Engage and win local communities good will in elephant conservation by creating a more coexistence space for elephants.
We are currently doing education and awareness camapign through walking and talking. This grass-root campaign includes holding community meetings along the route and conservation talks in schools and showing conservation films. So far we have walked 4,474km in Kenya and in the USA more photos are available on www.facebook.com/ElephantNeighborsCenter. Through this campaign walk we have held 610 community meetings in different parts of the county but maintaining elephant ranges, have walked with over 400 schools secondary and primary.
We are now rolling out a mobile education program in most of the areas we have walked , this walk intiative is now supported by H.E Margaret Kenyatta, Kenya Wildlife Service, County Commissioners and most of the wildlife conservation Agencies. Other collaborates includes corporate entities such as Nakumatt Holdings and Galleria Mall Managements who have helped us in selling our items that support the campaign.
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In early 2014, Mr. Nyamu launched an anti-poaching education program in schools within Laikipia county which targets the youth and school students as anti-poaching messengers in areas deemed to be of high risk poaching incidences.
The Ivory Belongs to Elephants Walk Campaign has four main objectives as follows
1. To create more Awareness on the Importance of our Elephants and other wildlife;
2. Raise awareness on the elephants and Rhino poaching tends
3. To educate communities on the new wildlife Act
4. To educate local communities on how to mitigate human-elephant conflict among other conservation benefits
Center has established a conservation education program in the buffer zone areas, initiating a network of youths, schools and professional. Basically these will apprise on why elephant conservation is indispensable and how it directly links with their livelihood, economy and environment. This message will be instrumental to educate the locals about the fruits of successful conservation. This program will be rolled out in March 2015 with a full fledged mobile education units in most of the areas we have walked.
The Centre envisions becoming an elephant defending organization in national and international forums through advocacy and collaboration on issues that compromise the continued well-being and survival of elephants, other wildlife and people.
These will be done using the media, monthly magazine, twitter, blog, conference and workshops. Participating in the International, national and regional conservation forums.
Research conservation and monitoring are needed for the protection and management of elephants and their habitats and to make informed decisions on the basis of adaptive management. Elephants are increasingly endangered due to shrinking habitat, changing population dynamics and encroachment by human pressure. Population management and scientific research at Center will provide wildlife authorities and private sectors with tools and techniques for managing these populations. Gather data for assessing the options for effective poaching mitigation and conservation at large.
The Centre will provide applied and management scientific research results to aid conservation of African elephant populations in collaboration with respective authorities in the countries involved in elephant conservation. The work done by the Center will help the policy makers, research institution and governments, African Elephant Specialist groups AfESG (IUCN) and elephant’s experts in its efforts to promote the conservation of elephants through community based elephant monitoring program: ENC intends to be a hub of biodiversity data bank and in particular elephant poaching, numbers and conflict outside protected areas. This will be done in collaboration with MIKE, Monitoring Illegal Killing of Elephant.
Community livelihoods are of great importance as much as elephant conservation is concerned. The center will explore other avenues of improving community livelihoods for instance carbon sinking and work with the relevant agencies in making it a reality.
With my Mentor; Jim Justus Nyamu of Elephant Neighbors Center (ENC) in Nairobi, Kenya.
Jim has inspired me!