Elephant Action Plan and the African Elephant Fund were established following extensive dialogue and, ultimately, in recognition of the fact that many of Africa’s elephants are under threat and require co-ordinated and immediate action to provide effective protection of remaining elephant populations. The first Terms of Reference to regulate the operations and administration of the Fund were adopted by the range States.
2. The Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP12) endorsed the African Elephant Action Plan contained in the Annex to CMS resolution 12.19 as the principal strategy adopted by the African Elephant range States under the aegis of CITES for the conservation of African
>4. In fulfilling its mandate, the African Elephant Fund (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Fund’) will attract funds and direct resources towards the effective implementation of the AEAP in line with its objectives.
5. The African Elephant Fund is open to donations of any amount from any party, be it governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, private business or individuals.
The Steering Committee of the Fund
5. The Steering Committee of the African Elephant Fund (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Steering Committee’) is established to govern the Fund and support and advise African elephant range States on the implementation of the AEAP.
A. Designation and Composition
6. The Steering Committee shall be composed of African elephant range States, donor representatives and ex-officio members.
7. The Steering Committee shall consist of 11 members: eight African elephant range States (comprising two from each sub-region) and three donor representatives ensuring gender balance to the extent possible.
9. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as host of the Fund, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat and the Convention of the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) Secretariat shall be entitled to participate in the Committee as ex-officio members without voting rights.
10. 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. The number of observers shall not exceed the number of members of the Steering Committee attending the meeting.
11. The Steering Committee may invite experts to attend a meeting (or parts thereof) to contribute to a particular issue under discussion, or any other interested party upon invitation.
12. The eight African elephant range State members of the Steering Committee shall be nominated by the African elephant range States. These eight members shall act as representatives for each of the sub-regions and shall inform and consult range States as appropriate. A Chair and an alternate Chair shall be elected by the range States members of the Committee from among the four sub-regions. The Chair and the alternate Chair must belong to the same sub-region. The chairpersonship shall rotate among the sub-regions on a triennial basis, unless otherwise agreed. The nomination will be endorsed by the Steering Committee.
13. Only State or regional economic integration organization (REIO) donors are eligible to become members of the Steering Committee. For a donor to be an eligible member of the Steering Committee, they must have paid to the fund a minimum donation of USD 50,000 in the past 2 years, and be committed to provide at least another USD 50.000 during its tenure. The three donor representative members of the Steering Committee shall be nominated by those donor States or REIOs eligible for membership in the Committee. The nomination will be endorsed by the Steering Committee.
 See Decision 26/10 in document UNEP/GC.26/19 (Proceedings of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum at its twenty-sixth session).
14. Each member of the Steering Committee will serve for a term of three years. In addition:
a) Members may be nominated for a maximum of two consecutive terms unless otherwise agreed by the sub-region; and
b) One range State member per sub-region should be retained on the Steering Committee after their first term.
15. If a range State is a donor representative and also a sub-regional representative, then that State may only be represented in one of these capacities in the Steering Committee.
16. The members of the Steering Committee should begin their terms of office at the first meeting of the new Steering Committee for which they were designated and should remain in office until their successors have been elected.
17. Should a member of the Steering Committee resign or be unable to exercise her or his functions, the relevant sub-region or donor having designated that member should designate a replacement for the remainder of the term. The designation should be communicated in writing, including by electronic means, to the Chair of the Steering Committee, with a copy to the secretariat. If the office of the Chair becomes vacant, the alternate Chair acts as the Chair until the relevant sub-region elects a new Chair for the remainder of the term. If the office of the alternate Chair becomes vacant, the functions of the alternate Chair should be carried out by another member of the Steering Committee temporarily appointed by the Chair until the relevant sub-region elects a successor to serve for the remainder of the term.
C. Key Tasks and Responsibilities
C.1. The Steering Committee:
18. The key tasks and responsibilities of the Steering Committee are:
1. To operate in accordance with the present Terms of Reference, Rules of Procedure and criteria and guidelines adopted by the Steering Committee;
2. To establish and implement appropriate mechanisms for the operation of the Fund, including the issue of calls for proposals, reporting requirements, monitoring and evaluation, and awareness-raising and outreach tools;
3. To evaluate submitted project proposals according to criteria established and adopted by the Steering Committee and in line with the AEAP;
4. To consider and approve or reject project proposals submitted to the Steering Committee for funding and recommend disbursement of the funds. In addition:
a) The Steering Committee through the Secretariat shall take decisions to ensure that funds earmarked by donors for specific activities identified within the AEAP are disbursed in a timely fashion; and
b) Funds that are not earmarked shall be divided into 70% for a regional account and 30% for a discretionary account.
i) The regional account shall be divided into four parts, upon availability of approved projects based on the agreed criteria and with endorsement of the Steering Committee. Each part shall be exclusively allocated to proposals submitted by African elephant range States in each of the four sub-regions, so as to guarantee that each sub-region benefits from the Fund; and
ii) The discretionary account shall be used for any proposal identified by the Steering Committee as urgent and consistent with the AEAP's Priority Objective 1, 2 or 3.
5. To consult with range States and other stakeholders, and, when appropriate, take action in order to minimize any duplication of effort in the allocation of money from the Fund or in implementing actions under the AEAP;
6. To monitor and evaluate the overall implementation of the AEAP; and to keep the African elephant range States, other stakeholders and the general public informed about progress with the implementation of the AEAP;
7. To endorse the periodic progress and financial reports that are prepared by the Fund’s Secretariat.
8. To oversee project implementation, review any financial or other audit reports and take corrective action, as appropriate;
9. To establish and review criteria and guidelines for the submission of proposals in line with the AEAP; and
10. To establish and review criteria for the evaluation of proposals to be funded in line with the AEAP.
D.1. Chair and alternate chair of the Steering Committee:
19. The role of the chair and, in the absence of the chair, of the alternate chair of the Steering Committee is:
1. To convene and chair meetings of the Steering Committee;
2. To ensure that the decisions of the Steering Committee are in accordance with the AEAP;
3. To ensure, through the Secretariat, that appropriate records of the decisions and proceedings of the Steering Committee are kept and communicated to the members of the Steering Committee, range States and donors, and as appropriate to other partners in accordance with the deadline set in the Rules of Procedure;
4. To monitor the implementation of decisions of the Steering Committee;
5. To liaise, as appropriate, with the members of the Steering Committee, with UNEP as the host of the Fund and the CITES and the CMS Secretariats concerning the operation of the Fund and Steering Committee;
6. To report to the Steering Committee and the donor community on emerging risks to, or any issues that may affect, the implementation of the AEAP;
7. To serve as a spokesperson of the Fund; and
8. To report on activities of the African Elephant Fund at international meetings of the CITES and CMS Convention as appropriate.
Role of the AEF Secretariat
D.2. Role of the Secretariat:
20. The role of the members of the Fund’s Secretariat at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is:
1. To host the Fund and provide regular financial reports on its status;
2. To provide secretarial support to the Steering Committee;
21. In consultation with the Steering Committee:
3. To arrange for and service meeting of the Steering Committee;
4. To disburse funds in accordance with the decisions of the Steering Committee;
5. To maintain liaison with and to promote liaison between range States and donors;
6. To bring to the attention of the range States any matter pertaining to the objectives of the AEAP;
7. To prepare every 6 months an updated progress and financial report on the implementation of approved projects for the Steering Committee;
8. To manage the day-to-day activities of the Fund;
9. To play a coordinating advisory and servicing role in the working of the Fund;
10. To perform any other functions as entrusted to it by the Steering Committee, such as the production of communication and visibility materials for the Fund;
11. To facilitate the monitoring and evaluation of projects implemented in range States;
12. To provide guidance and support for the range States regarding the submission of project proposals and reporting obligations;
13. To identify and explore fundraising and resource mobilization for the Fund.
CITES and CMS
D.3. Role of the CITES and CMS Secretariat:
22. The role of the CITES and CMS Secretariat is:
1. To liaise with CITES and CMS Parties on relevant matters relating to the Fund, the Steering Committee and implementation of the AEAP;
2. To cooperate with UNEP, donors and range States to promote fundraising for the implementation of the AEAP as part of the overall fundraising initiatives;
3. To explore opportunities for partnerships and synergies with ongoing and future projects and programmes to support the African elephant range States in implementation of the AEAP.
Reporting & Revision
23. The Steering Committee shall, when requested, provide new and relevant information concerning the implementation of the African Elephant Action Plan (AEAP) and management of the Africa Elephant Fund (AEF) to the meetings of the Standing Committee of CITES.
F. Revision of Terms of Reference
24. The range States and donors are to review and approve by a two-thirds majority any amendments to the present Terms of Reference.