The CIFAE Challenge
February 05, 2018
In February 2016, CIFAE (Conservation Initiative For the Asian Elephant) began funding and co-hosting the first of a series of summits through which we will attain UNESCO World Heritage Site Dual Status for a vast region known as Garo Hills within the Meghalaya State of NE India. In 2017 and continuing into 2018, our efforts in Meghalaya and Gainesville, Florida alike have served to spread awareness for this critical cause. Garo Hills is arguably the most biologically diverse and pristine region remaining in all of SE Asia. It is home to one of the 5 largest remaining herds of Asian elephants, has more species of wild cats than anywhere on Earth, and most of its forests are ranked as primary (never altered by human activity). To add to its uniqueness, the land of Garo Hills is still owned by the oldest known human society, the Garo, anywhere in this part of the world. Transnational mining companies want to surface mine the Garo Hills for coal and heavy metals but for the time being have been stopped. This is our chance to save Garo Hills, its people, and its elephants for perpetuity.