Protecting elephants, biodiversity, livelihoods & people through community empowerment in Mali

OCTF seminar followed by drinks The Mali Elephant Project has worked with the communities of the Gourma region of Mali (over an area larger than Switzerland) to protect this iconic elephant population throughout the recent conflict despite total lawlessness and the occupation of the area by armed groups. This protection has continued into the post-conflict era providing a foundation for an effective collaboration between local community structures and government agencies. A key part of the community response involves engaging young men in elephant and natural resource protection, thereby providing an alternative to recruitment by the armed groups. This presentation will describe how this was achieved despite extremely modest funds, why the strategy worked, the threats, and draw some conclusions of potential relevance elsewhere. Susan Canney is the Director of the Mali Elephant Project and Research Associate at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. She has worked in conservation science and practice in Africa, Asia and Europe, and at the Green College Centre for Environmental Policy & Understanding. She is a Research Associate of the Department of Zoology, Oxford University, interested in using systems perspectives to understand the human-nature relationship and bring conservation to the heart of sustainability and environmental policy. <strong>To book a place for this event, please visit</strong>