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Asian Elephants In The Wild: A Dialogue

Asian Elephants In The Wild: A Dialogue

The human population stands at seven billion, increasing by 65 per cent over the last 100 years.

The Asian elephant population stands at approximately thirty thousand, decreasing by 90 per cent over the last 100 years.

Elephants don’t acknowledge borders that divide forest, but as forests become fragmented and migratory routes disappear, how do we sustain elephant populations in the future? Fragmented habitats and disappearing migratory routes have led to a catastrophic shrinkage of elephant populations and geographic range and have left remaining populations struggling in isolated pockets.

‘Asian Elephants in the Wild: A Dialogue’ was conceptualised by the Balipara Foundation to chart out a roadmap for transboundary conservation between the countries of Bhutan-India-Myanmar, with the Asian elephant as the flagship species. These countries are home to approximately 15,000 Asian elephants, almost 50 per cent of the entire Asian elephant population. The conference will bring together thought leaders, conservationists, environmental activists, green gurus, sociologists, anthropologists and geographers from both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to address, deliberate and offer viable and actionable solution on wildlife corridor management, human-elephant conflict mitigation and habitat sustainability mapping.

Event details:

Dates: November 6-7, 2014

Venue: Guwhati, Assam

About the event:

The discussions and deliberations at the conference will revolve around three technical sessions and will attempt to not just highlight key related issues, but more importantly, will look for solutions in a set of resolutions that will be adopted for future initiatives and action. Some of the key topics to be discussed are establishing the concept of transboundary conservation as a critical tool for wildlife and habitat conservation, focusing on transboundary partnership for the survival of Asian elephant populations, highlighting the opportunities in Bhutan-India-Myanmar, looking at successful models established worldwide, discussing opportunities and challenges, understanding the technologies and expertise available, formation of a working committee, potential areas for transboundary migrating route for elephants, focusing on proper survey/study of Asian elephant populations and proposed migratory route bordering Bhutan-India-Myanmar, habitat and sustainability mapping of Bhutan-India-Myanmar border regions and pledge for funding.

The key speakers at the conference are Nicholas Claxton, Khyne U. Mar,Prof. Raman Sukumar, Dasho Paljor J Dorji, Dr. Jagdish Kishwan, Piers Locke, Belinda Wright, Ajay Desai, Dr. Rathin Barman, Dr. Sonali Ghosh, Varun Goswami, Dr. Parntep Ratanakorn, Dr. Peter Leimgruber, Peter Wheeler, Vivek Menon and Shyam Saran.

Founder and Managing Trustee of the Balipara Foundation Ranjit Barthakur said, "We thought collective wisdom of experts from various domains of knowledge from all over the world could provide a platform in search of solutions to secure the future of Asian elephant populations in the Bhutan-India-Myanmar border regions - home to approximately 50 per cent of the total Asian elephant population. The primary objectives being to promote a collaborative spirit between government and non-government agencies to chart out a roadmap for addressing key issues and challenges and act as a springboard to facilitate and accelerate trans-national partnerships to protect vital habitats, secure migratory routes and diffuse man-elephant conflict in the region."

Related Link: Balipara Foundation Awards 2014.

About the Organisers/Partners:

Balipara Foundation: The Balipara Foundation is a non-profit organisation instituted with the mandate of ‘facilitating and driving community level involvement and employment/income generation through social entrepreneurship in Naturenomics™ initiatives that are economically self- sustaining.

Sanctuary Asia: Sanctuary is an organisation that communicates the rationale for wilderness conservation and environmental protection, particularly in an era of climate change. We are at the fulcrum of several wildlife conservation campaigns and serve as a network for wildlife groups, concerned individuals and non-profit organisations.

Aaranyak: Aaranyak is a registered society working for the conservation of biodiversity in Northeast India through research, environmental education, capacity building and advocacy for legal and policy reform to usher a new era of ecological security.


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