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IUCN/SCC Otter Specialist Group Bulletin
Minutes of the Meeting of the IUCN/SSC Otter Specialist Group, 14 March 1998, 14:00, Trebon/Czech Republic
The Chair, Prof. Padma de Silva, opened the meeting by welcoming the participants, including Mr. Mariano Gimenez-Dixon of the IUCN Secretariat. The main issue to be discussed was the revision of the Otter Action Plan. After this the members present introduced themselves.
Claus Reuther talked about the structure of the Otter Specialist Group (OSG) and its regions. He announced that Padma de Silva will retire as Chairperson, whilst from now on she will continue as coordinator of the Asian Region and run the Asian Secretariat. Dr. Hussain will focus on the construction and maintenance of an otter data base for Asia. Padma has suggested that Claus Reuther should be the next chairman of the OSG. Claus asks for a vote, and there is no dissent from the meeting, so the IUCN will be asked to appoint Claus.
As to further regional coordinators, Prof. Jan Nel will be responsible for Africa, Gonzalo Medina for Latin America, Dr. Paul Polechla for North America, Dr. Jim Estes for sea otters, Claus Reuther for Europe. The question is asked about how to get information from the Middle East, should it be a special region? Claus will attempt to find a special representative there. It is decided that for our regions the border between Asia and Europe will be the Ural Mountains, e.g. Siberia will report to the Asian Secretariat.
Claus suggests that a board of editors be appointed, consisting of the regional coordinators plus one additional person for each continent, who will be responsible for getting the contributions from different countries and who will revise these and get feedbacks. The lay-out of the AP should be ready by mid-1998, all contributions should be in before the end of 1998, revisions and feedback through 1999, and the finakl draft ready by early 2000. He invites further comments on the AP to be made at a meeting on the last day of the colloquium.
After a coffee break Claus reconvenes the meeting, discussing communication. Arno Gutleb will continue to edit the Bulletin, and Claus comments on its excellent success. He questions whether the Asian Newsletter should continue to be published separately, as everyone would want to know what is going on. He stresses the need for financial support for the Bulletin, and there is a suggestion from the floor to send a hat round for a collection.
Claus explained that the organization of the present (7th) Otter Colloquium was beset by set-backs, with the orginal organizer (Chile) withdrawing at a late stage, and the second option (Poland) proving far too expensive. Nevertheless, despite the short preparation time the organziation of the collquium had been a success. For the organization of the following (8th) colloquium there was again an offer from Chile, and this was (again) accepted. There was a discussion about the timing, and it was agreed that this should be planned for 2001. Claus suggested that the various meetings needed to discuss progress of the Action Plan should be independent of the next colloquium.
There was no other business, and at 17:10 Claus closed the meeting, thanking all present.
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