Mission and Policy
Our mission is to better the chance of survival for elephants worldwide and to create a world where people and elephants can coexist in harmony.
It is our strong belief that we only achieve this through a holistic stakeholder approach with a focus on practical, sustainable solutions.
Bring the Elephant Home aims to conserve Asian and African elephants and has the ambition of becoming an authority on human-elephant coexistence. The diverse range of activities we have organized has resulted in the development of an integrated approach: combining community participation, education, research, capacity building and practical action to realize positive change. We believe in a holistic approach to protect wildlife, which involves local communities, students, scientists, NGOs, government, Rangers, and everyone who cares about preserving the wonders of nature.
At our project sites, we have been confronted with the impact of human-elephant conflicts. We witnessed how fast HEC is increasing. We worked with people that were fearing for their lives and we felt the tension between elephants and people in situations that were about to escalate. With the expected human population growth, this situation can only deteriorate over time. Unless we all work together and take action. That’s why we decided to make human-elephant coexistence our main objective for the years to come.
The only way to secure the future of elephants is cooperation and knowledge exchange at all levels. In all elephant range countries, people are trying to find ways to coexist with elephants on a local level. Researchers have been testing HEC mitigation methods. Parks have been confronted with conflicts with and in surrounding villages. National governments see the impact of habitat fragmentation and the importance of corridors. The future of elephants depends on all those stakeholders, learning from the experience of communities across continents.
To maximize the potential of BTEH, we are now including the African elephant as one of our target species. By doing this, we will enhance our possibilities to find long-term holistic solutions of which all countries in elephant range countries can benefit.
Over the years, the context of our mission has changed. But also with this new mission, we look for peaceful ways to bring the elephants home and to make sure their home is safe and suitable for their long-term survival. By working together with different stakeholders, by applying research to design new conservation models, we continue to make a difference!
Antoinette van de Water, summer 2017
Vision and objectives
Bring the Elephant Home (BTEH) aims to increase the chance of survival for elephants worldwide and contribute to a world where people and elephants coexist in harmony. It is our strong belief that we only achieve this through a holistic stakeholder approach with a focus on practical, sustainable solutions.
By engaging local communities through participatory workshops, citizen science and community-based conservation action, we develop a body of knowledge about local drivers for and threats to human-elephant coexistence. At the same time, this approach is the only guarantee for the sustainability of peaceful coexistence.
Due to deforestation and habitat fragmentation, elephants across the globe have to deal with a great lack of habitat, food, and water. Therefore, we aim for preservation, restoration, and expansion of habitat and connection of fragmented habitat. In order to mitigate HEC, we look for solutions that eliminate the cause and reduce the impact on the lives of people and elephants. Instead of escalation, we aim for peaceful ways to bring the elephant home.
Bring the Elephant Home believes that all elephants should be protected and be able to live full lives in nature. We do not support the use of elephants in captivity when it goes against the animal’s nature, when it’s only for the pursuit of profit and does not contribute to the conservation of elephants. Therefore, we recommend tourists to make the effort to see elephants in the wild, so that rangers and local communities will see elephants as something of value, instead of a burden. We realize that the protected areas are too small and scattered to contain viable elephant populations in many areas. We must embrace the art of coexistence and focus on creating a more harmonious environment for elephants and people. This is why Bring the Elephant Home exists; it is why community engagement, learning, discovering new conservation models and technologies is our passion.
Bring the Elephant Home contributes to the conservation of elephants by:
- Protecting elephants and restoring, expanding and protecting their habitat in collaboration with local stakeholders;
- Implementing, testing and promoting sustainable solutions for human-elephant coexistence;
- Encouraging local participation in nature conservation and empowerment of local communities, among others by income-generating activities;
- Raising awareness about the importance of elephant conservation and nature in general.