Ecoexist Trust is a small not-for-profit NGO that was founded in 2013 by a multi-disciplinary team in Botswana. Our mission is to support the lives and livelihoods of people who share space with elephants while considering the needs of elephants and their habitats.

Ecoexist takes a holistic approach to find practical, affordable, effective and lasting ways for people and elephants to coexist, ultimately, providing a model for conservation.

Elephants’ needs are similar to humans, we all require space, food and water. In a place of heightened competition for these resources, we strive to find ways for people and elephants to share space by ensuring they are available to both. We address the needs for people to be safe, food secure and gain benefits from living with elephants, while ensuring critical habitat security for elephants.

We work on the ground and at policy level to create an enabling environment for coexistence. Awareness and education are key for long-term success of our efforts, and all our activities are monitored through research, providing evidence to inform policy and improving our knowledge of the issue.

Ecoexist relies on donations and grants from our supporters and partners for all the work that we do. Every donation goes directly towards finding ways for people and elephants to coexist.

Find out more at ecoexistproject.org

Empowers Africa has partnered with Ecoexist in order to provide a cost-effective solution to fundraising in the United States by acting as their fiscal sponsor. Any donations made here will be granted to Ecoexist.


How you can help Ecoexist to conserve elephants and support the people who live with elephants

Ecoexist Campaigns

Securing Space

In partnership with the community and Government we have piloted an effort to secure space for elephants by keeping essential time worn movement corridors free from future development and identify good safe farm land for people. Informed land use planning like this is essential to address a root cause of human-elephant conflict – competition for land, water and resources, and find long term solutions for coexistence. The next steps involve facilitating implementation of these plans and ensuring space is secure for both people and elephants.

Elephant Economy

We are facilitating private sector support for community-based tourism and other opportunities for people to gain economic benefits from living in close proximity to elephants – establish an Elephant Economy. It is important to find ways to improve and diversify livelihoods, this involves increasing benefits from living with live elephants, encouraging people to be safe around elephants, and facilitating elephant themed enterprise development. This will contribute to improved perceptions and stewardship among communities, and reduce vulnerability to engage in wildlife crime.

Managing Conflict

We focus on improving short-term strategies for conflict management by working with and for the government and communities to develop a Community Based Conflict Mitigation approach that incorporates shared responsibility, human-human conflict resolution, and a set of holistic and innovative elephant deterrent techniques.

“Elephant Aware Farming”

We are building farmer resilience to the effects of elephant crop raiding by improving agricultural techniques, including short cycle crops and conservation agriculture. These efforts are helping to protect food and lives for both people and elephants. Good land use planning is coupled with more effective methods of protecting fields from elephants and encouraging farmers to practice more sustainable, climate smart, or no-till agriculture to improve resilience of farmers and increase food security. We are also creating incentives, which will enable people to farm in an “Elephant Aware” way and strengthen pride and identity in the people living with elephants.

Understanding the social-ecological landscape

We are continually learning more about elephants and people to fill knowledge gaps and inform policy decisions and change. We have a research program underway with graduate students focusing on understanding the social and ecological landscape. This involves conducting satellite collaring telemetry studies and population surveys of elephants to record elephant numbers and movements in northern Botswana, and inform national and regional elephant management strategies.

Sharing knowledge and ideas

Ultimately, we are encouraging behaviour change and adaptation in both people and elephants to allow for coexistence. This requires us to share our knowledge and ideas with all relevant stakeholders – communities, Government and international supporters.

Donations can also be made by check or wire transfer:

Checks should be made out to “Empowers Africa” and should be mailed to:

Empowers Africa
12 E 49th Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10017
www.empowersafrica.org
(917) 328-1611

Kindly note in the memo section of the check that funds are for Ecoexist and indicate a specific program if applicable. Or email us at info@empowersafrica.org.

For wire transfer details or more information, please email us at info@empowersafrica.org.

Empowers Africa has been approved as a U.S. public charity, contributions to which are tax deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Section 501(c)(3) [EIN: 32-0403737] of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

Thank you for your support!