EVP in Depth
The Elephant Valley Project
In 2007, the Elephant Valley Project was launched as an elephant sanctuary developed to create a home for injured and overworked elephants and is now ELIE’s centerpiece for elephant conservation, which is located within Putrom’s community land. ELIE is unique in terms of its primary source of funding, which comes directly from donations made by local and international visitors to the EVP. Since 2006 the NGO has evolved and grown, with the development of the EVP as a tourist attraction, providing a sustainable financing mechanism for funding all ELIE programs.
A true work in progress, the Elephant Valley Project has become the central location for our works in Mondulkiri.
The Elephant Valley Project is a sanctuary set up for elephant care, local employment and is an ecotourism site for international and local visitors. The main aims of the Elephant Valley Project are to:
- Provide an alternative approach to elephant care in their natural environment
- Offer options for local families to bring their elephants to the sanctuary for rest and recuperation. In exchange their owners can receive monthly compensation, preferential working conditions and world-class elephant care
- Retire and rehabilitate working elephants
- Provide employment for local people, good working conditions and assistance in protection of their land and resources
- Have visitors who get to spend time observing these elephants in their natural habitat. Their donations then support the running of the sanctuary and all other programs of ELIE
The Elephant Valley is 1,500 hectares of natural elephant habitat that is surrounded by farms and protected forest. It allows us to simulate the same environment that mahouts look after and care for their elephants, while providing a large area of forest for elephants to escape human activity for the longest period of time possible during a normal working day. We are lucky that we can combine the support of volunteers and tourists, which in turn allows us to realize our aims.
Current facilities and projects at EVP:
- Ecotourism facilities for volunteers and visitors including four self contained bungalows, a big backpacker bungalow, a group house, lounge room, dining room and kitchen.
- Mahout house and accommodation for the villagers that live on-site
- Community farming plots including Princess’s Farm, an active rice farm and many many many banana trees, bamboo and pineapples
- Washing station for elephants (its use depends on season)
- Seed collection and replanting the elephant forest with elephant edible plants and trees.
- Reception – work in progress
- Elephant and Forest Education Centre – partly completed, we plan to finish building this building that will be able to house school group and education groups to learn about the elephants and forest conservation.
- Building of a nursery and further reforestation project – build a nursery to grow seedlings for reforestation of logged forest and old farmland