A call for nominations for the next chair of the IUCN SSC African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG) by Iain Douglas-Hamilton.
All members of the AfESG have been encouraged to use their networks to seek suitable candidates for the new leadership, of the AFESG. I have been a member of the African Elephant Specialist Group since its inception in 1975, and was the first co-chairman along with Dr Harvey Croze, and later chairman until 1982. Therefore I am using Save the Elephants’ network to seek for nominations for this position.
Africa’s elephants have been and remain in crisis across much of their range. The illegal killing of elephants for their ivory and the trafficking of those tusks to underground markets continues to threaten the survival of populations in West, Central, Eastern and parts of Southern Africa. Beyond that even where elephants are at present safe from the illegal ivory trade, and across their range, looms the challenge of shrinking habitat as human populations come into competition with elephants.
No one individual, organisation, or indeed nation, can solve these problems of countering illegal killing, and trafficking, and establishing positive human elephant coexistence, but collaboration can. Those who believe in the importance of the survival of wild elephants must be united in order to succeed. The African Elephant Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) is a crucial forum for the sharing of science and solutions, and has been a centre of information on African elephants status for the last 47 years. For the last quarter century it has been led by Dr Holly Dublin with a spectacular record of achievement, but she is now stepping down and new leadership is being sought.
The African Elephant Specialist Group is one of the biggest and more complex of the IUCN SSC Specialist Groups. A wide spread of viewpoints will always exist in such a large, expert group from diverse elephant range states, but a productive and well facilitated flow of information on the status of populations and advances in elephant conservation techniques will be a powerful force for progress, and for securing the future of the species.
By connecting, inspiring and challenging the membership, the next Chair, or perhaps co-Chairs, will be able to play a pivotal role in securing a future for the earth’s largest remaining land mammal, to liaise with a wide group of experts both within and outside the AfESG, and to develop programs for the benefit of elephants, their ecosystems, and the people with whom elephants share the land.
We encourage anyone with the skills and experience and, crucially, who is inspired by the urgent need to unite this network into a collaborative force that can confront the challenges arrayed against elephants, to apply themselves or to make a nomination for the post. It is one of the most crucial roles that someone who is qualified and cares about elephants can play.
IUCN SSC in consultation with Holly Dublin, have distributed a detailed list of attributes. Don’t be put off if you or your candidate cannot achieve all of the ideal qualities required. The plan is to have a Chair, or Co-Chairs, with all-round qualifications that will cover the necessary skills, regional interests and diversity of Africa, and possess leadership to guide the group in its next evolution.
My own favored attributes would be:
An academic training to PhD level or equivalent
Understanding and experience of elephant conservation, preferably with pan-African experience
Leadership combined with a proven ability to create a network and share information
Ability to oversee the technical demands of updating the African Elephant Database.
Passion, drive and commitment
A sense of humor
Please send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org, who can give further information on terms and conditions, by 15th April 2018.
Why Save Elephants?
Elephants are Africa’s gardeners and landscape engineers, planting seeds and creating habitat wherever they roam.
Without urgent action to save their species, elephants could be gone from the wild within a single generation.
100,000 elephants in Africa were killed for their ivory in just three years between the years 2010 & 2012.