Home | Talks | The Asian Elephant Conflict and Conservation through the Ages

The Asian Elephant Conflict and Conservation through the Ages


Mar 04 2024 to Mar 04 2024 6:30 p.m.



Bangalore International Centre

7 4th Main Rd, Stage 2, Domlur 560071

Event Description

The elephant has shared a complex relationship with people through Asian history. From being a source of food and an agricultural pest through its role as a beast of burden, a war machine, a cultural icon, a sacred animal, a trade commodity, and an object of public display, the elephant has profoundly influenced the course of Asian civilizations. Raman Sukumar will trace this elephant-human relationship through successive stages in history – the stone age, the Indus civilization, the Vedic period, the Mauryan empire, the Buddhist culture, the medieval Hindu world, the Islamic period, the colonial period and post-independent Asia. He will also argue that the nature of the elephant-human relationship has been shaped by the specific ecological and socio-political conditions at various stages in Asian history. Finally, he will briefly contrast this Asian relationship with the elephant to that of the African continent, before outlining a possible role for the animal in the wild and in captivity in the modern world. In collaboration with Coexistence Consortium Speaker Raman Sukumar National Science Chair, IISc, Bengaluru Raman Sukumar is National Science Chair at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. He is internationally known for his pioneering research on the ecology, behaviour and conservation of Asian elephants, including elephant-human interactions, reproductive biology, evolutionary history, population dynamics, and the cultural history of elephants. Sukumar has contributed extensively to Indian government policy on wildlife conservation. He was one of the architects of the country’s flagship conservation initiatives, namely, Project Elephant, launched in 1992. He was Chair of the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group during 1997-2004. The author of four books on the elephant and over 200 scientific papers, Sukumar is the recipient of several national and international awards, the most notable being the International Cosmos Prize from Japan in 2006. Sukumar is a Fellow of the three major science academies in India, and the World Academy of Sciences. Recently, he was elected as one of the Vice Chairs of the IPCC Bureau where he will serve on this UN body until 2030.

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