In a world that is so war torn and ravaged by greed, it's heart warming to hear that some conflicts are finding friendly resolutions.
by Betsy Seeton - Bali
Protecting livelihoods, preserving wildlife
Conflicts between elephants and farmers are common across Asia, one factor that has caused the animal population to dwindle and farmers to lose their livelihoods.
Experts such as Sereivathana Tuy, 40, are encouraging farmers to find ways to live peacefully with the elephants. Tuy is a Cambodia-based elephant specialist at Flora and Fauna International, a wildlife non-profit organization based in Cambridge, UK.
He teaches farmers to alternate crops such as cucumbers and white radishes, which can be harvested several times a year. This gives elephants fewer chances to eat them.
Villagers have also learned to ward off elephants by planting chilli peppers around their land, rather than maiming them with weapons, as elephants dislike the smell, Tuy said.
For Tuy, both sides can preserve their ways of life. The villagers keep their harvest while the elephant population can also be conserved, he told IRIN in Koh Kong.
In Cambodia, fewer than 500 elephants are thought to roam in the wild today. In 1995, there were an estimated 2,000 wild elephants.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
"Ask not what an animal can do for you; ask what you can do for an animal." Jasper
"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men." ~Alice Walker
The source of the quote is Walker's preface to Marjorie Spiegel's 1988 book, "The Dreaded Comparison" . Her next sentence was, "This is the gist of Ms. Spiegel's cogent, humane and astute argument, and it is sound."