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ElephantVoices talk Compassionate Conservation

Last week we were part of something new and exciting - the long overdue recognition of a new brand of conservation - compassionate conservation. This fundamental topic was discussed during a symposium at University of Oxford 1 to 3 September - with 150 participants from 22 countries representing all continents.

Will Travers of Born Free put it so well: "The shared commitment of individual people to individual animals lies at the heart of Compassionate Conservation. Individual animals, species, habitats and ecosystems, sustained, protected and nurtured by individual people, families and communities throughout towns, countries, regions, continents."

The lives of individual animals matter, because what we do to them has consequences for their well being and for the health of the complex societies in which they live. The continued existence of populations of social species, like elephants, is dependent upon the endurance of friendships and the integrity of families and clans. Yet, in the name of conservation and "sustainable utilization" these individual building blocks of societies are often forgotten, purposefully ignored and disposed of as organizations and nations barter away lives to supply the ivory trade, provide for a hunter's bullet and supply captives for zoos, circuses and elephant-back safaris.

If you want to listen to our take on what compassionate conservation means for elephants take a look at our presentation presented at the symposium. And share, share - we want to spread the word.

The Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) and the Born Free Foundation hosted the Compassionate Conservation Symposium, at Lady Margaret Hall, a college closely associated with WildCRU at the University of Oxford. Copyright: Compassionate Conservation