The Tui Care Foundation has partnered with the International Fund for Animal Welfare on a project to stop poachers killing wild elephants.
Announced ahead of World Elephant Day on August 12, the initiative will run in the Tsavo Conservation Area, one of the Kenya’s most visited tourism destinations, and home to about 12,850 African elephants.
Tui’s charity and IFAW will work with the Kenya Wildlife Service and local communities to train 130 rangers to use data which will help them protect wildlife.
The initiative is called tenBoma, meaning 10 houses, and is inspired by an African community philosophy that says if 10 houses look out for each other, the wider community is safe.
Local communities keep an eye on any suspicious activity – from detecting unknown tyre prints to seeing camp fire smoke from outside a village area.
This data is analysed and patterns can be shared with field rangers who can counter potential threats and intercept poachers.
Thomas Ellerbeck, chairman of the board of trustees of Tui Care Foundation, said: “An exciting aspect of this project lays in its combination of local knowledge, on the one hand, and the latest technological developments on the other.”
Faye Cuevas, IFAW senior vice-president, said: “Tui Care Foundation has made it possible for us to provide urgently needed equipment to community rangers such as mobile devices, cameras and boots so they can collect information on potential threats to wildlife and people.”
As part of its Tui Elephant Aid programme, Tui Care Foundation has been supporting projects that protect elephants since its foundation.
In Tanzania, local farmers were taught how to protect their crops with elephant-friendly solutions and in Thailand, the foundation supports local entrepreneurs to develop elephant-friendly venues where visitors can experience elephants in a natural habitat.