The Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI) Foundation has urged attendees to the forthcoming UN Biodiversity Summit (known as CBD CoP15), to take bold steps to solve, mitigate and prevent human-wildlife conflict. The Summit takes place in Kunming, China, in October 2021. John Scanlon, the CEO of the EPI Foundation said, ‘we welcome the references to human-wildlife conflict in the draft post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to be considered in Kunming, but we don't think they go far enough. Human-wildlife conflict is likely to increase, as global population, consumption, infrastructure and competition for land and resources continue to grow, and the impact of climate change becomes more severe. If we want to conserve species like elephants, but also meet the legitimate expectations of people who live near them, we need to be responsive to existing conflicts, as well as more strategic about planning and land-use to minimise future conflicts.'
The EPI Foundation has proposed specific changes to the content of the draft Global Biodiversity Framework, which it hopes will, amongst other matters, encourage governments to factor social, ecological and biological sustainability into their spatial and infrastructural planning. The EPI F’s Director of Programme Development, Greta Iori, said, ‘Elephants need vast areas to survive, and frequently roam beyond formally protected areas, but if we plan ahead and acknowledge the needs of both people and elephants, then we can mitigate or reduce the human-wildlife interface and in future even avoid conflict between them’.
The EPI Foundation's full submission is available via the Convention on Biological Diversity website, here.
All photos by Martin Middlebrook.