The African Elephant Action Plan and the African Elephant Fund received over R2 million in December last year and recently talks were held in the Kruger National Park to allocate resources to viable projects. The initiative for the funding was created under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) with the clear understanding that these projects should be developed by and for the thirty eight countries where African elephants are found, which include animals near Kruger National Park accommodation in South Africa.
This African elephant fund was launched at a meeting of the CITES Standing Committee and it is reported that donations were received from the Netherlands, Germany and France. Representatives of these states were present at the meeting in the Kruger National Park, as well as representatives from the range states that are the African elephant’s habitat- Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan.
The objective of the African Elephant Action Plan is to maintain or restore a secure and sustainable environment for African elephant populations in current or potential ranges throughout Africa. It recognises that African elephant conservation is vital for their future, as well as their potential in offering ecological, socio, cultural and economic benefits to range countries. Part of this strategy will include:
• Eliminating illegal activities that result in fatalities and the trade of African elephant products.
• Maintaining African Elephant habitats and their connectivity for migratory purposes.
• Minimise human-elephant conflict (HEC).
• Increase awareness and management of African elephant conservation, as well as the general
participation of all parties involved including range states.
• Improve the cooperation of local communities in African Elephant Conservation.
• Ensure that the African Elephant Fund Action Plan is properly and effectively implemented.
African Elephants are one of the most majestic creatures roaming our African landscape. With the measures mentioned above and the interest of ordinary citizens, people will be able to enjoy the beauty of the African Elephant, whether on 4 day Kruger Park safaris or on the vast plains of Kenya.