Operating predominantly in the eastern Okavango Panhandle, Botswana, Ecoexist Trust seeks to find solutions to human-elephant conflict. They support the livelihoods and aspirations of people who share space with elephants while also considering the needs, patterns, behaviours and habitats of elephants.
People and elephants are in competition for access to water, food, and space throughout the elephant range in Africa and Asia. Botswana is home to over 130,000 elephants, the largest contiguous free ranging population on the planet. Here, interactions between people and elephants are becoming more frequent, and Human Elephant Conflict incidents are increasing as more land is converted to arable farming and the elephant range expands.
Elephants’ needs are similar to humans, we all require space, food and water. In a place of heightened competition for these resources on the edge of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Ecoexist Trust strives to find ways for people and elephants to share space by ensuring they are available to both. They address the needs for people to be safe, food secure and gain benefits from living with elephants, while ensuring critical habitat security for elephants.
Ecoexist Trust is a small not-for-profit NGO that was founded in 2013 by a multi-disciplinary team in Botswana. Their mission is to support the lives and livelihoods of people who share space with elephants while considering the needs of elephants and their habitats. Ecoexist takes a holistic approach to find practical, affordable, effective and lasting ways for people and elephants to coexist, ultimately, providing a model for conservation.
The team works on the ground and at policy level to create an enabling environment for coexistence. Awareness and education are key for long-term success of efforts, and all activities are monitored through research, providing evidence to inform policy and improve knowledge of the issue.
Wild Philanthropy’s vision centres around the notion that ecosystems, wildlife and communities require space to survive. We therefore recognise that as Africa’s land continues to be degraded at an alarming rate, greater human-wildlife conflict is bound to occur. Thus, Wild Philanthropy provides support to Ecoexist Trust in order to ensure the continuation of elephant-human coexistence in Botswana.
If you would like to support Ecoexist Trust’s work, please explore some of their current projects below: