We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a stable, secure home for Myanmar's 3,000 timber elephants and the nearly 10,000 people who live with and care for them. Without our help, these elephants could be forced back into logging or cruelly turned into performance animals. Our goal is to build a new home for all the elephants and the people. A safe, secure place where the elephants live in peace and the people have jobs, clean water, sanitation, long-term medical care and schools.
Close to 3,000 elephants live in timber camps in Myanmar along with the roughly 10,000 villagers who care for them. The government can only give a few hundred dollars a month for the care of an elephant and the people who care for them - they have no other income. Since the government has ended the devastation of the forests caused by excessive logging, the payments are unsustainable. If we don't help, these elephants could be forced back into logging or cruelly turned into performance animals.
We will develop a new dynamic and humane economy in Myanmar which will create sustainable revenue streams to support the timber elephants and the families that care for them - based on free market principles. We will accomplish this by building a new home for these elephants and the families and fund it through the building of a new community that generates revenue from the sell of the homes, the shops that are built, selling products made by the Burmese, and the eco-tourism that is created.
We will help stop the use of elephants in the timber industry by growing the economy of Myanmar so that timber revenue is no longer needed by producing jobs; creating a more diverse, skilled and higher paid workforce; enhancing educational opportunities; providing access to better health care; funding critical infrastructure projects; and lessening the burden on the government to implement and sustain elephant protection efforts. We will protect the elephants, help the people and the government.