Earth day 2021: why elephants and apes are key


On Earth Day 2021, Born Free joins one billion people to celebrate this international day of environmental action.

“Born Free is all about practical solutions and the power of hope,” explains our Managing Director Karen Botha. “If you share our wild vision for a safe planet, join us today to tackle climate change and invest in nature.”


With you by our side, Born Free is devoted to wild elephant and ape conservation, but did you know these megafauna provide a jumbo solution to climate change?

Super-keystone species, they sustain us all and play a vital environmental role as they prune trees, fertilise soil through their dung, disperse seeds and propagate plants. No wonder they are known as gardeners of the forest! Their woodland homes store huge amounts of carbon, sucking up carbon dioxide and pumping life-giving water vapour into the atmosphere. 



We’re not just devoted to life-changing wildlife conservation, sustainability and environmental policy are also key!

Born Free is committed to helping protect threatened populations of elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutan and you can help! We are also committed to reducing our environmental impact, to mitigate global warming and minimise our carbon footprint wherever possible. In fact, you could say we’re Born Green! We can even help you measure your own household’s carbon footprint and donate to an accredited offset project.



We work with communities to find solutions to human-wildlife conflict, improve livelihoods, maintain habitats and protect wildlife.

Acutely aware of the climate crisis facing our planet, Born Free tries to reduce those polluting emissions wreaking havoc. For example, since 2004 we have worked to protect tigers in India’s vast forests and community projects such as energy-saving stoves are key. These stoves improve fuel efficiency and reduce the need for people to venture into the forest to collect wood – protecting trees AND stopping conflict between people and tigers. We’re over the moon to see our impact – since 2015 India’s tigers are up 33% to nearly 3,000.



And our work is producing real results!

In Kenya, energy-saving jiko stoves and other simple but smart household tech such as solar power units help local families in our predator-proof boma programme. By reinforcing their traditional thorny acacia shrub night-enclosures with chain-link fences, we protect livestock and thus help save lions by stopping retaliatory attacks. And our approach is really working, Kenya’s lions have increased by 25% in the past ten years to at least 2,489 today.



Images © George Logan, Orangutan Foundation, Michael Vickers, Filip Fortuna