Community Involvement at the Centre of Tanzania National Elephant Day
The Guest of Honor representing the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Mr. Twaha Twaibu urged the communities to be part of the movement to reach zero poaching especially in the Selous. Twaha told the Lusewa Community that people involved in the poaching activities come from within their communities and therefore they are the ones who can stop them. “Poachers are your children, your fathers, your brothers and your husbands; talk to them about the dangers of poaching and report any suspicious behaviors among your fellow community members. This is crucial in the fight against poaching mainly because elephants are worthwhile to you alive than dead”.
The National Elephant Day in Tanzania was ‘borrowed’ from the World Elephant Day which is marked annually on August 12th. In Tanzania, the National Elephant Day was officially, first marked, on September 22nd 2011. Since then, this date was declared a National Elephant Day and it is marked every year. The decision to mark the auspicious day was mooted, during a meeting held in 2010 which passed the National Elephant Management Plan (2011 to 2015).
The foregoing meeting was a follow up to the CITES meeting held in Doha, Qatar in 2010 and attended by 37 African elephant range states. In the CITES meeting, the participants passed the African Elephant Action Plan designed to protect elephants whose continued existence was increasingly being threatened by poaching.
The commemoration organized by WWF Tanzania was attended by Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), Namtumbo District administration, Wildlife Management Areas members, Village Game Scouts and community members.