Former England cricketer David Gower has lent his support to the cause of saving Asian elephants.
Gower is the ‘patron’ of the ‘Emeralds for Elephants’, a project initiated by the World Land Trust to create awareness and raise vital funds for the protection of critically endangered species.
“As a patron I support the work the charity is doing,” Gower told PTI.
The international conservation charity - World Land Trust - collaborated with the Wild Life Trust of India and Ethical Gemstone Mining Company, Gemfields to auction a bespoke Zambian Emerald jewellery collection here yesterday.
The auction was conducted to gather funds to create a network of wild life corridor so that elephants can follow their migratory route while minimising human elephant conflict.
One Emerald Ganesha, by prominent sculptor Arzan Khambatta, featuring 630 carat emerald along with 11 unique pieces of Zambian Emerald jewellery by Indian jewellers was auctioned.
“The focus is on the elephant door corridor project. We have identified a corridor which needs to be created around India. It is a tough program but the idea is to avoid the conflict between animal and man which can be done successfully and productively,” Gower said.
“It is win-win ambition - win for the elephants, for the people and for India as well. If this can be achieved then we are on our way to achieve space for the elephants which they need. It will help stabilise the population of elephants,” he added.
According to Emma Bennet of World Land Trust, 60 per cent of the Asian elephant population is found in India and about Rs 50,000 is needed for the protection of one elephant.
The project involves creating natural habitant for the elephants by shifting willing villagers. Currently work is on in Kerala and at the Corbett national park in North India.