Shifting conflict into coexistence will take creative and cooperative efforts by us all—farmers, conservationists, tourists, anyone anywhere who eats rice or papayas or loves elephants — such a tall order when it will be a slow change in a fast moving world. But not knowing how to fix the entire problem is no reason not to try to fix what we can, where we can, however we can.
We’ve begun setting up motion-sensor lights around test farms that have sustained recent crop-loss from several bull elephants. Different wattages, different angles and heights, and reflective tape hanging from the wires are being installed. Keeping subsistence farmers safe helps keep wild elephants safe, and when you help one you help the other.
And yet, this won’t fix the problem—no individual solution has been found anywhere in the international community. We hope that it WILL give farmers more time to respond when elephants approach their farms, while other conservation approaches are painstakingly implemented. Keeping an eye on and tending the immediate issues while also working to amend the larger problems is at the Heart of The Elephant Love Project.
Sometimes in the midst of such ongoing conflict it can seem impossible to even imagine that solutions can be discovered—and implemented—in time to save what we love. But it is that very love that demands we continue to try.