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Monday, January 30, 2006

Renewed Faith in Humans #2: Asian Elephant Action Plan


Well, it’s about time… nations throughout Asia whose forests are still home to wild populations of elephants have met as a group for the first time to discuss the species' future survival.

They’ve finally realized that there’s going to have to be more co-operation between them, so that herds crossing nation boundaries will still be afforded protection no matter whose country they’re in.

The wild population of Asian elephants is now estimated at only around 30,000 to 50,000. The three-day gathering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was facilitated by IUCN, in an attempt to try and figure out the best way to protect the remaining elephant populations.

There are only rough estimates of elephant numbers in different countries, ranging from fewer than 100 in Vietnam to more than 20,000 in India.

But this is still guesswork – what’s lacking is sufficient manpower and government backing to implement and endorse any action plan.

The 13-nation meeting is just a start – by no means will it come up with an effective solution to suit all participants. But to finally have them all sat round the table with one goal is a good beginning – no matter how long overdue.

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