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Harmonious Coexistence for Elephants & People

We treasure our elephants, not only because they are remarkable creatures, but also because they are a keystone species that protect our environment and can help our people achieve a prosperous and stable future. However, elephants can also destroy crops, damage infrastructure and even kill people. The Elephant Protection Initiative is dedicated to mitigating and, where possible, preventing, the conflict between elephants and people. Thereby, ensuring harmonious coexistence for all.

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Human-Elephant Conflict

One of Africa's most urgent conservation crises

As human populations grow and habitats shrink, Human-Elephant Conflict is increasing. We must acknowledge that threats to elephants are changing. Across Africa elephants are losing their migratory routes, their habitats are under increasing threat, people are being tragically injured or killed, and farmers are seeing their crops destroyed.

 

In elephant range states like Botswana, Gabon, Kenya and Uganda, newspapers report on conflicts between elephants and humans on a weekly basis. ‘If these conflicts can’t be satisfactorily resolved, the long term prospects for elephants are bleak’, says John Scanlon, CEO of the EPI's Secretariat.

 

Governments and conservationists are experimenting with various solutions, including electric fences and bee-hives.  The EPI Secretariat helps member states to share knowledge, experience and technologies on mitigating HEC, and is a platform for them to share their position and articulate their challenges to the rest of the world.

THREE PILLARS

Our Vision

To enable harmonious coexistence of people and elephants with herds able to travel across their range. Thereby protecting a diverse range of wild animals and plants, combating climate change, and supporting local livelihoods.  

Amplifying African Voices

Amplifying African Voices

Articulating and amplifying African perspectives on human-elephant conflict is vital to finding solutions. We need to hear the voices of those living on the margins of wildlife habitats and protected areas, as they are best placed to inform and implement long-term solutions for harmonious co-existence. The EPI Foundation is the platform to amplify these critically important African voices.

Fostering High-Level Dialogue

Fostering High-Level Dialogue

Through close ties with African leaders, extensive connections with donors, conservation organisations, and the international media, the EPI Foundation has created a platform which honours and prioritises the rights of elephants and people in policy development throughout range states. Facilitating high-level dialogue will catapult the systemic changes needed to develop effective and inclusive solutions to human-elephant conflict.

Enabling Local Solutions

Enabling Local Solutions

As a small team of interdisciplinary experts, the EPI Foundation is motivated to help support elephant range states to evaluate, mitigate and manage human-elephant conflict in a context-specific and scalable manner. In this way, we prioritise political buy-in and stakeholder collaboration, the use of technology, as well as pragmatic measures that can have a meaningful impact now and over the long-term.

HEC Team Lead

Greta Francesca Iori

Greta is an Ethiopian-Italian wildlife crime and conservation expert, and adviser to various African governments and international organisations. She has headed the EPI Foundation’s program development and human-elephant conflict work across 24 African member states, and between Africa and Asia.

She has extensive experience in working to bring an end to illegal wildlife trade across the Horn of Africa, resolve human-wildlife conflict and better understand the gendered dynamics of organiSed criminal networks — while encouraging more sustainable, just and inclusive conservation models across Africa.

Greta continues to advocate for compassionate and nuanced systems change, including the vital collaboration required to enable climate justice, indigenous rights and biodiversity resilience.

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Resources and Material

HEC Strategy

To enable harmonious coexistence of people and elephants with herds able to travel across their range. Thereby protecting a diverse range of wild animals and plants, combating climate change, and supporting local livelihoods.

6 June 2023

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