THE CROAK is a weekly environmental newsletter put out by the eCoexist team. It is the voice of the environment on its last legs, the final croak that can either be a plea for attention or a call of triumph as the frogs jump out of the well of ignorance and denial.

Coexistence with the Asian Elephant

While the African elephant increases in population, its Asian counterpart has not been so fortunate. There are several reasons for this , but in general  it is the conflict between humanity and elephants that causes fatalities on both sides. 

In India, 80 percent of elephant distribution is outside protected areas (PAs) and human-elephant conflicts (HEC) are common.  29964 elephants in the country have been documented. The main threats to Asian elephants today are changes to their habitat because of an expanding human population and the conflicts between the two species.  Reservoirs, hydroelectric projects and associated canals, irrigation dams, numerous pockets of cultivation and plantations, highways, railway lines, mining and industrial development , all contribute to the pressure on the elephant territories.

According to the official data, during 2016-17 to 2018-19, 314 elephants were killed. Of these, 206 were due to electrocution, 60 due to train accidents, 21 due to poisoning and 27 elephants died due to poaching. During the same period, the conflict led to the death of 1,474 people. (Wikipedia)

Is it possible for the two species to coexist? In a country like India , where elephants are said to be revered, can we protect this beautiful mammal by protecting its habitat and food corridors?

The Assam Haathi Project
The Assam Haathi Project (AHP) began in 2004 as a collaboration between Chester Zoo (UK) and EcoSystems-India. They also work with the State Forest Department, Government of Assam and local conservation organizations.  It aims to empower the local communities to take responsibility for deterring elephants from causing damage to their property and crops and create a sustainable co-existence for people and elephants. Whilst also monitoring elephant movements to understand more about their distribution and patterns in order to protect elephants long term. It is based in Assam, North East India and operate in two districts: Sontipur & Goalpara.
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Nandita Hazarika

Nandita Hazarika is an energy-environment consultant based in Guwahati. She is associated with EcoSystems-India, a trust for biodiversity and environment conservation in Assam as its founder-member. She manages the Assam Haathi Project on human-elephant conflict mitigation. Nandita is also engaged in conservation programmes for some highly endangered species such as the pygmy hog and the greater adjutant. Her work experience of over two decades has focussed on research on energy and environment issues, and community-based initiatives related to wildlife conservation, ecotourism, renewable energy, alternative livelihoods and environment education. In the past she had worked with TERI and WWF-India. Nandita has a Masters in Geography from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow (2001-2002) under the Fulbright Programme at University of Washington, Seattle.

Read an article on the laws governing elephant corridors
The Gajanana Campaign

      Two years ago, eCoexist started a new campaign called Gajanana, with an intention to connect the Ganesh Chaturthi festival with the cause of conserving wild Asian elephants. Sri Ganesha is half elephant and half human. With the growth of the human communities, and the death of elephants, it feels as though we have been neglecting one aspect of our worship, which is to take care of his elephant form too. 

In 2017, eCoexist raised Rs 80000 for WRCS , an NGO that works in Karnataka to help mitigate Human Elephant conflict through this campaign. This year we will be sending the monies we collect to the Assam Haathi project. 

We sincerely urge you to contribute... 

Donate here
Join the REVIVE series every Sunday

During the recent COVID 19 lockdown, eCoexist began a series of web talks called REVIVE - as a way to reconnect with self, with community and with Nature. These talks started as chats between friends to see how we were going to work towards a new normal and to find a way to envision a different future. Slowly, our audience grew to include more people and the discussions to cover various aspects of Sustainability and Self. 

Every Sunday between 4 to 6 pm, we welcome you to connect with us through the REVIVE talks, that is bringing together a fantastic community of sensitive and brilliant people, with whom we can co create a new future. 

On 23 Aug, Sunday, we will hear from Nandita about the status of elephant populations in Assam. The talk will present the issue of human-elephant conflict (HEC) in Assam and how the communities are impacted and mitigation measures undertaken, with Assam Haathi Project (AHP) as a case study. The focus will be on HEC dynamics (causes, type, impact), elephant behaviour, about AHP and engagement with the communities, its activities, challenges that conservationists face, and other NGOs and government efforts.  

The talks are free for registration and have ample time and space for a deep and authentic conversation with the speaker. Some of our guests are otherwise difficult to reach as they live and work in remote locations and so these are precious opportunities to hear from them in person. 

Visit the REVIVE webpage
Register for REVIVE : 23 Aug

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Aug 23, 2020 04:00 PM India
Topic: Revive w Ecoexist - Elephants and Us: The Assam Haathi Project

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Register Here
The REVIVE Support network : Contributing to a new paradigm

On 19 July, we launched a new initiative, the REVIVE support network to collect funds for authentic work done by various NGOS on issues of sustainability. We invite our esteemed speakers to recommend a deserving group that needs financial support. Participants of the talk are invited to send small ( or large!) amounts to the eCoexist foundation over the next few days. This contribution is gathered and then sent as a collective sum to the organisation identified by the speaker. 

On 19 July we raised RS 27,000 which was sent to the Grama Vikas group in Mulbagal, Karnataka on the guidance of our speaker S Vishwanath who knows their work closely.

We will continue this effort for all the upcoming speakers. Participants can pay as little as Rs 100 to contribute. 

The registration for the REVIVE talks is FREE and the organisers and speakers both offer their time and energy in creating these talks voluntarily. You are also welcome to send in a voluntary contribution to REVIVE to enable us to expand the reach of  this series. 

The REVIVE support network allows for all of us to enable authentic work on the ground to help our country and its people through this crisis and to protect our natural resources. We welcome you to join our efforts. 

( Pl mention the cause for which you would like to contribute on your transfer)

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The Croak is a weekly environmental newsletter put out by the eCoexist team. It is the voice of the environment on its last legs, the final croak that can either be a plea for attention or a call of triumph as the frogs jump out of the well of ignorance and denial. Satirical, urgent and wise the newsletter brings to your attention, topics of global environmental relevance as well as emerging encouraging alternatives. Put together by a team of passionate Nature lovers, The Croak hopes to look at the environmental crisis in its face. It is a tool to reconnect readers to Nature, through questioning and self reflection. To understand the outer environment as a reflection of our own inner state, individually and as a species. And to take responsibility for enabling change.
If you would like to contribute articles on ecology consciousness and sustainability please get in touch with us.

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