Need - Purchase more land. "The constant threat of deforestation to the property abutting BLES is our new reality. Only 15% of Thailand remains forestland and we are desperate to realize our dream of a release project by expanding our acreage.
In as much as we have been able to provide safety as well as physical and mental rehabilitation for our elephants, our intention is their eventual transition to independent living. It has always been our conviction that our elephants be returned to as natural a habitat as possible and live out their lives with dignity. By securing an area that is absent from human-inflicted danger, BLES elephants will learn to live as elephants are meant to — in a self-reliant herd.
Wild elephant populations in Thailand have all but disappeared while the domesticated elephant population continues to increase. Forced breeding to satisfy the demands of elephant-back tourism has become a new industry.
We aim to educate tourists to understand how destructive elephant trekking and elephant performances are. However, if managed properly, a new type of elephant tourism can be introduced which is our hope. BLES proposes an evolved elephant tourism that educates and encourages participation that will provide a much needed lifeline for the elephants of Thailand.They are also able to keep their male elephants unchained during their musthe period when they can be dangerous to anyone or anything near them." Katherine Connor - Founder of Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary
Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary near Sukhothai, Thailand is one of the most ethical and true sanctuaries for Elephants. They limit the number of visitors to the sanctuary in order to keep the human/elephant interaction to a minimum. They strive to keep the setting of the sanctuary as close as possible to what it is like for elephants that are free and in the wild.
During my stay at the sanctuary, stories of the lives of the elephants before they were rescued were shared, and although it is heart breaking that most were abused by their mahouts, or trainers, this organization did not want to perpetuate hate and hostility towards mahouts. Poverty levels in Thailand being at extreme lows and lack of job opportunities makes it challenging for people to say no to a job, regardless of how awful responsibilities are.
The mahouts at this organization use verbal cues to keep them out of danger and keep them from walking out too far or into property that does not belong do BLES. Also, on rescue missions for new elephants, they bring along as many mahouts as they can which in turn helps BLES spread the word of using more humane tactics with elephants.
The Elephant Nature Park Dog Sanctuary is in a tropical climate zone where ticks thrive. If volunteers have the stress of removing ticks from dogs taken off of their plate, this will allow for more time volunteers will have to socialize dogs. The volunteers can also take them on longer walks so that when visitors come to potentially adopt, the dogs are better behaved because they are tired from their walks. In preventing tick diseases and blood loss due to tick infestations, it allows veterinarians to continue to focus on bigger health issues from sanctuary dogs as well as the time to perform more sterilizations which is necessary in reducing the overpopulation problem.
The Dog Sanctuary began as a result of the 2011 floods in Bangkok. Originally starting with 155 of the 2000 rescued dogs, Elephant Nature Park now houses 400 plus dogs. They have a small animal clinic on site and have volunteer vets that stay one month at a time as well.
During my one week stay the ENP Dog Sanctuary, most dogs had received a strong flea and tick prevention medicine and the volunteer coordinators let me know that because of this the volunteers could finally focus on walking the dogs and socializing them. Donations will go straight to one of the volunteer veterinarians since January 2015, Amy Shroff, that can purchase and send the necessary tick medication.
This would sterilize around 9 cows which includes the transportation and surgery.
Peepal Farm is a very small organization that is trying to reduce cow abandonment in India. Generally when cow's milk run out, most owned cows have to be beaten out of where they have resided their entire lives and forced onto the streets where they generally eat through trash piles and consume lots of plastic and/or get hit by cars. To resolve this issue and make cows more desirable even after milk runs out, they have begun to manufacture products out of their manure. They have started to make incense and the pots that plants go in when they are sold.
In order to get buy in for their project, they have begun to host local girls from the village they are in and teach them how to use google with the belief that knowledge will help them rise above. They have also been hosting the children in their community at their farm so that they can see all of their animals on the farm and how they get treated as well as speak to they're volunteers that they host mostly through workaway.info. Volunteers are mostly there to help with their farm and tending to their almost fully permaculture garden or walking their several rescued dogs.
Although they do have a few rescued dogs, they do not want to be a dog sanctuary and generally tend to stray dog's wounds and release them again. They try to shift the way dogs are seen by creating the desi log desi dog campaign and have gotten so media coverage on it. They have beautiful wall art in McLeod Ganj, in one of the busier streets in their closest large town. Desi means street dog and they are attempting to get locals to see dogs as pets, not nuisances. > Add & Manage Items.
To purchase Portuguese distilling equipment to make hydrosols and essencier to extract the oils from their permaculture farm.
"We want to begin a small scale soap and coconut oil pilot project so that we can sustainably fund our organization's work (as you know teaching sustainable agriculture, livelihoods, conservation, etc) as well as down the track give locals (especially women) work opportunities through the creation of a new eco sustainable enterprise. The raw materials are all here: coconuts, various fragrant plants, herbs, sodium hydroxide can be sourced from ash. Also there is no homemade eco friendly soap being made here (you can get them in bali, but not here). Its the distilling equipment that wasn't available here.
The aim is that a proportion of sales not only helps Permakultur Kalimantan Foundation, it can also create employment and also beyond that we might be able to create a community cooperative model where other women like her can learn how to make the soap and produce soap to our standard and then we can sell it, create income for others." Frederika Louise Paembonan
When I asked the Chief of Tongka village what they would want, one of the first things they mentioned was balls to keep everyone entertained and active. The other was medicine for their joint pain.
The vast amount of land only inhabited by animals and the tropical climate, makes palm oil corporations want to go to Indonesian Borneo and make corrupt exchanges with villagers. Because jobs are more than scarce and poverty levels are high, several villages have allowed big palm companies to destroy their ancient forests in return for a small and unfair amount of money. Tongka Village is one of the very few Dayak Villages that stood up to big palm companies and said, “no.” With the help of Robert Hii from Friends of Orangutans they were able to receive the proper tools to measure out their forest as well as monitor the land in order to find out which species are living in their forest. In collecting this data, they have a better chance of having their forest protected by the government. They have already been told by the government that it is too much land to be protected if they are not bringing in any development. They are reaching out to companies like LUSH Cosmetics trying to harvest and sell them ingredients that are native to Indonesian Borneo as well as starting small scale eco tourism.
This is an incredibly small village with a few hundred members and the closest high school is about an hour and a half away by motor bike. Because of this, most people in the village only get to attend school around 8th grade. They function as a cooperative and the main source of income for them is their rice crops.
The nearest hospital is hours away by motor bike. No one in the village has a car and only a handful of houses have solar powered generators where they can charge their phones. The village also has no internet connection and have to go 45 minutes out of the village to get internet access.
This would fund their undercover team for one month in North East Thailand that is closing down dog meat butchers, wholesalers, and intercepting smuggled dogs.
They have been able to successfully control the overpopulation problem of stray dogs in Phuket by sterilizing more than 80% of the dog population there and also made it the first rabies free area in Thailand. The dog meat trade became illegal in Thailand because of them and they helped make it illegal to eat dog meat in 2014. That being said, it is still not illegal to eat dog meat in neighboring countries and because of this they still work undercover trying to expose dog meat butchers near the North East area of Thailand.
Working closely with the government they are able to create stricter consequences for animal abuse and also ensure there is follow through with sentencing. About 400 dogs live in the sanctuary at a time, but they also have very impressive adoption rates, last year adopting out 500 dogs.
They rescue dogs from a government shelter near Bangkok where they put the 1500 dogs rescued from the dog meat trade. The government shelter is now down to only 900 dog meat trade dogs because of how Soi Dog rescues dogs from this shelter by taking their photographer and dog behaviorist in order to find proper adoption matches for them.
Now that they have gotten the overpopulation problem under control in Phuket, they would like to do the same in Bangkok which has about 650,000 stray dogs. Over 7 to 8 years, they would like to have 10 mobile units sterilizing 50 dogs a day.