Saturday, 29 September 2012

The cost of blogging versus the cost of not...

We started this blog with the intention of encouraging people to take an interest in the wildlife of Kenya and to contribute to an organisation that plays a major part in preserving keystone species and the environments they occupy - Save The Elephants.

Our aim was to provide regular "from the field" updates during our safaris, so that people could follow the ups and downs of our safaris daily from wherever they were in the World.

We linked the blog to our fund-raising page for Save The Elephants, so that readers of the blog could easily offer their support to the preservation of these amazing places and wildlife.

In attempting to provide regular updates "from the field", we have faced significant challenges.  Editing images and writing, proof-reading, formatting and uploading the blog, often by torch-light in the back of a Landrover or in a tent, added around two hours work at the end of each day.  We had to organise and pay for local internet access and try to find signal hot-spots to upload the data. When those hotspots were not available, we had to revert to using a smartphone app and incurring significant "data roaming" charges in the process. 

In a recent conversation, Howard mentioned our fund-raising and someone commented that they didn't feel inclined to contribute when all we are doing is talking about our "holidays".  This seemed to be the concensus of most people present, so we felt it important to put the record straight.

When most people organise a fund-raising effort, they do a sponsored walk, a skydive, a bungee jump, or have their head shaved etc.  They make a personal sacrifice to encourage others to contribute to their cause. It seems our problem in encouraging people to contribute stems from a perception that we are not making any personal sacrifice.

Blogging from the field over the two years of this blog has taken approximately 90 hours work.  The cost of uploading the data has exceeded £1200 (British Pounds).  We think this is a significant personal sacrifice.  So...

Elephants are facing the greatest threat to their continued existence on this planet that they have ever faced.  Poaching levels have reached and in some places exceeded the levels of the 1970s, when 80% of the population were exterminated to provide nothing more than ivory trinkets.  The human population explosion that has led to the World population exceeding three times the planet's carrying capacity has placed massive pressure on Elephant habitats and migration routes, leading to much higher levels of human/elephant conflict.  If we don't act now, act fast, act firmly and act universally to stem this decline, there will be no wild Elephants in less than 25 years time.  How will we explain to our grand-children that we knew this would happen but did nothing to stop it?

This blog is just one of several ways in which we are trying to do "our bit" to prevent extinction of the Elephant (and all the other species that depend on them for habitat maintenance).  The cost to us in both time and money has been significant but the cost to the planet of not doing something is infinitely greater.

Please consider making a donation to Save The Elephants.  If you don't want to donate through our Just Giving page then you can contribute directly by following the link on the Save The Elephants website.

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