Elephant Family awarded prestigious grant by UK Government’s Darwin Initiative

We are hugely delighted to announce that Elephant Family has received a grant from the Darwin Initiative for our vital work in Myanmar, where we are helping to prevent human-elephant conflict and provide safety and education to rural communities so that they can coexist peacefully with local wildlife.

The Darwin Initiative is a UK Government scheme which funds projects that help countries rich in biodiversity but poor in financial resources to meet their objectives under a number of biodiversity conventions.

The grant is highly sought after and we are very proud to have been awarded such prestigious funding and recognition for our work. This grant is in fact the second we have received from the Initiative, which gives us hope and drive to further our important work in the region.

About the project

The human-elephant conflict project will build on Elephant Family’s work towards Integrating Biodiversity and Elephants into Peace and Development which has previously been funded by the Darwin Initiative over the last three years. So far this funding has helped us to reach over 12,300 families, enabling us in turn to protect Myanmar’s biodiversity and support ethnic peace.

Where the new funding will go

Over the course of the next three years the project will coordinate EF partners Compass Films and Grow Back for Posterity to educate villagers on how they can coexist with elephants without fear or injury, and to safeguard their livelihoods through introducing seasonal electric fencing to protect crops. Importantly, this seasonal fencing will not cut off historic and essential elephant migration routes in the same way that permanent fencing can.

The aim of the project is to introduce this successfully piloted method into each district in Myanmar, and institutionalise it as a government programme to create long-term sustainability.

The challenges that 2020 has presented us with so far have meant that Elephant Family’s funding has been greatly reduced, sadly putting our conservation projects at risk. This makes us all the more pleased to have received funding from the Darwin Initiative in recognition of the importance of our human-elephant conflict work in Myanmar. More importantly, it means that we are able to continue supporting our conservation project partners.

We can’t wait to bring you updates and more success stories as the project continues to develop!