The EPI recognizes the importance of existing partnerships and agreements. Two, in particular, form the basis of the EPI’s aims and guide its progress. First, the African Elephant Action Plan (AEAP): a set of 8 actions to safeguard African elephant populations agreed by all African elephant range States in 2010. The EPI builds on this agreement by encouraging countries to develop National Elephant Action Plans (NEAPs) that implement the continent-wide AEAP at a national level. Second, the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the United Nations in 2015. The link between the conservation objectives of NEAPs to this broader set of actions to end poverty and protect the planet provides a new basis for channeling significant funding.
The EPI advances a common policy position that, to save Africa’s elephants, the African Elephant Action Plan must be delivered - by tackling illegal trade, closing ivory markets, preserving habitats and addressing human-wildlife conflict. The EPI Secretariat collaborates with a broad base of expert partners from the private and NGO sector to advance this deliverable proposal, anchoring the conservation of elephants to broader sustainable development goals to realize a secure and stable future for elephant populations and people across Africa.
The Secretariat works directly with government Ministries and Wildlife Authorities, with support from a wide range of partners. The EPI Secretariat has been able to deliver quick and effective action to support the EPI because it is a dedicated, independent team with a highly experienced international leadership, considerable capacity and conservation expertise.
The EPI provides support to countries by:
- Supporting range states to access funding for elephant conservation by supporting the development of National Elephant Action Plans (NEAPs) in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the AEAP, which include priority activities and funding needs identified through inclusive processes;
- Helping seek and rapidly disburse funds to implement the NEAPs;
- Directly assisting work to keep ivory from economic use through ivory stockpile inventories, stockpile management, and, where a member state so chooses, stockpile destructions; and
- Supporting countries, where requested, to close their domestic ivory markets.