November 2014

Supporting the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries.
A Real Team Effort

Asian Elephant Support is participating in a significant endeavor with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  This innovative effort, the “Aceh Conservation, Environment, Humanity” (ACEH) program, is working to engage legislators in Aceh Province, Indonesia.

Conservation biologists alone have not been able to slow down the rapid decline in numbers of wildlife species and their wild habitats around the world. Human-elephant conflict (HEC) has been identified as a major threat to elephant conservation by all Asian elephant range country governments.  The greatest danger HEC poses to elephants is the antagonism it generates among local communities toward wildlife.  

The specific goals of ACEH are:
  • Strengthen the concept of “sustainable development”, which has been mandated by the Indonesian constitution.
  • Support the formation and operation of the Aceh Sustainable Development Caucus.
  • Facilitate the flow of information about sustainable development to legislators in order to enhance the development of public policies that incorporate sustainability principles.
  • Provide technical consultation to Aceh’s Parliament on a variety of issues such as land-use planning.

In January and February of this year, the ACEH team devoted significant time to conducting presentations and meetings with 13 of the 15 political parties in Aceh during the lead up to the local elections in April.  ACEH is building a network of civil society organizations to contribute to this effort.  At present ACEH is planning the agenda and structure for the Caucus, which is expected to begin in October 2014 when newly elected legislators start their terms.

We want to share with you the ACEH brochure, in English, that summarizes this project.  We appreciate our supporters who, in turn, enable us to be a small part of this major effort for wildlife in Aceh and throughout Asia.
Update from Sumatra

As usual, the Veterinary Society for Sumatran Wildlife Conservation (VESSWIC) veterinarians are working diligently for elephants and other wildlife in Sumatra.  In August, the team visited the Elephant Conservation Centers (ECC) in Minas and Sebanga in the province of Riau.  After VESSWIC assisted the Nature Conservation Agency (BKSDA) with a few cases involving wild and captive elephants, the head of BKSDA Riau sent a formal request for regular health care support.  VESSWIC will be collaborating with the BKSDA to improve the care of the elephants in the Riau elephant camps. 

The initial plan is to do quarterly visits for the next 12 months. During this trip the vet team was invited to visit a small conservation forest area inside a pulp and paper production forest. The company with in this conservation area, Arar Abadi Pulp and Paper Company, currently manages 6 elephants, but the management of these elephants will be going back to BKSDA Riau.  The BKSDA and Ara Abadi would like to establish an elephant patrol unit in the Bengkalis district, which is an area of high human-elephant conflict. VESSWIC was asked to evaluate the health and general management of the elephants to determine if they could be used for patrol.  Furthermore, BKSDA has asked VESSWIC to provide technical assistance to establish this new Conservation Response Unit (CRU)/ Elephant Patrol Unit.
Loading the boat to go deep into the forest
In our last update in the April newsletter, VESWIC had assisted BKSDA Aceh with a sun bear rescue.  We are happy to report that two of the sun bears that were being kept in quarantine at the BKSDA headquarters have been released into the Ulu Massen forest area. One of the bears had been confiscated from an illegal private holding facility and the other had been injured in a wire snare and brought to the headquarters for treatment. 
Last medical check before transport to release the bear.
Leaving the transport cage
With your support, AES has been able to make a three year commitment to VESSWIC to help them continue the work they are doing for the wildlife and humans living in Sumatra.

AES Mission

  • Provide financial support for the care and conservation of elephants in Asian range countries that meet our criteria for care of captive elephants and for conservation of the species.
  • Increase awareness of the needs and future of the Asian elephant.
  • Increase awareness of the humane treatment of elephants living in captivity.
  • Provide educational opportunities to those persons who care for captive Asian elephants in range countries.
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 “For in the end, we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.

We will understand only what we are taught.” 
-Baba Dioum
We  wish to extend a very sincere thank you to each donor who has voted their support with a financial gift. We value that confidence and will always do our best for the animals we all care for so deeply.

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