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Why conserve African and Asian Elephants ?

African and Asian Elephants population has drastically reduced due to the following challenges, 80% of them are caused by human being; Habitat loss and Fragmentation, Capture of wild elephants, Conflict with communities, Illegal hunting and trade, Genetic threats and Diseases.

Asian elephants occur in isolated populations in 13 range States, with an approximate total range area of almost 880,000 square kilometers equivalent to only one-tenth of the historical range as defined by the IUCN. Surveys shows that 13 Asian elephant range States host between 39,500 and 43,500 wild Asian elephants. In addition, there are approximately 13,000 domesticated (working or former working) elephants in Asia.

My campaign this time is to create awareness on their predicaments and contest the key commands in assessing their commitments during the Conference of Parties 18 (CoP18) of the CITES in Sri- Lanka.

Most of African and Asian elephants range states have presented their apprehensiveness to the upcoming CoP18 in bit to protect the two key species. The CITES works with governments to to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. The survival of these two distinct species lies in the hands of government, communities and off course donors who comes to enhance the conservation efforts by bridging the financials gaps. Social studies show that most of the wildlife departments or agents in Africa despite being a government parastatals or departments lack government financial and political goodwill support.

These wildlife agents have worked so hard in providing conservation /species strategies or policies i.e. Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, nevertheless these rich and thoughtful documents need to be implemented and the execution need personnel and funds. The end results to this end are poor wildlife conservation managements that have certified the underlying challenges in conservation. Invariably all these issues have left communities or civilians in a state of catharsis and challenges such as illegal hunting and habitat loss that are decreasing both elephants and their habitats very fast. “ Losing elephants means losing habitats and ecosystems that host clean water, clean air and support livelihoods”

I aim at having an audience for the first time at CoP18 of the CITES with a backing of both Asian and African elephants conservationist in May –June 2019. To achieve this and more I need your support from logistics, on the ground (Sri-Lanka), sharing of networks globally, and financial support.

Jim Justus Nyamu.