One of Elephant Family's main goals is to raise awareness for the plight of Asia's elephants on the international stage and in 2018, with your help, we did that in style!
The year opened with Elephant Parade India in Mumbai. India's largest public art exhibition dedicated to the species, it brought together 101 artists and was supported by key politicians including The Hon’ble Davendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Mumbai North Smt. Poonam Mahajan and Union Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development, The Hon’ble Smt. Maneka Ghandi. Together we celebrated the magnificence of the Asian elephant, generating mass awareness of their plight with a media reach of 1.3 billion and 500+ press clippings that engendered new levels of understanding.
By its close, over 10 million people had enjoyed the elephants at street level and significant funds had been raised to support vital conservation work to help protect India's heritage animal.
With a smaller herd of 30 elephant sculptures visiting London during the summer and a special tie up with JKS Restaurants 10th Anniversary celebrations during Diwali in November, 2018 saw the Elephant Parade elephants raising significant awareness, funds and smiles for their cousins in the wild. They also formed the basis of a new educational resource published by the British Council in December.
In March, the publication of our investigative report into the illegal trade in Asian elephant skin, brought global attention to a growing and insidious threat that could, if not checked, signal the loss of this awesome species. Over 75 international publications and broadcasters took up the story which formed the basis of our campaigning to change the laws governing the protection of the species; changes that were universally agreed at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Sochi, Russia in October. This important victory paves the way for improved protection of Asia's elephants and creates a solid base for our team to build on in 2019.
Elephant Family funded 14 key conservation projects in 2018 and worked hard to get Asian elephants into the global conservation narrative and, with your help, we had a fabulous year. But the challenge of securing increased protection and awareness for the species remains critical as human pressure continues to threaten wild habitats and connectivity.
We look forward to you being part of our family as we work to save the Asian elephant and wish you all a happy, healthy and elephant filled New Year!