Promoting human-elephant coexistence through education and seasonal fencing

Why this project is important

Human-elephant conflict threatens livelihoods and the lives of villagers and elephants in Myanmar. Deforestation, widespread poverty and little control over natural resources presents real barriers to maintaining a healthy ecosystem and food security. With a ceasefire agreed in 2015, it became clear that the lack of land-use planning was causing extensive habitat loss and fragmentation as a result of development activities such as dams, reservoirs, commercial agriculture and relocation of famers into forestland and elephant ranges. 

Project Partner: Compass Films & Grow Back for Posterity   

Duration: 2020 – 2024

Project goals

Project goals 

  • Decrease human deaths due to human-elephant conflict by 50% 
  • Decrease in crop loss by 70% 
  • To share life and livelihood-saving, elephant conflict mitigation methods with 30,000 people in 180 villages 
  • The installation of seasonal electric fencing plus 15 additional systems in 10 villages across three regions 
  • To ensure the viability and maintenance of the seasonal electric fencing by villages, with support from project and government back loans 

What we are doing

In Myanmar we built on outcomes already achieved in the region between 2017 – 2020. Empowered with knowledge about sustainable land management, awareness of elephants and how to protect livelihoods, we worked through schools and community outreach to focus on how to live with elephants and turn fear into understanding. 

Our work introduced seasonal electric fencing to prevent crops raids, without permanently restricting elephant movements through customary feeding grounds and corridors. The project introduced the method district by district, institutionalising it as a government programme to ensure sustainability and safeguard human and elephant populations. 

This project was funded by the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative.