EPI Foundation Welcomes Agreement on Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
The Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI) Foundation welcomes the agreement at the UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal on a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. John Scanlon AO, CEO of the EPI Foundation, said, ‘We’re pleased countries have agreed a landmark deal to halt and reverse the loss of nature. The challenge now is implementation and actually achieving the targets. The promises of new funding give some reason for optimism’.
The EPI Foundation is the secretariat of the EPI, an alliance of African countries committed to conserving their elephants. It was founded in 2014 by Botswana, Chad, Ethiopia, Gabon and Tanzania, and has grown steadily since, with Niger joining as its 22nd member last week.
At the initiative of Angola, the EPI countries met on the sidelines of the Conference in Montreal and adopted a powerful statement on the growing challenge of human-elephant conflict (HEC), which they say is ‘fast emerging as the greatest threat to the survival of Africa’s elephants’. They explained that as human populations and economies grow, and competition for land and water increases, ‘HEC results in injuries and the tragic loss of human life, the destruction of crops and infrastructure, the loss of livelihoods and the killing of elephants in retaliation.’
The EPI countries warned that unless they could find solutions to HEC, they risked losing the support of people who lived in and around protected areas. The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework includes in its targets a commitment to ‘effectively manage human-wildlife interactions to minimise human-wildlife conflict for coexistence.’
John Scanlon said ‘we’re pleased the Framework makes an explicit reference to human-wildlife conflict. In 2023 and beyond the EPI Foundation will be working with EPI countries and other partners to reduce human-elephant conflict, and ensure a better future for wildlife and the people who live around it. African countries which preserve elephants and their habitats are protecting a wide range of biodiversity and mitigating climate change, and deserve international support.’
In closing the EPI meeting, the Chair, Ana Paula de Carvalho, Minister of Environment from Angola, said, ‘we want climate and biodiversity funding to go into elephant conservation. Because if we save elephants, we save a huge amount of biodiversity, we protect ourselves against climate change, we bring sustainable jobs to our people.’ The EPI meeting was also attended by the CEO of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, the World Bank’s Global Director for Environment, Valerie Hickey of the World Bank and Conservation International’s Suzanne Ngo-Eyok.
The EPI Foundation applauds the tireless work of the 196 CBD Parties, as well as the vital contribution of the two Co-chairs Basile van Havre (Canada) and Francis Ogwal (Uganda), and the Convention’s Secretariat, well-led by its Executive Secretary, Elizabeth Mrema. The EPI Foundation also recognises the invaluable inputs of indigenous peoples, civil society and the private sector during this lengthy process.
For more information, comment, etc contact the EPI Foundation’s Director of Communications, Barnaby Phillips firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch 'The EPI; saving Africa’s elephants, building a better future for its people' here.
Read the EPI Foundation’s Human-Elephant Conflict Strategy: A Path to Harmonious Coexistence here.
See the press release, ‘Human-Elephant Conflict a Threat to Elephant’s Survival, say African Range States’ here.
Read the Joint Statement on Human-Elephant Conflict below.