The Nature conservancy and how its providing a safer and progressive community for animals, people and its natural habitat


The dwindling numbers of the Elephant is in need of serious protection. Not only could we lose the largest living land animal on the planet. The elephant is an empathic and intelligent creature and its existence is vital for nature, mankind and more notably for other animals in its surrounding habitat.


To celebrate world elephant day I spoke with Matthew Brown deputy director of the nature conservancy Africa region, based in Arusha Tanzania.


Matthew and his team work tirelessly to improve conditions and safety of Animals and nature conservation in 69 countries throughout the world.  The nature conservancy supports NGO’s and community rangers providing knowledge and training, skills in habitat protection and human development and work to reducing the demand of ivory by providing consumer awareness.


Matthew confirmed the staggering decline of elephants with a simple yet horrific statistic. In 1980 their was 1.2 million Elephants recorded around the world,in 2012 a study showed that figure dropped drastically to  400,000 Elephants worldwide.

Yes, so 1980- 1.2 million. 2012- 400,000

A frightening projection into the reality of Elephant Poaching and the effects of climate change.

Poaching and the trade of Ivory is a huge factor toward the plight of  elephants. Ivory can be valued at $2000 per KG, With a poacher willing to go to desperate measure in order to earn a years salary in one single night. Like communities worldwide the overall consensus is of love and compassion but it takes just one person in a village to act recklessly result in major repercussions for the local communities, the elephants and the natural habitat.

Communities who depend on the tourism industry can be lead to total disarray due to the actions of poachers. The tourism industry and travellers alike are often turned off certain areas and adventures due to the fear of poachers, which can have disastrous economic effects for the locals.

“Elephants can provide long term sustainable economic good for communities of 10,000 people. Providing Alternatives to poaching through raising awareness, better health and better education can see an improvement in the issue.” Said Matthew Brown, Africa Region Conservation Director, The Nature Conservancy. “Community empowerment programmes are also in place to progressively work in the favour of endangered animals and the natural habitat.”

Warmer temperatures, a change in rainfall patterns and vegetation stress are making droughts harder and longer, therefore much tougher for the elephant, who can walk for up to 35 miles in a day in search of water.

“Elephants are adaptive in a viable habitat. They can protect habitats and keep them safe and in a healthy living condition for all species.” Matthew added, “They keep grass beds open so antelopes and other species can graze and keep their lands open. Elephants disperse many seeds over vast areas as they cover a lot of ground daily.”

We built a safepass tunnel in which elephants can walk under a 2  lane highway and be safe from being hit by a car aswell as fencing off local  farms to provide a safe direct route for the elephants to journey throughout the dry season.

Actions in combating poaching include stricter security at ports. Sniffer dogs, including the very effective Belgian Malinois work with handlers to sniff out the scent of ivory and disrupt the process of the trade of ivory.

An improvement in the legal systems and sentencing would see an improvement on poaching, conjugated with frontline and government support  aswell community support. Kenya has recently seen a 53% decline in poaching by actively providing support and strengthening their legal system.

Many efforts are being put into place by great people and organisations throughout the world. To keep the progress going you and I can do our part no matter where we are in the world. We can use social media and word of mouth to drive down the consumption of ivory. We can get involved with supporting conservations and  from what Matthew has told me spreading the word and ensuring people throughout the world know where ivory comes from and urging people not to buy it would have an amazing outcome in the lives of elephants, animals and our natural habitats.


On August 12th the world will celebrate world elephant day, #worldelephantday #saveelephants

Written and edited by: Dalian Roche, Chief reporter 

Source: Matthew brown,


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