In the last week of February 2018, Botswana successfully hosted the first EPI Implementation Board workshop, with the purpose of setting the priorities for the year ahead and future objectives of the EPI. It was certainly an ambitious itinerary and it’s thanks to the diligence and enthusiasm of our Board that we got through the entire schedule! Perhaps the rains (“Pula” in Setswana) and fertile soils of the delta helped with the growth of ideas.

The intensive schedule included a National Elephant Action Plan (NEAP) workshop with the EPI’s Dr. Hugo Jachman who held detailed discussions on the next steps for budgeting and finalising at least 5 country’s NEAPs by the end of September.

A seminar on the Resource Mobilistation Strategy (RMS) and the Consultative Group from Geopolicity’s CEO Peter Middlebrook was an excellent chance for all present to ask questions and align next steps in preparation for the launch of the Consultative Group around the IWT conference in London in October.

On the morning of the last day before the delegates departed, we were treated to an early morning game drive and had the pleasure of viewing wild elephants in their natural habitat in Chobe National Park. We also had the opportunity to visit the orphan elephant rescue centre of Elephants Without Borders (EWB) in Kazungula and met the three current residents; Molelo, Tuli and Panda.

Many thanks to our Botswanan hosts; Mr. Felix Monggae, Dr Cyril Taolo and Mr. Abednico Macheme for making the workshop possible, and to all the participating Board members and partners, whose expertise and collaboration ensured the workshop was a brilliant success.

We leave Botswana eager to continue the positive momentum for the year ahead… watch this space!