Botswana will next year (2018) host the Giants Club Summit aimed at protecting Africa’s elephant species. The major international summit will take place in Kasane from 15 -17 March 2018 hosted by the Tlhokomela Botswana Endangered Wildlife Trust and Space for Giants. “Fundamental threats to the world’s largest land mammal remain and poaching is still a huge problem. Pressures on elephant habitats are surging as human populations grow and more land is needed for farming and infrastructure development. Greater efforts to make sure that elephants and other wildlife are valued by the communities that host them are critical to the species’ survival.”
The Giants Club is a high-level global forum uniting visionary African political leaders with conservation science, philanthropic finance, and individuals with worldwide influence, who have together pledged to safeguard at least half of Africa’s remaining elephants by 2020.
Briefing the media yesterday at Masa Square Hotel, Minister for Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama who is also a board member of Tlhokomela Trust said, “What makes the Giants Club Summit different from a lot of other conferences we’ve seen in the past to beat poaching or protect wildlife is that it gathers in one place the people who can make the decisions, fund the work, and make sure it happens. This is urgent work, and it needs this kind of immediate action. We have seen progress since the inaugural summit and I’m certain that we will go much further with a raft of new interventions that will flow from the Giants Club Summit 2018.”
According to the minister, the summit will take the same pioneering approach to designing and funding conservation interventions first seen at the 2016 event. For his part, Max Graham, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Space for Giants said, “One African elephant lost to poaching is one too many, so the fact that dozens are still lost every day means we are very far indeed from calling the poaching crisis over.”
“At the same time, elephants are facing multiplying problems, where do elephants survive if their habitant is shrinking. How can nations develop while conserving natural resources? Must more people mean fewer wild animals?” quizzed Graham.
The Giants Club Summit 2016 will be premised on the below;
• 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
• It will work to secure Africa’s largest single remaining contiguous elephant population , which straddles the borders of five countries
• 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
• It will review progress made since the 2016 summit and set transparent goals to be achieved before the next event
Remarkably, the Giants Club Summit 2018 will be staged in the final month of President Ian Khama’s time in office, a distinguished figure who during his presidency led the way in demonstrating how an African state such as Botswana can combine economic progress with successful and sustained commitments to conservation.
The summit, which is expected to attract Heads of State, directors of global conservation and bilateral organisations, chairs and chief executive officers of international corporations, visionary philanthropists, and stars of sports, music, and cinema; will stand as a worthy international tribute to Khama’s achievements and to celebrate his legacy, not only for Botswana but for all of Africa.