admin February 3, 2014 0

Empowering Communities to Conserve the Mali Elephants in Times of War and Peace – slide presentation

Africa’s northern-most elephant herd of 500-plus elephants migrates 600 kilometers or so from Mali to Burkina Faso and back each year. Drought, land degradation, and increasing human pressure endanger this last herd of the Sahel. The WILD Foundation’s Mali Elephant Project (MEP) has persistently secured increasing portions of the Gourma habitat in Mali by working with local communities to establish natural resource management systems that protect the elephant migration route and avoid human-wildlife conflict. MEP trains local people in setting up pastoral and sylvo-pastoral reserves, forestry rules and operations, fire-break construction, water management, health and hygiene, and much more. MEP also fosters the inclusion of local people in decision-making and government agencies. The iconic Mali elephant population has been so far kept mostly safe throughout the recent political coup, lawlessness and conflict in Mali because of MEP efforts to empower local communities to take protective measures. MEP countered efforts by armed groups aspiring to recruit local people into the conflict because of the trust engendered by the success of the project’s ongoing work with their communities. By taking an integrated view of the problem in context, the project worked with the local stakeholders to shift the system of land use to one that supports elephant conservation by first establishing a shared vision.

Find more details on the MEP conservation approach, read the brochure here.

Watch the entire webcast here

View a previously released 10 minute Tedx talk here

Find an easy access photo gallery of the elephants, the landscapes, the people and the project here

And blog here