Habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change and escalating human-wildlife conflict have pushed elephant populations out of their historical habitats. There are more than 150,000 elephants roaming across Southern and East Africa—and more than 60% of them have to travel outside of protected areas in search of water and food.
If threats, including the rate of habitat loss and poaching, continue unchecked, African elephants will be extinct by 2040. We must act now.
Our solution? We’ve created Room to Roam, an ambitious initiative that seeks to connect and secure habitats and create safe passages for elephants and other wildlife species to move freely.
Supported by 20 years of scientific research, IFAW is forging partnerships with communities, traditional leaders, governments, private sector actors and other NGOs in a long-term plan to reconnect critical landscapes and help wildlife flourish.
Room to Roam doesn’t just help elephants and other wildlife—it also opens new opportunities for local communities to enhance their wellbeing and co-exist with wildlife. Across our focus landscapes, we support hundreds of wildlife rangers who help us protect and manage the biodiversity in the landscapes. By working directly with local traditional leaders, we’re engaging local community members so they can be directly involved in planning and implementing long-term solutions.
Our four key landscapes
Zimbabwe: Through our conservation partnership with ZimParks, and collaborating with other partners on the ground, we’re helping manage a four-million-hectare landscape in Zimbabwe. This land includes the iconic Hwange National Park and the Panda Masuie Forest Reserve where rescued and rehabilitated orphan elephants are released into a healthy and secure space back in the wild.
Zambia: We’re partners for a climate change resilience agricultural project in the communal areas surrounding Luambe and Lukusuzi national parks in the eastern province of Zambia. Small-scale farming helps communities improve food security and economic livelihoods.
Malawi-Zambia: Our partnerships on the Malawi-Zambia transboundary area help secure 5,366 km² across the Luambe, Lukusuzi and Kasungu National Parks. We support 178 wildlife rangers and provide additional livelihood opportunities to community members surrounding Kasungu.
Kenya: The Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro landscape is an important habitat for elephants and other wildlife in the Greater Kilimanjaro Trans-Frontier Conservation Area. Thousands of people live on communal lands in the vicinity as well, making it a critical landscape to promote human-wildlife coexistence. We have close ties with the Olgulului-Ololarashi Group Ranch who have helped guide us in identifying livelihoods projects that support women and children. Together, we created Team Lioness, one of the first all-women ranger units in Kenya. The team protects nearly 150,000 acres of traditional Maasai community lands that encompass Amboseli National Park.
Room to Roam is visionary, bold and ambitious. Fragmented landscapes are creating a bigger threat to the survival of elephants than poaching. From Southern to Eastern Africa, we will build partnerships and initiate conservation interventions that re-connect critical landscapes and provide safe passage for wildlife—so that animals and people can thrive together.
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