From the 27th February, the EPI Implementation Board will meet in Kasane for an intensive three-day workshop, to take forward the EPI’s ambitious goals, in order to make 2018 a crucial year of progress in securing the sustainable future of the African elephant.

The workshop will bring together key figures of the EPI from around the world, including senior African Government representatives, the EPI Secretariat, private sector consultants, and experts from Wildlife Departments across Botswana, Chad, Ethiopia and Gabon.

The EPI has come a long way since its formation at the Illegal Wildlife Trafficking (IWT) Conference in London in 2014. Four years on, the Implementation Board will make important decisions in preparation for the Fourth IWT Conference which returns to London this October. The upcoming Conference will be an important opportunity for the EPI to build on its success to date. At the workshop, delegates will be briefed on the progress of finalising the National Elephant Action Plans (NEAPs) developed in 11 member States, and the Resource Mobilisation Strategy to engage in a high level political process aimed at raising the international funds necessary to implement the NEAPs.

This will be the first EPI Implementation Board workshop to be held in one of the founding member countries. With an estimated 133,453 elephants, Botswana is home to the largest elephant population in Africa and continues to be at the forefront of the EPI’s mission, bringing together African states for the conservation of African elephants and their habitats. The workshop will be held in Kasane, the gateway to the Chobe National Park famous for the magnificent herds of elephants which converge on the Chobe river. Let’s hope they get the chance to see some of our elephant friends in the wild.

We want to say a big thank you to our gracious hosts in Botswana, and for all the help of Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks in organising the workshop.