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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

Wildlife Conservation, Food Production and 'Development': Can They be Integrated? Ecological Agriculture and Elephant Conservation in Africa

Marthe Kiley-Worthington

Environmental Values 6(1997): 455-470. doi: 10.3197/096327197776678988

It is widely believed that (i) there must be a conflict between food production and conservation, and (ii) that development must be related to economics. Both these beliefs are questioned. It is suggested that ecological agriculture, which includes ethologically and ecologically sound animal management (the criteria for which are outlined) can reduce conflicts between conservation and food production. African elephants are taken as an example illustrating different attitudes to conservation. It is proposed that, rather than developing further the present common conservation attitude of 'wildlife apartheid', the future of elephants in many parts of Africa may rest on bringing them closer to the voters where the welfare of neither the human nor elephant is compromised. Here, they can act as both as workers, and as 'wildlife ambassadors'. This approach needs further research and development, but preliminary results show significant possibilities for reducing these apparently conflicting land use interests in some geographical areas.

KEYWORDS: elephants, conservation, animal welfare, ecological agriculture

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