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L’Association des Amis des Éléphants Bureau and Boni Tourism Information Center is a project for the small Malian village of Boni. Boni is a village of roughly 4,000, located 85 kilometers from Douentza in the eastern fringe of the Mopti Region of Mali. A true mélange of ethnicities, Boni is home to much Malian culture and beautiful scenery. Moreover, Boni is located directly adjacent to the migratory route of the most northern herd of elephants in all of Africa.
In 1996, L’Association des Amis des Éléphants de Boni was founded to help protect these animals. The association resolves human-elephant conflicts, protects elephant fodder, monitors population size and health, and conducts other conservation efforts such as the excavation of local elephant watering holes. The construction of the bureau and tourist information center will create a much needed work environment for the association. Also, the structure will offer a concentrated location for tourists to find village information, certified guides, and food. A small boutique will serve as a setting for the women’s artisan association to sell their crafts. The proposal includes internet training for one association member to update a website on the elephants. Finally, small grass huts will offer sleeping arrangements for tourists. In cooperation with the website currently under construction (malielephants.org), this project gives L’Association des Amis des Éléphants a workspace to organize and improve their conservation efforts and offers Boni an opportunity to improve their ability to provide for tourists.
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