29 April 2016


The Giants Club?  Wassat?  Have you heard of it?  No?  Until I read a local newspaper today, I had never heard of it either.  Once I had read the article, I became increasingly excited by what I had learned.  At last, people, something positive and with a great chance of success, is being done to protect the remaining population of the African Elephant from total extinction at the hands of the poachers who feed the illegal ivory trade.

The Giants Club is an association of heads of state, governments, conservationists, business leaders and philanthropists who have one common cause - the destruction of the illegal ivory trade and the protection for posterity of the African Elephant and the habitat that they live in.  The “Club” is holding its first summit as I write, at the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club on the slopes of Mt Kenya in the central Kenyan town of Nanyuki from Thursday April 28 to Saturday April 30.  In attendance will be President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon,  President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya (who is hosting the event,) President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and President Ian Khama of Botswana.  Also present will be senior delegations representing other African Heads of State, global power-brokers, and technical experts.  President Barack Obama will be represented by Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom, and William C Woody, Chief of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement.  Other leaders expected to attend are Ms Helen Clarke, former New Zealand Prime Minister and current administrator for the United Nations Development Programme and who has been nominated by her country to be the next UN Secretary-General to replace Ban Ki-Moon at the turn of the year.  The U.K.’s Richard Branson, Jody Allen and Evegny Lebedev, owner of the Evening Standard newspaper and patron of The Giants Club, will also be there.

Max Graham, founder and CEO of Space for Giants, the conservation charity that helped form The Giants Club, is quoted as saying:  “We can put in one place all the people who need to be together really to accelerate progress on elephant protection: Africa’s leaders, conservationists, philanthropists and investors, and people with the influence to bring others to our side.  “This is not another talking shop. This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to show the world that we know how to stop poaching, and for the world to stand alongside us and help us to make it happen. These are the very real outcomes we are expecting from the Summit. We are eager to get started.”

Now it would seem that we have the ammunition - let's hope that the calibre of the gun is big enough!  I wish the Giants Club every success and good fortune.  Bravo!

You can read more here:  http://spaceforgiants.org/giantsclub/


This from National Geographic:  At the meeting’s end, philanthropists in attendance offered around $5 million in funding and support, while Gabon pledged to double its national parks staff from 750 to 1,500, and Botswana said it will create a special intelligence unit for supporting rangers.

Is it enough?

GS 6th June 2016