In partnership with the community and Government we have piloted an effort to secure space for elephants by keeping essential time worn movement corridors free from future development and identify good safe farm land for people. Informed land use planning like this is essential to address a root cause of human-elephant conflict – competition for land, water and resources, and find long term solutions for coexistence. The next steps involve facilitating implementation of these plans and ensuring space is secure for both people and elephants.
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We are facilitating private sector support for community-based tourism and other opportunities for people to gain economic benefits from living near elephants – establishing an Elephant Aware Economy. It is important to find ways to improve and diversify livelihoods, this involves increasing benefits from living with live elephants, encouraging people to be safe around elephants, and facilitating elephant themed enterprise development. This will contribute to improved perceptions and stewardship among communities and reduce vulnerability to engage in wildlife crime.
Please visit the Elephant Aware Economy website to find out more
We focus on improving short-term strategies for conflict management by working with and for the government and communities to develop a Community Based Conflict Mitigation approach that incorporates shared responsibility, human-human conflict resolution, and a set of holistic and innovative elephant deterrent techniques.
We are building farmer resilience to the effects of elephant crop raiding by improving agricultural techniques, including short cycle crops and conservation agriculture. These efforts are helping to protect food and lives for both people and elephants. Good land use planning is coupled with more effective methods of protecting fields from elephants and encouraging farmers to practice more sustainable, climate smart, or no-till agriculture to improve resilience of farmers and increase food security. We are also creating incentives, which will enable people to farm in this “Elephant Aware” way and strengthen pride and identity in the people living with elephants.
We are continually learning more about elephants and people to fill knowledge gaps and inform policy decisions and change. We have a research program with graduate students focusing on understanding the social and ecological landscape. This involves conducting satellite collaring telemetry studies and population surveys of elephants to record elephant numbers and movements in northern Botswana and the KAZA region, and informing national and regional elephant management strategies.
We are proud to have established and facilitated partnerships with so many stakeholders and collaborators across various sectors and institutions in the public and private sectors and civil society. Through partnerships, we have leverage so much progress and success in much of the support and intervention we focus on, from implementing mitigation methods to avoid conflict, to building a landscape approach that involves land allocation process that considers elephant corridors, multi-ministerial government support for interventions and policy change for coexistence, to private sector partnership development in building value chains and supporting elephant aware enterprises and investing in products and services that promote coexistence. See partners (link)
We share the knowledge and lessons learnt we've gained and lessons learnt from our work with as many people as we can.
Ecoexist is a founding member and the secretariat of the Human- Wildlife Coexistence Working Group, which brings people together from Government departments, NGOs, Community Based Organisations, Village leadership, Farmers Associations, Research Institutes, and other stakeholders. This group has the objective “To provide a platform for multisectoral stakeholder dialogue, co-operation and documentation to facilitate appropriate strategies to reducing conflict, promoting co-existence and evaluating success in each.”
We are also a founding member of the KAZA Elephant Sub Working Group (KESWG) which brings together stakeholders (Government representatives, NGOs and researchers) working in elephant conservation and management from the five KAZA countries – Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Currently 9 NGOs working on elephant research and/or HEC intervention are members of the group.
We conduct numerous workshops and meetings in villages and schools to share knowledge with all members of the community and learn from the people living with elephants. A great way to communicate what we all know about living with elephants is through art, theatre, crafts and film. We also produce awareness materials on topics such as “Safety Around Elephants”, “How to protect your field from elephants?”, “What is “Elephant Aware” Farming”, as well as tackling issues related to wildlife crime.
We pride ourselves in connecting science with on the ground conservation efforts. We therefore publish our work in scientific peer reviewed journals as well as public media outlets.
If you would like to learn more, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org