In our efforts to make life easier for people who share space with elephants, we are building an elephant economy in the Panhandle—one where people can gain tangible benefits, skills, and new opportunities from living in close quarters with the world’s largest free-roaming herd of elephants. We have lots of help from colleagues in the business world and private tourism sectors.
Keraetswe is one of many artists in the Panhandle. We are working to provide support for his and others’ talents by encouraging private sector investment in an elephant economy based on elephant branded tourism and food and handicraft products.
Kurt Holle, Ecoexist consultant in business development from Peru, and Ecoexist Director, Amanda Stronza, conducted in-depth interviews with artists, entrepreneurs, tour operators, community trust members, and potential investors to develop plans for building the elephant economy.
Dr. Loki Osborn, Ecoexist Coalition Member and short-term consultant in business development, and his PhD student and elephant biologist, Malvern Karidozo, joined us in the Okavango to gather data on current and potential elephant-themed and elephant-friendly products that could be marketed and sold as part of the elephant economy
This year we will host a regional fair to launch the elephant economy. Stay tuned for details!