Posted on 14 February 2018
The Tanzania Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Dr. Hamisi Kigwangalla has said he is sure poaching will be completely controlled and no poaching incidents will be reported in the country by 2022 due to the efforts of his ministry and the government in general
During the launch of the ‘Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth’ (REGROW) project Dr. Kigwangalla warned those involved in poaching activities that the government’s initiatives to stop poaching have been intensified and he called them to reconsider their actions.
“The crackdown on poachers is more intense now and rest assured that we will leave no stone unturned, its best that you stop your illegal activities before the hand of the law catches up with you”, he said.
Asukile Kajuni, WWF Tanzania’s Deputy Coordinator for Elephant and Ruvuma Landscape Programmes, said: “WWF welcomes the Minister’s statement and the ongoing government commitment to stop poaching in the Selous Game Reserve. WWF is working hand in hand with the government, communities and partners to create robust protection for Selous’ elephants whose population has declined by almost 90% in the last 40 years. We aim to stop poaching and grow their population to secure Selous World Heritage site’s place as a global tourist destination in the future.”
WWF is working with the government and partners on the ground in the Selous Game Reserve to combat poaching. Selous Game Reserve is also a World Heritage site and WWF is taking a zero poaching approach to tackling wildlife crime. This involves working with the local communities through to the rangers and the judiciary who prosecute poachers and wildlife traffickers.
The six year REGROW project is funded by a loan from the World Bank and will be implemented in Southern Tanzania. It aims to promote economic development in the Southern Tourism circuit. It will strengthen the management of protected areas, including the Selous Game Reserve, and biodiversity as well as working with local communities to provide alternatives to unsustainable exploitation of natural resources.
WWF believes the REGROW project provides very important, complimentary initiatives that support government and partners’ existing efforts that have been put in especially in the Selous Game Reserve over the last decade.
Mr. Asukile Kajuni, said: “Achieving the REGROW project goal will go a long way to enhance our efforts to strengthen local communities’ initiatives through Wildlife Management Areas. This approach encourages sustainable wildlife management, not only to combat poaching criminal networks that have decimated elephant populations from our protected areas but also to effectively derive benefits to support their livelihoods”.