PRIORITY OBJECTIVE 1: REDUCING ILLEGAL KILLING OF ELEPHANTS AND ILLEGAL TRADE IN ELEPHANT PRODUCTS
Between 1979 and 1989 more than 50% of Africa’s elephants were poached for their ivory. Many elephant populations have not yet fully recovered from this slaughter, and most will never regain their pre-1979 population levels.
All regions of the African continent are affected by poaching and illegal ivory trade - ivory seized from illegal trade has been identified as originating from countries from all four regions, East, West, Central and Southern Africa.
A national, regional and international approach to this serious problem is, therefore, essential.
AEAP strategies for objective 1
Strategy 1.1: Strengthen the capacity of law enforcement authorities and agencies to combat poaching and illegal trade in ivory and other elephant products.
Strategy 1.2: Harmonize national policies and laws relevant to the conservation and management of African elephants within and across range States where possible.
Strategy 1.3: Strengthen the laws relevant to the conservation and management of the African elephants.
Strategy 1.4: Strengthen the enforcement of laws relevant to conservation and management of African elephants.
Nigeria- Supported SMART ranger patrols at Yankari Game Reserve to strengthen law enforcement and reduce elephant poaching.
Ethiopia- At national level, combat the illegal trade in elephant ivory, improved field intelligence and the capabilities for the investigation of ivory and other wildlife crimes and law enforcement operations, and conducted workshops and capacity building in southern Ethiopia.
PRIORITY OBJECTIVE 2: MAINTAINING ELEPHANT HABITATS AND RESTORE CONNECTIVITY
Across the continent, elephant habitats are becoming increasingly degraded, fragmented and in some cases lost entirely, due to human-induced threats such as agricultural expansion, logging and mining.
AEAP strategies for objective 2
Strategy 2.1: Ensure connections, where possible, between elephant ranges within and among range States.
Strategy 2.2: Establish and strengthen bilateral and multilateral support for the management of sites and corridors across borders.
Strategy 2.3: Promote the planning of internal and cross border land use within and among elephant range States.
Strategy 2.4: Ensure that the current elephant habitats within and between elephant range States are adequately maintained.
Namibia- Aerial survey of elephants in the north-west of Nambia.
Kenya- Conducted an analysis of the impact of poaching on elephants and threats to elephants in the Tsavo-Mkomazi ecosystem
PRIORITY OBJECTIVE 3: REDUCING HUMAN-ELEPHANT CONFLICT (HEC)
Elephants can have severe impacts on local livelihoods, such as through crop-raiding and consumption of scarce water sources. Such competition for resources can result in conflict and loss of human life and the lives of domestic stock.
As a consequence, many elephants are also killed, both legally and illegally, as a result of both formal and informal actions to control the damage they cause.
AEAP strategies for objective 3
Strategy 3.1: Apply adaptive management approaches in addressing human-elephant conflict mitigation, focusing on capacity-building for managers and local communities.
Strategy 3.2: Establish participatory processes for the mitigation of human-elephant conflict.
Malawi - Improved the protection of elephants and the enforcement of the wildlife laws in the Kasungu National Park and the Thuma Forest Reserve and the SOS Fence Extension for the Dedza-Salima escarpment.
United Republic of Tanzania - Mitigated human-elephant conflicts around Kilimanjaro National Park. Ghana - Elephant conservation through law enforcement and stakeholder engagement in the Mole National Park and its vicinity.
PRIORITY OBJECTIVE 4: INCREASING AWARENESS ON ELEPHANT CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF KEY STAKEHOLDERS THAT INCLUDE POLICY MAKERS AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES AMONG OTHER INTEREST GROUPS
Essential to the success of the African Elephant Action Plan is the need to stimulate the awareness of and involvement of the wider community in African elephant conservation and management principles.
Current up-to-date information is often difficult to find, not synthesized, too scientific or not disseminated effectively, therefore making it difficult for people, particularly policy-makers, to fully understand the key issues.
AEAP strategies for objective 4
Strategy 4.1: Raising awareness among stakeholders on the conservation of the African elephant.
Strategy 4.2: Use of indigenous and traditional knowledge for the conservation of the African elephant.
Strategy 4.3: Promoting information sharing and research findings on the conservation and management of elephants.
Ghana - Elephant conservation through law enforcement and stakeholder engagement in the Mole National Park and its vicinity. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) - Taking the African elephant database to the next level
OBJECTIVE 5: STRENGTHEN RANGE STATES KNOWLEDGE ON AFRICAN ELEPHANT MANAGEMENT
An understanding of elephant populations and their distribution is essential in order to maximise the impact and effectiveness of elephant conservation and management policies and activities.
AEAP strategies for objective 5
Strategy 5.1: Determine and monitor the status of African elephant populations and their habitat within and among elephant range States.
Strategy 5.2: Develop mechanisms for acquiring and distributing information within and among elephant range States.
Nigeria - Used satellite collars to provide more effective protection of elephants and reduced human-elephant conflict at the Yankari Game Reserve.
Gabon - Developed a quadcopter and infrared camera system to monitor and track the African forest elephant. Gabon - Traceability genetics in ivory to strengthen law enforcement in Gabon.
PRIORITY OBJECTIVE 6: STRENGTHEN COOPERATION AND UNDERSTANDING AMONG RANGE STATES
Many of the issues concerning the conservation and management of elephants are shared by many range States.
African countries have progressively strengthened understanding and cooperation within and among elephant range States on numerous social, economic and environmental issues of mutual interest and concern.
Regional elephant conservation policies and strategies have been developed for Central, Southern and West Africa.
Eastern Africa is in discussion about the development of its own Strategy, whilst a number of transboundary plans and projects have been initiated to facilitate the development by neighbouring elephant range States of joint management activities and protection for the species and their habitats.
AEAP strategies for objective 6
Strategy 6.1: Foster exchanges across sectors, borders, regions and continents to integrate the needs of elephant conservation and management into national priorities and agendas.
Strategy 6.2: Use existing political, economic and other frameworks to promote cooperation on elephant conservation and management, such as the African Union Commission, ECOWAS, SADC, EAC, COMIFAC and COMESA.
LUSAKA Task Force - Better cooperation in combating elephant poaching and illegal ivory trade in East Africa.
LUSAKA Task Force - Better enforcement of the law to combat elephant poaching and ivory trafficking in Central Africa. CMS/African Elephant Fund Secretariat - Adoption of the African Elephant Action Plan.
PRIORITY OBJECTIVE 7: IMPROVING LOCAL COMMUNITIES COOPERATION AND COLLABORATION ON AFRICAN ELEPHANT CONSERVATION
It is often the case that communities that share land and resources with African elephants, suffer the costs of living with elephants (such as loss of food crops), while the benefits (such as revenue from tourism) are largely gained by those living further afield.
It is important to recognise and address this imbalance, as the accrual of greater and more tangible benefits at a local level is more likely to translate directly into increased tolerance for elephants by those communities most affected.
AEAP strategies for objective 7
Strategy 7.1: Devise or improve and implement sustainable incentive schemes to benefit local communities.
Burkina Faso – Conducted capacity-building for conflict management in Burkina Faso.
Zambia - Developed human-elephant conflict and mitigation tools in Zambia.
PRIORITY OBJECTIVE 8: AFRICAN ELEPHANT ACTION PLAN IS EFFECTIVELY IMPLEMENTED
A number of initiatives addressing the AEF are being implemented. The African elephant range States are committed to the following procedures for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on the implementation of the Action Plan.
AEAP strategies for objective 8:
Strategy 8.1: Establish a sustainable funding mechanism to implement the African Elephant Action Plan.
Strategy 8.2: Develop and implement monitoring indicators. Strategy 8.3: Link the African Elephant Action Plan with the African Elephant Fund.
Central Africa- Developed a strategy for the Conservation of Elephants in Central Africa 2005-2015 adopted by all Central African range States in 2005;
Kenya- Developed a conservation and management strategy for the elephants in Kenya, 2012-2021;
Ethiopia- Developed the Ethiopian elephant action plan, 2015-2025; Zimbabwe- Developed the Zimbabwe national elephant management plan, 2015-2020.