Conservation Influencers

Elephant Family: protecting Asian wildlife and its habitat

London and New York

Elephant Family: protecting Asian wildlife and its habitat was founded by five conservationists in 2002, under the patronage of the Rajmata of Jaipur and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild. The founding five were Mark Shand, Dugal Muller, Robin Russell, Caroline Casey and Nicholas Claxton. Elephant Family, which is registered in the USA and UK, operates as part of The British Asian Trust, a UK registered charity.

One of the big issues that Elephant Family confronts is human wildlife conflict. For example, its 2017 annual report details how in just one region in India since 2004, elephants have trampled over 87,000 acres of ready-to-harvest crops and damaged more than 8,000 homes. According to the annual report, ‘it’s a fatal battle that has killed 685 elephants and 600 humans’. And the same report tells how in northern Borneo, Elephant Family stopped local people from building a bridge over Kinabatangan river, which, IWMC believes, may have helped elephants at the expense of local people. (see: page 22 for both examples). 

According to its website, Elephant Family, in partnership with The Perfect World Foundation based in Sweden, commissioned two independent investigations into the state of the live elephant trade between Myanmar and Thailand. This, it says, resulted in CITES calling for a review into various aspects of the illegal live trade of Asian elephants. See: ‘Recommendations to be undertaken by Asian elephant range states and other relevant parties: Document 57.1 of Resolution 10.10 on preventative measures against live trade in Asian elephants’. 


No staff listed.


The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are joint Royal Presidents. The British Asian Trust Board of Trustees is chaired by Manij Badale OBE. And Elephant Family has Boards in India, UK and USA too.


Elephant Family’s 2017 annual report has a large section devoted to its finances that lists its donors but which provides no details about its revenues, expenditure or about how much money was donated by whom.

About the directory

Conservation Influencers is a searchable directory of the animal activist, environmental and ecological lobby. It examines the history, mission, methodology and reputation of NGOs to assess their impact on the global conservation cause.


Franz Weber Foundation

From 1990 until 2015, Franz Weber Foundation (FFW) managed the Fazao-Malfakassa National Park in Togo, which was, according to an in-depth investigation by Duke University, ‘established by forcing the local communities off their land and without taking into consideration their point of view’. That same study cited convincing evidence from reports published in 1990, confirming that competition for land use was already ‘creating conflict between the local communities and park managers’. In 2015 Togo refused to renew FFW’s contract because, the report says, ‘local communities were still excluded from the management of the natural resources of their land’ and FFW had ‘failed to fulfil its contract’. Franz Weber Foundation plays a major role within CITES because it funds and manages from Switzerland the African Elephant Coalition (AEC), which represents 32 African range states, some of which have barely any elephants and others none at all. Contrary to the wishes of the range states in Southern Africa, which manage most of the world’s wild elephant populations, the AEC at CITES’ CoPs repeatedly tables proposals to put all of the world’s elephants in appendix I. And the AEC uses its voting power to keep in place prohibitions on ivory sales and all other trade in elephant-related derivatives, including skins and hair, which Southern African nations wish to legalise.