Elephants are in danger all over the world. In Africa, 100 elephants are killed every day for their ivory. That number is increasing yearly. 2015 was the first year when the number of elephants being killed was more than those being born. If this disparity continues, African elephants will face extinction within our lifetime. In Asia, though poaching is a serious problem as well, many elephants are also being kept in captivity for a variety of purposes: logging, tourism, cultural and religious activities, and transportation.
The current deterrents to end poaching and the cruelty inflicted on captive elephants aren’t enough - something new must be done to change the paradigm.
The Elephant Project has developed new ideas and new solutions to address the threats to elephant survival, providing them a new future free of cruelty and death at the hands of humans. Our innovative corporate/non-profit approach will foster new dynamic and humane economies which will create sustainable revenue streams for elephant protection and related conservation efforts based on free market principles. These revenue streams will fund solutions that address the short and long-term needs of elephants, the communities in which they live, their environment, and by extension, other imperiled species - fostering an environment where a protected elephant is worth more than a dead one.
Specifically, we will:
- Build sanctuaries where there is a need and aid existing sanctuaries that require support. Communities consisting of high-end residences, commercial property and resort facilities will be built in conjunction with sanctuaries when conditions allow based on economic, security, environmental, and market studies.
- Develop extensive retail operations which will market and sell products made in countries dedicated to elephant protection.
- Create a substantial and sustainable revenue stream for elephant protection and related conservation efforts that will derive from; a) the development, construction, sale and leasing of residences, commercial properties, and resort facilities that make up the communities that are integrated with and sensitive to the environmental and ecological requirements of the sanctuaries, b) the operation of eco-tourism businesses that are part of the sanctuaries and communities, including restaurants, hotels, shops, and ancillary businesses, c) property taxes, dues and assessments collected from the owners of the residences and businesses located within the communities, and d) the marketing and sell of goods manufactured in host countries through our retail operations.
- Give 100% of the net profits generated by our retail operations and community development back to programs in the host country to support the establishment and retention of a humane economy within that country. This is in contrast to retail companies that sell elephant-themed merchandise and give an average of 10% of their profits to elephant protection efforts.
- Our program is designed to be replicated around the world, thus lessening the reliance on the unsustainable donor-based funding models currently used for animal welfare and other conservation efforts. Donor dollars will go further since the need to donate annually to solve the same problem will be diminished. In simple terms, a donor can invest once in our efforts to achieve their goals.
- Present a unique opportunity for those who donate or invest in a residence or business in the community to not only live near the natural habitat of elephants and other wildlife, but actually witness their investment; a) protect elephants and other imperiled species, b) foster collaboration and fund research that will address the short and long-term needs of elephants, c) better the lives of the citizens of the host country through the building of a humane economy, d) weaken the ability of terrorists to carry out their heinous acts by eliminating poaching as a funding source, and e) reduce the need for U.S. intervention in host countries due to the creation a free market economy in which the people will be empowered to hold their government more accountable, thereby improving the political stability of host countries.
The impact of our efforts will be substantial and transformational. We will help stop the decimation of elephant herds while helping the economies of countries where elephants are imperiled by producing jobs; creating a more diverse, skilled and higher paid workforce; enhancing educational opportunities; providing access to better health care; funding important infrastructure projects; and lessening the burden on governments to implement elephant protection and other related conservation efforts.