Tropical Leaves

Gabon Mission

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Saving Forest Elephants, Fighting Climate Change, 

and Empowering Local Communities 

When we value elephants differently, we can make elephant conservation more profitable than poaching.

 

We know you care deeply about the fate of endangered elephants, indigenous communities, and our natural world. All three are imperiled in the Congo Basin Rainforest, known as our planet’s “Second Green Lung.” If you are willing to help, we can give you a brand-new reason for optimism.  

 

The Crisis

The poaching of elephants in Africa has a ripple effect that reaches around the world and impacts you and me. When forest elephants are killed for their ivory, the old growth forests that they garden lose much of the biodiversity upon which human life depends, along with the forest’s full capacity to protect us from climate change. 

 

Sadly, these elephants carry a dollar value only when destined to be destroyed.  Their tusks can earn up to $40,000 on the black market. 

 

We humans now stand at a crossroads: Shall we continue along our present course and allow profiteers to damage our earth beyond repair?  Or will we help sustain a livable planet where wild creatures and local communities are valued?

 

The Solution

We at CAP have teamed up with the purpose-driven company Rebalance Earth and its partner the Gabon Ministry of Environment. Our aim is to save a fast-disappearing species while simultaneously mitigating deforestation and climate change. Our model also helps to reduce poverty and social inequity for surrounding communities, creating a symbiotic relationship to reduce human-elephant conflict. 

 

This model is ground-breaking, scalable and promises to launch a global paradigm shift that values elephants that are alive over ones that are slaughtered for their tusks. According to the IMF, a forest elephant is worth $40,000 when killed for his/her ivory while a healthy elephant is worth $1.75 million while alive, based on the carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services that it performs within a forest during its lifetime

 

With this information, a new trustworthy, traceable, and transparent ecosystem services platform has been built—grounded in the most innovative technological, scientific, and economic advances— to offset unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions towards sustaining and regenerating both the elephants and their forest habitats. And it is not only carbon offsets, but the ecosystem services, such as increasing biodiversity, that these elephants provide us and our planet. With Rebalance Earth’s valuation system in place, we are already making green waves across the planet. 

 

The next step is for CAP to assist with the implementation of this precedent-setting project in Gabon as soon as possible. 

 

For this reason, we are reaching out to you to help us meet our fundraising goal of $50,000 for the Gabon start-up mission. Please join us on this bold frontier by contributing the first tax-exempt donations in the U.S. 

 

Once we have completed our Gabon-based proof of concept, we will extend this model to other keystone species, such as gorillas, jaguars and whales. We invite you to join us in this extraordinary opportunity to advance a lasting, replicable and scalable solution to our planetary crises. If you’d like more information, we can walk you through our project model. 

 

Why CAP & Rebalance Earth? 

CAP is a registered 501(c) (3) organization that partners with other organizations and stakeholders engaged in the protection of endangered species, the reduction of wildlife crime, and support for local communities in affected areas. In addition, CAP’s ED, Kathi Lynn Austin, is an internationally recognized expert on wildlife trafficking, fragile states, and human rights, and has carried out assessment missions over the past 30 years for the United Nations and other multilateral organizations. Currently, Austin serves as a volunteer on the Rebalance Executive team and leads the Protection/Security/Local Communities working group.  She will lead the assessment and design team mission to Gabon. (To learn about CAP’s most recent wildlife crime report, see:www.followtheguns.org).

 

Rebalance Earth is fast proving itself a global “green” leader by developing the first ecosystem services platform that captures the carbon sequestration services of keystone species. The funds generated from this platform are then utilized to fund the species’ conservation and raise the living standards of its human neighbors while furthering the science and data-driven knowledge of our interconnected planet. In 2021, Gabon’s Ministry of the Environment invited Rebalance Earth to launch this pilot project to save endangered forest elephants and preserve their rainforest habitat by leveraging corporate and social impact investments in climate protection. 

 

Why Gabon?  

Make a brief Google search and it is not hard to understand why Gabon. Almost 90% of Gabon is covered with tropical forest, and it has played a strong environmental leadership role at home and abroad. U.S. climate envoy, John Kerry, and Gabon’s Environment Minister, Lee White, have stood together calling for “Nature Based Solutions” offered by the Congo Basin Forest. The old growth trees and wilderness area of the Congo Basin Forest are known for storing more carbon than similar forests in the Amazon basin and Asia.

 

The African Forest Elephant is threatened with extinction over the next decade. Gabon is home to the vast majority of surviving herds. But the possible expansion of big oil, agrobusiness plantations and logging operations could put these fragile populations at risk. The survival of these magnificent creatures depends on showing they are worth more alive than dead—and this means ensuring local communities and national parks likewise profit from the carbon offsets and natural capital businesses and markets that are invested in protecting and sustaining these forest elephant herds. 

 

1. Donor Funding will support these start-up activities:

2. Travel to Libreville, Gabon to engage governmental partners and other stakeholders. The mission focal point is the Ministry of the Environment.  

3. Travel to select Gabonese national parks and reserves to gain insight into aspects of the ranger corps, eco-guards, elephant protection programs, and wildlife justice initiatives that will assist with project design and set-up.

4. Consult with the various local communities to ensure they derive maximum satisfaction and benefit from their engagement. 

5. Outreach to other ground-level and national stakeholders to ensure as wide onboarding as feasible to sustain the pilot project and contribute to its precedent-setting success. 

6. Film the pioneering mission to assist with monitoring and evaluation and to raise awareness among the media, donors, and the public. 

7. Following the consultations and site visits, design project implementation, hire local staff, put in place necessary MOUs, and commence the Pilot Project activities. 

Let's Work Together

Thanks so much for supporting this timely and extraordinary effort to mitigate climate change, biodiversity loss and human poverty. We are happy to provide additional information upon request and make ourselves available for a more in-depth presentation or conversation.  Otherwise, please click on the Donate button below or download our printable donation form to mail a check to the listed address.  You can specify the Rebalance Earth Partnership Project.

Mailing Address:

Conflict Awareness Project

P.O. Box 74

Hartfield, VA 23071

 

CAP is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with the following EIN: 27-0934728.