CONSERVATION AND COMMUNITY
There are several components to NiNi’s support for conservation and community organizations:
NiNi’s sponsor - Couleurs de Géraldine - donates at least 10% of profits from Nuvory sales to community groups, conservation and anti-poaching organizations working to protect elephants and their habitats. In this way, NiNi supports the brave men and women on the front lines of elephant protection.
NiNi promotes elephant tourism. This is because we understand that elephant protection is not always the top priority for local communities struggling to survive in harsh and often violent conditions. Elephant tourism brings tourist dollars and sustainable development to elephant habitats – and helps local people experience concrete benefits – such as jobs and income - from having elephants in the neighborhood. Fostering economic growth through increasing tourist visits will create incentives for the local population to protect elephants rather than to hunt them or chase them away.
NiNi draws attention to worthwhile elephant protection activities, hopeful that supporters of our fight against animal ivory assist them directly.
Here’s background on some recent recipients of NiNi’s support:
Located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Virunga National Park is one of the most amazing places on earth. It covers a gigantic area with astonishing biological and geographic diversity – from steaming jungle to smoldering volcanos, from snow topped mountains to some of Africa’s largest lakes. Most famous for its mountain gorilla habitats (think the first ½ of the film ‘Gorillas in the Mist’), VNP is also home to a significant (though much diminished) elephant population which is under constant threat from poaching and from encounters with the local population. Located in one of the most remote and unstable areas of the world, VNP is protected through the bravery, energy and creativity of an incredible group of rangers, conservationists, development and hospitality professionals. Check out the Oscar nominated documentary which told Virunga’s story in 2014. And as important as our donations may be … the best way to support VNP is to visit it yourself. See the gorillas. Climb the volcano. Relax on the Lake Kivu islands. And be among the first to join in the elephant tourism/conservation activities in the Ishasha Lodge (expected to open in early 2017).
Virunga Yeti ABSL is a local NGO active in communities living in or near Virunga National Park in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo. Much of this population struggles to eke out a living and is traumatized by decades of relentless conflict. In the context of their struggles, conservation and environmental stewardship are not necessarily their primary concern. Virunga Yeti’s grassroots efforts work on a number of levels to form a bridge between local inhabitants and conservation officials. By fostering an open dialogue and informing local populations about the laws applicable in VNP and the rationale behind them, the organization aims to encourage people to value and protect wildlife (such as the elephants who roam freely and often help themselves to village gardens). And to understand that conservation is an important long-term strategy with potential to benefit everyone.
Global Giving - Earthquake Relief Funds: The severe earthquakes which hit Ecuador and Italy in 2016 didn’t threaten any elephants, but they did strike communities which are part of the ‘Nuvory eco-system’. Ecuador is CdG’s principal source of Nuvory – one of several countries where nut ivory grows naturally and is then harvested and worked by the local craftsmen and women. Umbria - the mountainous province which was the epicenter of the August 24 Italian quake – is where CdG has its atelier and where Nuvory is transformed into amazing works of jewelry and wearable art by master artisans. In light of the clear human needs resulting from these natural disasters, CdG made an exception to its laser focus on elephant conservation and offered some support via the highly rated and reliable Global Giving organization.