Focusing on the beautiful leaves of the Banana plant, our print ‘Gone Bananas’ tells the story of how Bananas are helping protect wild elephants and people’s livelihoods in the jungles of India. Our print is inspired by the conservation work of our partner charity, Elephant Family and one man in particular, Dulu, who has dedicated his life to helping wild elephants.
It’s a sad fact, but on average, one person dies every day, and two elephants die every week due to human-elephant conflict in India. And this is exactly what Dulu has dedicated his life to. Working in partnership with Green Guard Organisation, the project to ‘Reduce human-elephant conflict in the Karbi Foothills of Assam’ has been a vital step in the right direction as humans and elephants in India, particularly within the Karbi foothills are competing for space more than ever before.
The relationship between humans and elephants has become increasingly fragile in recent years. As elephants are being forced out of their natural habitat at an alarming rate due to urbanisation and shrinking forest space. They are then forced to migrate onto land being farmed by local communities. Naturally, this causes conflict as the farmers combatively defend their crops from the elephants in desperate search of nourishment.
By planting banana saplings, Dulu and the communities in the Karbi foothills have created ‘edible barriers’ to protect their crops while providing wild elephants with alternative ‘meal zones’. This is an example of a sustainable solution that is helping to address both sides of the conflict story and at the same time, create an environment that supports the coexistence of both humans and wildlife.
Dulu’s efforts in engaging local communities and educating future generations will help future proof and ensure a greater opportunity for human-wildlife coexistence in the years to come. As Dulu sees it, it’s a “way to be setting an example for the world to follow toward reducing man-animal conflicts.”
With Dulu’s dedication to this cause, in August 2020, he received the prestigious award of “Earth Day Network Star”, in recognition of his efforts in improving the relationship between communities and wild elephants.
Many of you will remember when we first met Dulu. Our team trekked deep into the jungles of India to meet the award-winning conservationist Binod ‘Dulu’ Borah and the special community and wild elephants who live there. If you missed it the first time, we invite you to watch our film below and read our ‘Helping Dulu’ series to truly get a grasp of how fundamental Dulu’s work has been over the years and the difference he is making.