This blog follows the Elephants and Sustainable Agriculture Earthwatch expedition in Kenya. The project is funded by Western Kentucky University, the International Elephant Foundation, Earthwatch, and Wildlife Works. Western Kentucky University is a leading American university with international reach. The International Elephant Foundation strives to create a sustainable future where elephants thrive by linking people and elephants for their mutual long-term benefit. Earthwatch is a non-profit organization which allows people worldwide to connect with leading scientists to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Wildlife Works has been conserving biodiversity in this ecosystem for nearly 20 years. They are the world’s leading REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), project development and management company with an effective approach to applying innovative market based solutions to the conservation of biodiversity.
This particular project operates in a wildlife corridor between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, an area home to a diverse array of habitat and wildlife.
African elephants are an important ecological and economic force in this region. However, these mammals are a wide-ranging species and the expanding human settlements and agriculture continue to restrict their ranges and block migration paths. This human-elephant conflict is exacerbated when elephants raid farms and destroy crops, putting rural farmers’ lives and livelihoods in jeopardy.
Our project strives to improve these farmers’ livelihoods and find harmony between them and the wildlife with which they share this ecosystem. We aspire to do this by seeking ways of reducing human-elephant conflicts and implementing climate-smart agricultural practices.
This blog hopes to give potential Earthwatch volunteers an idea of what it is like to be a part of an Earthwatch project, and to hopefully inspire in its readers a love for wildlife, sustainability, and adventure.
Music Student at Western Kentucky University. Photographer, Videographer, Blog Manager, and Social Media Manager for the Elephants and Sustainable Agriculture in Kenya Earthwatch Project