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Human Elephant Conflict

 

Human Elephant Conflict

Today the Asian elephant is not just a living symbol of the cultures of Asia but it is also very much ingrained in the socio-cultural values of the people in the west and northern hemisphere. Therefore the loss of the Asian elephant will not be just a huge loss for the people of Asia but to the entire world.

For conservation biologists these are challenging times—where we need to develop innovative strategies to balance the needs of people and their aspirations while at the same time attempting conserve one of the most endangered mega-herbivores of the world. Ravi Corea and his team work to develop innovative conservation projects on the ground to forge a future where elephants and people can coexist; solar powered electric fences, elephant alert systems, habitat enrichment programs, programs teaching habituated elephants how to paint, and even projects that are making novelty paper out of elephant dung.

In 2009, WFN was delighted to support the work of Ravi and his team through an Associate Award of £10,000 for one year of project funding.

Click here to learn more about Ravi Corea's important elephant conflict work in Sri Lanka, and to watch a short film featuring Ravi.

Project Leader: Ravi Corea

Human Elephant ConflictI’m Sri Lankan by birth and 48 years old. I did my secondary schooling in Sri Lanka and undergraduate studies in the USA. I have a degree in Conservation Biology and Bio-physical Anthropology from the Centre for Environmental Research and Conservation at the Columbia University in New York. I have received awards for biology, academic excellence and for student leadership including fellowships and scholarships. At the age of 13, I became a member of the Young Zoologist Association of the National Zoo, a junior member of the Wildlife & Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Ark Club of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust. As a teenager I worked 5 years as a Student Lecturer in the Education Department of the National Zoo. Soon after, I worked as the General Secretary of the Tree Society of Sri Lanka for 2 years and as the naturalist to a safari company. I founded the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) in 1995 and functions as its President. Since its inception the SLWCS has been tackling one of the biggest environmental issues in Sri Lanka, which is human-elephant conflict (HEC).

Human Elephant ConflictBased on the accomplishments of the SLWCS under my leadership recently I was appointed the Coordinator of the Human-Elephant Conflict Task Force of the IUCN Asian Elephant Specialist Group. I’m also in the advisory board of Elephant Care International. The SLWCS was awarded by the United Nations Development Programme Equator Initiative a 2008 Equator Prize, which is an international award that honours community-based projects that represent outstanding efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

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