THE GIANTS CLUB SUMMIT 2018
To accelerate the progress that started in 2016 and also to drive significant new interventions, President Khama will preside at the second Giants Club Summit in Kasane in northern Botswana on 15 -17 March 2018. The event will be held on the banks of the Chobe River within the range of Africa’s largest elephant population – 225,000 individuals whose habitats straddle the borders of five countries.
The Giants Club Summit 2018 will take place in the final month of President Khama’s time in office. During his presidency, Botswana has demonstrated how an African state can combine economic progress with successful and sustained commitments to conservation by developing what is today acknowledged as the world’s leading ecotourism model. The Summit will serve as a worthy tribute to President Khama’s achievements.
Good work has been done, but the job is far from finished.
This central focus allows the Summit’s key activities to coalesce around the following themes:
In 2016, China committed to banning its domestic trade in ivory by the end of 2017, heralding its emergence as a global leader for conservation by significantly reducing the pressure on Africa’s embattled elephant populations. At the Giants Club Summit 2018, this commitment will be celebrated and the Summit will explore how enforcement of wildlife crime law, and deterring those who would become involved, is evolving and expanding in the face of continued poaching pressure. This will be combined with experts across the field of anti-poaching gathering to share experience, techniques and effective skills so those at the forefront of this struggle across the African continent can be united and pool best experience – as well as to highlight and to seek support for the crucial individual work and specific projects that must continue to be undertaken if this scourge that is risking decimating herds is to be stopped.
Investment in secured space
Protecting landscapes for wildlife to roam needs both funding and the support of local communities. The Summit will provide a platform to achieve both. A key focus of space to be secured is the contiguous landscape that is home to more than half of the elephants left in Africa, which straddles the borders of five nations – Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe – with the world-famous Okavango Delta at its heart. If effectively conserved, these 444,000 square kilometres are the most significant refuge for terrestrial mega-fauna left on Earth. The Giants Club Summit 2018 will look to support the conservation of this critical landscape in a series of steps, including by supporting Angola to conserve its highlands, the headwaters of the Okavango.
Review and learning
The 2016 summit was united by the objective of making clear to the world that “elephants are worth more alive than dead”. Political leaders, conservationists, and philanthropists committed to a set of major actions and commitments to deliver this motion. Among those already being delivered are:
1.Scaling up of intelligence-led anti-poaching operations
2.Completing elephant fences to mitigate human-elephant-conflict
3.The reforming of the framework for prosecuting wildlife crime
4.Connecting and mentoring African conservation journalists in each Giants Club country
5.Holding of the first Giants Club Conservation and Tourism Investment Forum in Uganda on 6 October 2017 to generate new revenue to safeguard the country’s conservation estate
The Giants Club Summit 2018 provides a moment to review progress and an opportunity to establish a new set of actions. This represents a new approach in conservation, where commitments are regularly reviewed in an open and transparent way to ensure tangible results are being achieved on the ground.
The Giants Club Summit 2018 will take place in Kasane, a tourist gateway town on the edge of Chobe National Park in northern Botswana. The venues will allow delegates not only to meet and hear from others who are leaders in conservation, but also to see for themselves innovative conservation approaches and tools being adopted to protect wildlife.
The schedule includes:
15 March: Chobe River Conservation Excursion with Welcome Cocktails (afternoon)
16 March: Giants Club Summit Official Opening followed by Interactive Discussion Sessions alternating with rotating Field Demonstrations (full day)
17 March: Giants Club Summit Closing and Key Announcements (morning)
For further information, please contact Catherine Coulson at Summit@thegiantsclub.org
H.E. Ian Khama, the President of Botwana, will host the Giants Club Summit 2018
The Giants Club Summit 2018 has four initial objectives:
1. It will be held soon after China enacts its domestic ivory trade ban, and will recognise the great distinction of that step and help drive new partnerships between China and Africa that ensure natural ecosystems flourish
2. It will work to secure Africa’s largest single remaining contiguous elephant population, which straddles the borders of five countries
3. It will engage global enterprise to show how investing in conservation is good for corporate social responsibility and good for business in increasingly discerning global markets
4. It will review progress made since the 2016 summit and set transparent goals to be achieved before the next event
At the official launch of the Giants Club Summit 2018, Tshekedi Khama, Botswana’s Minister for Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism, said: “What makes the Giants Club Summit different from a lot of other conferences we’ve seen to beat poaching or protect wildlife is that it delivers.”
“With the Giants Club we in Botswana believe that we’re now on the right path to go to exactly where we want to be, which is the preservation and the continued protection of endangered wildlife.
“This is urgent work, and it needs this kind of immediate action. We have been associated with the Giants Club for only 18 months and already we have seen tangible results. I’m certain that we will go much further with a raft of new interventions that will flow from the Giants Club Summit 2018.”
H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, hosted the inaugural Giants Club Summit in Nanyuki in Kenya in April 2016.
Click this link to see a video of the highlights of the Giants Club Summit
What we achieved
Three African heads of state, 98 business leaders, key influencers and conservation experts were brought together for the purpose of ensuring a future for elephants and the landscapes they depend on, forever.
The vision for the Summit was to secure commitments from all four Giants Club nations, Kenya, Botswana, Gabon and Uganda towards the protection and management of their elephant populations. The Summit also sought to secure the recruitment of a small, potent Giants Club membership base to fund these interventions. All of these elements were achieved as follows:
1. Political will: The four Giants Club Presidents of Kenya, Gabon, Uganda and Botswana announced major conservation interventions for the protection and management of their elephants in support of the Elephant Protection Initiative. Details of interventions announced by each country include:
• Gabon plans to double staff at its National Parks Agency from 750 to 1,500
• Uganda intends to construct an electrified fence around Murchison Falls National Park to reduce human‐elephant conflict
• Botswana will form an intelligence‐led special operations unit to support wildlife rangers
• Kenya will launch a National Conservation Endowment Fund, whose profits will fund conservation
2. Technical capacity: These conservation interventions centre on the protection of elephants in the wild, the management of human-elephant conflict, and smart new ways to fund the maintenance of key elephant refuges. They include new rapid reaction ranger units, support for strengthening prosecutions, electrified fences, and conservation investment strategies – a ‘toolkit’ of methods pioneered by Space for Giants alongside partner organisations.
3. Financial resources: Financiers and donors pledged more than $5 million in funding to support the implementation of these new conservation interventions.
4. Key influencers: In total, over 200 delegates attended including African governments, senior delegations from the US, Europe, China, Russia, the UN, leading financiers and philanthropists, conservation experts, and celebrities and key influencers including Sir Elton John, Lupita Nyongo and Bear Grylls pledged their support. The Summit was attended by 120 media generating broadcast, online and print exposure reaching a global audience in excess of 853 million people. Social media interactions reached over 1 million people.
Together, the Giants Club member states are home to more than half of Africa’s remaining savannah elephants, and three quarters of its remaining forest elephants. Actions agreed at the Summit will give these populations the greatest chance to thrive for generations to come.
“What we experienced at the Giants Club Summit is the start of an African conservation revolution,” says Max Graham, CEO of Space for Giants. “We have always said that what is key to better protection of elephants and their landscapes, and to ending the illegal wildlife trade, is greater political will from Africa’s leaders and during the Summit we saw the clearest possible demonstrations of that commitment. We have also seen substantial financial commitments being made, which will allow the Giants to achieve what they have set out to do.”
We would like to thank the Giants Club member states, speakers, panelists, delegates, sponsors, partner organisations and all those who are so kindly backing our vision and helping to ensure a future for elephants, forever. The success of the inaugural Giants Club Summit would not have been possible without your support.
To watch highlights from the Giants Club Summit 2016 click below:
To watch the Official opening of the summit by President Kenyatta click below:
To see pictures from the summit click here
To read the full Giants Club Summit Brochure please go to:Giants Club Summit Brochure
For Press Releases please click below:
The Giants Club was founded by President Kenyatta with the presidents of Botswana, Gabon, Kenya and Uganda, with support from Space for Giants and its patron, Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of The Independent and London Evening Standard newspapers. The body was formed to combat the poaching crisis by bringing together visionary leaders who can work together to provide the political will, financial resources and technical capacity required to protect Africa’s remaining elephant populations.