Promoting Elephant Conservation Through Research and Education
A primary activity of the partnership of the Kesho Trust with the World Elephant Centre [WEC] is the development of a major world class interpretation facility focused on elephants – their evolution, current ecological relationships, the pressure on their populations through hunting and land use intensification and the conservation and management actions necessary for their survival. The purpose is to bring global attention to the elephant and the challenges faced in managing this iconic species.
This facility is planned to be located along the Arusha to Ngorongoro highway. The highway is a corridor through which almost 600,000 people pass each year to visit the protected areas in the Tanzania northern circuit. The site of the facility is just above the escarpment of the Rift Valley. The site has two major national parks to the east of it – Tarangirie [1 hour] and Manyara and the Manyara Biosphere Reserve [15 mins] and two protected areas to the west – Ngorongoro Conservation Area [30 mins] and Serengeti National Park [2 to 3 hours through Ngorongoro] – both World Heritage Sites.
The project concept has been developed by the WEC and a committee of interested people has been developing in support of the work. The visitor interpretation facility is only one part of the concept albeit a major one. The site will also house research and conference facilities which are important components of the WEC program and the basis for advocacy for improved management and control of illegal hunting.
The Kesho Trust supported the development of the centre through a volunteer from Canada, Brent Liddle. Brent developed a conceptual design for the facility and his completed report is posted here for review. WEC Conceptual Design Report. Brent also conducted a second assignment on this project – the development of interpretive storylines for interim facilities at the site [see Brent’s journal entry].
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