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Intl conservation bodies to raise 199 cr for elephants

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Five international conservation organisations have signed an MoU to raise Rs 199 crore for securing 100 elephant corridors in by 2025.

"Five leading conservation organisations, 100 key elephant corridors but one goal; nothing pleases me more than the coming together of the global community in the fight for this endangered species," Wildlife Trust of (WTI) Executive Director Vivek Menon said in a statement.

The agreement was signed between five NGOs under the umbrella of Asian Elephant Alliance at a fund raising event in hosted by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Besides WTI, Elephant Family, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Netherlands and World Land Trust are part of the commitment to raise funds in the light of increasing fragmentation of forests and rising human-elephant conflict in

With 100 elephant corridors documented by WTI in consultation with the forest departments, this alliance aims to secure a safe passage for India's elephants, which comprise approximately half of the world's wild Asian elephant population.

"I am particularly pleased that Prince Charles who so wanted to see an Asian elephant last time he was in India, was present to grace this momentous occasion," Menon said.

Each year India loses nearly 400 people and about 50 elephants to man-animal conflict due to ever shrinking habitat of the pachyderm.

While most of the tiger habitat falls within the protected area, only 22 per cent of elephant habitat has some kind of protection, according to WTI.

On the eve of signing the MoU in London, a unique event - the Royal Rickshaw Reception was organised by Elephant Family.

A host of designers and celebrities attended this auction of 20 designer-decorated auto-rickshaws to raise funds through an auction.

The rickshaws will race 500 km across India later this year, as part of the second leg of this event.

"With the signing of this MoU, we stride closer to our target; raising the vital funds that support a modern day conservation and humanitarian solution that works - Elephant Corridors," Ruth Powys, CEO of Elephant Family, said.

First Published: Wed, July 01 2015. 17:28 IST