WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

ELEPHAS’ founder Olivier Behra has been committed to protecting Nature for decades. It was in Cameroon (where he grew up in the Seventies) that he first discovered with his parents and big brother the majesty of elephants, and how they interact with the local communities.
Olivier en Afrique
Savanne

THE ELEPHANT

Over thirty years of professional commitment to the protection of wild fauna & flora have led Olivier to support conservation projects in more than 15 countries. However, the emblematic species that needs urgent protection is the elephant, the symbol of Nature’s grandeur.

BURKINA FASO

In the south of Burkina Faso we find one of West Africa’s largest elephant populations. It is also here that some of the poorest human populations in the world, live. Environmental conservation, so vital to Humanity as a whole, cannot take place without taking into account the needs of the communities who live alongside wildlife. We have chosen to work here to show that it is possible to involve everyone, from North to South,  in the conservation of elephants.
Burkina Faso
éléphants

THE ZONE

Since 2011, Olivier has helped local NGOs to find the funding necessary to develop various conservation programs.  One key goal has been identified: strive to ensure that one of the most dynamic elephant populations in West Africa can thrive between the Nazinga Ranch and the Kabore Tambi national park. Conservation status of this specific zone has been reinforced and the next step is to support local communities living close to these elephants.

WILDLIFE FRIENDLY® BEAUTY

ELEPHAS is the first beauty brand to be certified Wildlife Friendly® by the Wildlife Friendly Entreprise Network for its association with  the protection of elephant habitats. This certification system is designed for ethical businesses committed to serving both the conservation of threatened species and of biodiversity. It requires businesses to demonstrate how they bring economic & social opportunities at rural level, to generate tangible benefits in the enhancement of wildlife conservation.
wildlife friendly
connected beauty

CONNECTED BEAUTY

ELEPHAS has been created to implement long term actions. We believe that buying high quality, natural ingredients, at a fair and right price, can support conservation of habitats crucial for elephants. ELEPHAS represents Connected Beauty – connected to your inner self, to those who surround you, to those who provide for you through green value chains (traceable origins and supply) and to Mother Nature herself. A philosophy that offers you exceptional active ingredients, development and sustainability to local communities who are biodiversity’s guardians and to the wildlife that is threatened today.

SOAP FACTORY

Our soaps are handmade in the town of Leo, at the local soap factory run by the Nununa Federation (a women’s cooperative). These women have been trained to make soaps whose quality meet the highest international requirements. We also buy organic Shea butter, one of the main ingredients in our soaps, from this same women’s cooperative.
soap factory
conservation zone

MICRO PROJECTS

Our main mission is to identify micro projects requested by the local communities and to serve the conservation of elephants and their habitats. We work closely together with local NGOs that we have met, on the field, and with whom we exchange on a regular basis.
Parties involved in the sustainable preservation of elephants: the populations of the following villages surrounding the corridor – Torem, Kollo, Betare, Saro, Walem, Guiaro.

WOMEN GROUPS

Women groups have been supported to plant a tree whose fruit pulp and seeds are very appreciated locally: 1000 Néré seedlings were planted. It is used to prepare “sumbala” – fermented Néré seeds used as a flavouring agent in the local cuisine.
Another women group has been helped in their enterprise of local soap production. ELEPHAS donated a fragrance concentrate created by our partner Technicoflor in order to make scented soaps for the local market.
Local partner association: Gamo Wigna
Net Positive Impact

EDUCATION

In the villages of Saro & Betare, we have provided 500 kilos of rice to pupils in need, as part of our « Soap That Give Back » program: each ELEPHAS soap sold finances 1 kilo of cereal on the field.
We have financed a field trip to the nature reserve for the local pupils (from 6 villages around the elephant corridor) to discover elephants. Only 5% of children in this area have actually seen an elephant before. If we manage to protect elephants here for the 15 years to come, it is these children that will hopefully take over the conservation efforts. Therefore it is crucial for them to know elephants and learn to love them.  These two field actions were implemented by our local partner, Gamo Wigna.
As part of our “Soaps That Give Back”program, we also partner with the “Grains of Joy” association that works with two schools in the villages of Guimgtenga & Mougnissin (15 km from the capital city) with approximately 1500 pupils. Each ELEPHAS soap sold finances 1 school meal at the cafeteria.
 

OTHER INITIATIVES

ELEPHAS’ next goal is to supply a women group with an oil press for a local desert date oil production. The transformation of this local plant into a wonderful oil will enhance its value. As the local communities’ interest of their surrounding plants will grow, so will their motivation to protect the natural habitat of elephants. They become our key allies in protecting wildlife habitat.
As a member of 1% For The Planet, we try to support some anti-poaching efforts. This year, an operation led by the organisation Wildlife Angel is training local teams to implement an anti-poaching strategy.
Photo credit: Kilian Blees, Olivier Behra.