November 22, 2008

The Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant ~ Michael Levin.

(photo by Ron Chandler)

The Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant’s (CIFAE) vision is “A just, equitable and peaceful society in which elephant and human have the resources necessary to thrive.” Ron Chandler founded the CIFAE and he’s writing in from Thailand now to keep us in the loop as he works to assist these amazing animals.The CIFAE is described in detail here in a discussion Ron started at Zoobird. He’s just arrived in Thailand for a two month journey that will take him to Nepal and India. Ron’s blog will keep us informed as he works to help humans live in peace with Asian elephants. 

The photo above is “little ones planting elephant repellent crops in Karnataka, southern India as part of a sustainable economic development and elephant conservation program”, according to Ron. 

Ron says “Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant, help urban and rural farmers in India grow food, develop sustainable local economies, while respecting the original land-holders: elephants, rhinos and tigers. Plants such as Jatropha, Patchouli, and native citrus are wonderful “cash crops” and also repell elephants. A wide hedgerow of one or more of these species can protect elephants from people and vice versa, while providing diversified cultivation and income for the farmer. Some of the money saved and made through these practices is invested in elephant habtitat acquisition and restoration.”

(photos by Michael Levin of www.zoobird.com unless otherwise noted)

Ron (above) writes that the mission of the CIFAE is “Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant, Inc. (CIFAE) shall identify the issues of critical importance to the long-term survival and sustainability of the Asian elephant and the indigenous peoples sharing its habitat. We shall assist with the design, implementation and maintenance of projects and programs that resolve these critical issues.

How do CIFAE hope to accomplish this lofty mission? Through education and outreach, human-elephant conflict resolution, habitat acquisition and restoration and conservation, and through sustainable economic development.

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