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Support the Nairobi - Addis Ababa Elephant Awareness Walk

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The team are now preparing for their 17th walk, which is due to start from Nairobi on 20th July 2024. Taking approximately 90 days and covering 2,900 kms, the team will pass through 11 National Parks and Protected Conservation Areas; including Mount Kenya, Laikipia, Samburu, and Marsabit; on their way to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. This Horn Of Africa Walk will underpin the essence of conserving wildlife habitats through elephants, which play a major role in the ecosystem.

The rationale behind the walks is to emphasise the need to strengthen elephant initiatives with the national wildlife agencies, local organisations, and communities, including across borders; and to create awareness of the plight of elephants and other animals in Kenya and throughout Africa. The team walk through areas important for wildlife and demonstrate the need to continue protecting elephants, as their home ranges contain huge biodiversity and ecosystem benefits. Many of these are connected and support cross-border species conservation.

Jim Justus Nyamu, OGW, is the founder and Executive Director of the Elephant Neighbors Center, a non-profit organisation with a mission to protect the African Elephant and secure landscapes for elephants outside protected areas through various initiatives and multi-stakeholder partnerships. To push the conservation agenda, the ENC has founded a trademarked conservation brand, 'Ivory Belongs to Elephants™', with advocacy walks as its core activity and anchored on raising general awareness locally, nationally, and internationally of the plight of African Elephants. 

This most iconic of African species is being pushed towards extinction - slaughtered by poachers to supply a worldwide ivory trade worth up to US$20 billion a year. Despite a ban in many countries, the killing is only getting worse – we lost close to a million elephants in the last 4 decades, a large percentage of which was due to poaching. There are now estimated to be less than 35,000 elephants in Kenya and only 350,000 in the whole of Africa, with approximately 20,000 being killed every year; some countries have even lost their elephants completely, e.g. Eritrea and Burundi. African elephants will be extinct in our lifetime if this rate of loss continues.

On April 11th 2019, the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, launched the 'Ivory Belongs to Elephants Walk' documentary and the ENC's first publication, 'Towards A New Conservation Model'. It challenges existing conservation approaches and concepts across Africa, most of which continue to create a wide gap between communities and conservation. The Community Conservation Education Program has also been implemented and executed countrywide.

The walks focus on enhancing the lives of communities living with wildlife by offering solutions to mitigating human-wildlife conflict and highlighting the direct importance of wildlife to those communities. Jim and his team have been walking to raise awareness of the plight of the African Elephant since 2013, completing over 21,500kms to date across Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom, reaching out to over 16,000 schools, and holding over 900 community meetings along the routes.

The ENC is entirely funded by donations and, as you can imagine, there is a lot that the team requires for these walks – meals and accommodation, fuel and maintenance for the support vehicles, insurance, walking kit, communication devices, etc., etc., etc.. Please help us secure the future of elephants by donating even the smallest amount – every penny really does count, and will be hugely appreciated. Just US$10 will provide enough fuel, meals, and water for 1 km for the whole team, including drivers, security, communications, and photographer.

Despite the announcement in 2018 by the UK government of plans to ban the sale and export of almost all ivory items, trade in ivory and live elephants is still legal in several countries around the world; and, it would seem, even encouraged, going by the reversal of the US ban on ivory imports. This is one of the reasons why Jim walks in the United States, Europe, and Africa, to raise awareness of the plight of the elephant to international communities that are still trading in ivory.

Since Jim and the team started walking for elephants in 2013, there have been a lot of changes in attitudes, with wildlife-human policies adjusted as a result of campaign recommendations and appeals. Wildlife conservation organisations have come together to address both environmental and conservation-related challenges and to embark on joint opportunities.

This would not have been possible without your donations - they are making a real difference to African wildlife, helping to ensure a safe future for elephants in the wild.

On a personal note, I met Jim in December 2017 when we were due to walk from Stroud to Chippenham (a distance of over 35kms) in the UK as part of The Great London To Bristol Ivory Belongs To Elephants Walk. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the worst day of our winter so far, so it took me twice as long to get from Manchester (where I live) to Stroud as it should have done and Jim and his team were also delayed starting that day due to the bad weather; some of them had not even experienced snow before, never mind anything like as bad as it was. However, we did eventually manage to walk a few kilometres before the dark closed in and we completed the journey to Chippenham by car and van.

I can honestly say that meeting Jim was one of the best moments of my life – such a humble and genuine man, with an unstoppable determination to ensure the long-term safety of elephants in the wild; he is one of only two people whom I truly admire and is a real inspiration.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this and for your support - please donate whatever you can and share this ongoing campaign widely with your family, friends, and social media.

Susan. :-)



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  • Thomas Power
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Susan Crofts

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