IMPACT

We are living in an era of human-dominated landscapes, much diminished animal populations and chaotic climates – otherwise known as the Anthropocene. Creativity and eco-innovation are a big part of the solution to all of these challenges. Combining the arts, applied conservation and scientific research, The Great Elephant Migration delivers a virtuous circle of positive impacts for all living beings:

Impact 1

INDIA’S BIGGEST SUSTAINABLE INDIGENOUS ENTERPRISE

For thousands of years, indigenous communities have been guardians of the environment. Although they are only around 6% of the global population, they protect 80% of the biodiversity left on earth.

The creation of the elephant sculptures provides financial stability, status and pride to 200 members of the Soligas, Bettakurumbas, Kattunayakan and Paniyas tribes, who coexist with the real wild elephants the herd is based on.

Already over $500,000 has been generated making it the biggest sustainable indigenous owned enterprise in India. This effort celebrates indigenous knowledge and rewards their ability to coexist.

Impact 2

HUMAN-WILDLIFE COEXISTENCE

The Great Elephant Migration supports remarkable people around the world who have found ways to live alongside lions, leopards, elephants, and some of the planet’s most challenging animals, in their back yards. The exhibit aims to encourage conservation strategies to incorporate indigenous knowledge and evolve to be indigenous led. We have partnered with conservation NGOs operating in the USA and beyond who will directly benefit from the proceeds of the elephant sculpture sales.

These partners include:

Impact 3

Invasive species removal

Each elephant is made from lantana camara, one of the world’s top invasive weeds and a most successful invader in India. This fast growing, noxious shrub has a stranglehold on 300,000 sq. kilometres of India’s Protected Areas. For wildlife, it is a silent menace. Lantana has entangled 40% of tiger reserves and diminished food sources for herbivores.

Invasive species pose a serious threat to global biodiversity and are a significant driver in 60% of plant and animal extinctions. Funds raised power the large-scale removal of lantana from India’s forests, freeing up more space for wildlife. So far, 100 hectares have been cleared between 3 protected areas in South India. Our target is 300 hectares by 2026.

In Newport, the sale of the elephants will also support the work of Save The Bay, a local NGO working to remove invasive phragmites from the salt marshes and restore the populations of the salt marsh sparrow whose survival depends on healthy marsh habitat.

Impact 4

Carbon Sequestration

A large-scale project is now underway to shred vast areas of Lantana from the forests and convert it into biochar. This will create 500 more jobs for indigenous people, restore forests and benefit all the 1,300 species that Lantana has displaced over the last 200 years of its invasion. Most importantly, biochar is the only feasible solution globally for sequestering carbon into the ground to improve soil health and mitigate climate change – the biggest problem humanity faces today.