Second Giants Club Summit celebrates progress but warns: the job’s not done yet
Close to 30 senior government delegates and almost 100 conservationists, scientists, philanthropists, financiers and celebrities took part in the second Giants Club Summit in Kasane in Botswana in March, attended by His Excellency Ian Khama, the former President of Botswana.
There was much to celebrate since the first Summit in Kenya in 2016. Since then, major ivory markets have closed and poaching surveys show that in East Africa, at least, the number of elephants being illegally killed is back to pre-crisis levels. More funding is flowing into programmes to protect elephants and their landscapes, more poachers are being successfully prosecuted, and more people are learning about the value of those animals and their habitats.
But it was made clear at the Botswana meeting that a great deal of work remains. Forest elephants in central Africa continue to face horrific poaching. Habitat across Africa is being lost. Sobering presentations from Elephants Without Borders’ Mike Chase, and the National Geographic Society’s Steve Boyes, highlighted major worries about new poaching trends, and threats to the Okavango Delta, an ecosystem that supports huge elephant herds and Botswana’s tourism industry.
Read the Giants Club Summit 2018 – Summary Report here.