Efforts to conserve elephants in Dak Lak

The People’s Committee of the central highlands’ province of Dak Lak and the Animals Asia Foundation have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on adopting an elephant-friendly tourism model. The MoU aims to end the use of elephant rides and other activities affecting the welfare of elephants in tourism and at festivals, contributing to conservation efforts in the province.

Dak Lak will refrain from organising activities such as elephant rides, elephant-related competitions, including elephant swimming and tug-of-war, or re-enacting scenes of hunting and taming elephants.

The Animals Asia Foundation will be responsible for mobilising legal resources for technical and financial support to benefit elephants and households earning a living from elephant rides.

Dak Lak is now home to about 140 elephants, a 90 percent decline since 1980. The province has committed to supporting proposals from the Animals Asia Foundation on the protection of tamed elephants in line with local customs and rearing conditions, in particular directing relevant agencies on introducing an elephant-friendly tourism model.

From July 2018 to July 2023, the Animals Asia Foundation will provide funding of 65,000 USD to support the transition from tourism based on elephant rides to one that allows visitors to watch elephants in their natural habitat. This is the first elephant-friendly tourism model to be introduced in Vietnam and has drawn support from domestic and foreign tourists as well as the international community./.