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Creating peace and prosperity


Project Orange Elephant goes above and beyond

February 23rd 2018 happened to be an eventful and landmark day for the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society and our innovative international award winning, Project Orange Elephant (POE).

POE was established as a means to end the increasing human-elephant conflicts due to the incompatibility of rural agriculture practices and elephants. In trials, Asian elephants showed an obvious distaste for oranges (and several other citrus varieties)—and trial orange barriers successfully deterred elephants from raiding crops and villages.

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On February 23rd the first consignment of 201 kilograms of organically cultivated oranges was delivered to Cargills Ceylon Ltd that operates the Food City Supermarket chain in Sri Lanka. With this delivery the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society has proved that the Project Orange Elephant has achieved all the benchmarks it set out to establish nearly 12 years ago.

We would like to thank all the organizations that supported Project Orange Elephant for their fortitude and as well for their trust in us in this effort.

We gratefully acknowledge the Born Free Foundation, Elephant Care International, UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme, Heart of Ganesh, Guru Travel USA, Colombo Jewellery Stores, SML Frontier Automotive (Pvt.) Ltd., Spa Ceylon, and Kingsbury Hotel for providing funding support for Project Orange Elephant.

We are confident that with this first sale we have set in motion another successful sustainable community-based participatory measure to create coexistence between people and elephants in Sri Lanka.

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The first orange consignment arrives at the Cargills Vegetables & Fruit Collection Center

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Loading into shipping containers

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POE gets it own Cargills supplier number

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Being loaded to dispatch to Food City supermarket centers

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History in the making. Project Orange Elephant Goods Received Cash Note from Cargills for 1st consignment of oranges

Project Expansion

Project Orange Elephant has proved that it is possible to create holistic measures to address environmental and socioeconomic issues that impact on socially marginalized people and wildlife. The main challenge is to ensure the sustainability of the project. To achieve sustainability the project has to be expanded to ensure a steady supply of oranges are available to the buyers that have committed to purchase oranges from the project. There are plans to reach out to fruit drinks, jams, cordials, and fruit preserve manufacturers to diversify the buyer base to ensure a steady market demand for the oranges.

The target of Project Orange Elephant is to cultivate 50,000 orange trees within the next ten years among the villages in Wasgamuwa that are impacted by human elephant conflicts. As the project is scaled up it will further contribute to mitigating conflicts with elephants while alleviating the socioeconomic status of participating farmers. Through January 2018, POE distributed among eight villages, 2026 grafted orange plants funded by Spa Ceylon. This effort is in keeping with the project’s goal to establish a small holder orange cultivation network consisting of 50,000 orange trees.

The current demand from various villages to establish POE programs far exceeds our capacity to provide orange plants to fulfill all of these requests.

You support would help us to provide these farmers with orange plants to resolve conflicts with elephants while providing them with an additional income. Please write to us at: info@slwcs.org to obtain information on how to support Project Orange Elephant. Online donations can be made at: https://www.slwcs.org/donate

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Grafted orange plants for distribution

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They came in Tuk Tuks...

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...and tractors to collect their orange plants

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Villagers lining up to receive their plants

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By hand...

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...by wheelbarrow...

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and tractor villagers transporting their orange plants

Photo Credits:

Chinthaka Weerasinghe/SLWCS
Chandima Fernando/SLWCS
Ravi Corea/SLWCS

Big, rumbling thanks to our Corporate Partners for their kind support and to everyone who has donated and supported our wildlife conservation efforts!

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