On 29 and 30 April 2016, some of the world’s biggest voices will come together for the first time to speak up for one of its biggest inhabitants. The inaugural Giants Club Summit is set to take place in Kenya and will bring together African heads of state, global celebrities, corporate leaders, philanthropists and conservationists to address elephant poaching on the continent and discuss long-term solutions to this problem. The summit will also address how to protect rapidly diminishing elephant habitats and ensure that Africa’s giants will have a home in the future.
As “ecosystem engineers”, elephants play a key role in their environments, making contributions as diverse as maintaining open wooded savanna, increasing water flow to streams and creating habitat for a multitude of smaller creatures. They are also one of the most charismatic of Africa’s wildlife, highly sought after by tourists, and therefore a major contributor to the revenue generated by conservation tourism. However, as a result of poaching and habitat loss, elephant numbers have plummeted from over a million in 1980 to less than 450,000 today. Since 2009, poaching rates have skyrocketed, and experts estimate 30-40,000 elephants are currently being killed every year for their ivory. At these rates, the possibility of the extinction of the African elephant in our lifetime is real.
With a million acres of African wilderness and thriving elephant populations under our protection, Singita is acutely aware of this ever-growing problem and the need to keep these vulnerable landscapes and their fauna and flora safe. This why we’re so excited about the Giants Club Summit and can’t wait to see the workable solutions that will result from it.
To make sure you too stay up to date with all the latest summit developments, head to Twitter and keep an eye on #giantsclub. You can also read about the latest elephant sightings at Singita in our monthly Wildlife Reports.