One of the most important tasks of the EPI Foundation is to bring EPI member countries together with key donors and international institutions to raise money for elephant conservation. The EPI’s Consultative Group meeting was one of the highlights of the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Conference, held in London on October 11th and 12th, 2018. Chaired by President Ali Bongo of Gabon, it was also attended by President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana, the first ladies of Kenya and Sierra Leone, the UK government, and ministerial delegations from most of the then 19 EPI member countries.
President Bongo made an appeal for international support for African countries as they attempt to implement their National Elephant Action Plans (NEAPs). "If the international community is unable or unwilling to identify the finances required to implement these plans... then NEAPs are just pieces of paper”, he warned. President Masisi said the EPI ‘represented hope’ for African countries looking to conserve their elephants. In a special address Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, said that he believed the EPI ‘offers the best African owned approach to protecting African elephants”.
Major donor institutions attending the Consultative Group, including the World Bank and the GEF (Global Environmental Facility) stressed their support for the EPI’s objectives. The EPI’s quest to raise the finance needed to implement NEAPs across the African continent was boosted by the signing of a formal partnership with the UNDP. The EPI secretariat presented completed NEAPs from Chad, Gabon, Ethiopia, Angola, Malawi, Uganda and Kenya.
Watch African Presidents past and present, First Ladies, the UK Government and HRH the Duke of Cambridge, pledge support to the EPI, during the EPI’s Consultative Group meeting at the London Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference, October 2018.
MEMBER STATE MEETINGS
EPI member countries, leading conservationists and donors also came together in Geneva in August 2019, on the sidelines of the CITES Conference. At a meeting chaired by Angola’s Minister for the Environment, Paula Coelho, the EPI Foundation’s Miles Geldard made a presentation on emerging models of blended development financing, and new opportunities in wildlife-based economies.