In this post we explore how Mali’s new Biosphere Reserve fits into an important global picture of the critical need for natural areas. This need has been made more evident by the COVID-19 pandemic that has raised awareness of how degraded ecosystems increase human vulnerability to catastrophic events.
The new reserve will be 4,263,320 hectares, about the size of Switzerland or almost 5x the size of Yellowstone National Park; and represents a 26% increase in protected area coverage for Mali!
For local communities living alongside elephants in the Gourma region of Mali, it would be close to 10 million acres. At the minimum.
Through thick and thin, the Mali Elephant Project’s staff and supporters have kept this globally important herd of elephants alive. 2018 was the most challenging year for the Mali Elephant Project since the start of the violent insurgency in 2013.
As Africa’s poaching crisis continues, the Mali Elephant Project is proud to announce a new partnership with Yachak Organic Yerba Mate that will strengthen critically needed anti-poaching efforts.
With no recorded poaching incidents reported by its extensive surveillance networks, this achievement is a remarkable milestone for the Mali Elephant Project (MEP).
The challenge of operating in the Gourma grows as the jihadist insurgency advances by stealth, tapping into local grievances to expand their influence.