Botswana recently hosted the Space for Giants, The Giants Club Summit 2018 from the 15th to 17th March 2018 in Kasane.
The Giants Club is an initiative of Space for Giants, which is an international conservation organisation headquartered in Kenya and operating in Botswana, Uganda and Gabon. Its mission is to protect Africa’s elephants and the landscape they occupy forever. The Giant Club unites visionary leaders of all the countries it operates in, enlightened heads of major businesses operating in Africa, global philanthropists, key influencers and leading wildlife protection experts.
Its founding members are President Ian Khama as Patron of Tlhokomela Trust, President Museveni, President Ali Bongo and President Uhuru Kenyatta. All these countries are home to half of Africa’s remaining elephants with Botswana having the largest population.
“Khama said the population of Botswana’s elephants currently stands between 160 000 and 200 000 about one third of Africa’s population. Botswana shares her population with neighbours Angola, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. “As a consequence of this fact, the management practices by the different countries impact upon the others, hence the birth of acclaimed Kavango Zambezi Trans-frontier Conservation area, which encompasses protected areas, conservancies and community lands in these countries to increase habitat available for these magnificent species”, Khama said.
He said everyone has to stand up and make quantifiable contribution to the preservation of this endangered species and that protection of space and that of habitat could be the only way to ensure that elephants will continue to coexist with humans.
Safety of African elephants has always been under threat. Botswana banned hunting safaris and converted them into photography safaris. The move was to help conserve wild species and also influence other countries to ban illegal trade of endangered species.
China has officially banned trade in all ivory and ivory products. On the other hand the president of the United States of America Donald Trump lifted a ban on elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, a ban that was put in place by former President Obama. Meanwhile the Giants Club has launched
The African Giants Club Conservation Journalism Fellowships Programme. It is a new network of specialist journalists working for major national media in all four Giants Club countries to increase conservation coverage in Africa. The Giants Club Conservation Journalism Fellowship connects reporters in Botswana, Gabon, Kenya and Uganda and supports them to widen their coverage.