Posted on 19 June 2017
Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania: An international multi-million Euro program has been launched in Tanzania that will help to cut poaching in the Selous Game Reserve World Heritage site, maintain the landscape and deliver sustainable rural development in communities adjacent to it.
The five year Selous Ecosystem Conservation Area and Development Program is being co-financed by the German and Tanzanian governments, WWF and Frankfurt Zoological Society. It will focus on the Selous Game Reserve and its wildlife corridors – the land adjacent to it where wildlife roams from the Selous to other protected areas, like Niassa Game Reserve in Mozambique.
In his launch speech the Minister for Tourism and Natural resources Professor Jumanne Maghembe said the Tanzania government is committed to seeing Selous Game Reserve removed from the danger list by UNESCO, “The fifth Tanzania government is putting in all the necessary efforts to see Selous removed from this not very popular list, I would like to assure you that these resources will be used to support conservation through implementation of the Program. Further thanks to FZS and WWF for co-financing the Program and be assured that you have full support of my Government and my Ministry in particular to ensure that the Program is successfully implemented to achieve the intended objectives”
Amani Ngusaru, WWF Tanzania Country Director, said: “Today we celebrate the start of a multi-million Euro program. WWF and its partners in this program are taking action to protect the elephants and their environment as well as helping local communities next to it develop. Selous was once home to 110,000 elephants but the population now stands at 15,000.
“Local communities are at the heart of saving Selous and its elephants; they need to receive benefits from living alongside wildlife. We will be working to increase jobs and household income from sustainable conservation work in the key wildlife areas next to Selous.”
While FZS will be responsible for activities inside the Selous Game Reserve related to protected area management, law enforcement and ecological monitoring, WWF will advise on outreach and community conservation and lead activities focused on the sustainable management of the natural resources in priority parts of the area around the Selous Game Reserve.
“Community work is an integral component of conservation efforts. We need to get the people living in the ecosystem on board,”
said Asukile Kajuni, the WWF program coordinator. “As one of our first tasks we will assess the current status of five adjacent protected areas in order to develop action and strengthen the tourism marketing with a view to support community natural resource business enterprises.”
The Selous Game Reserve is one of the biggest wild areas in Africa. Selous has globally important populations of elephants, lions, hippos, and more endangered African wild dogs than any other protected area. However wildlife has come under pressure from poaching and threatened by mining concessions that overlap the Selous and wildlife corridors.
Wildlife is the basis of a tourist industry that provides stable jobs for citizens and is an important source of revenue to the area. WWF will implement activities in the Selous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor to ensure that the management of natural resources around the Reserve, in particular in the Selous Niassa Wildlife Corridor is aligned with the long-term management of the Selous Game Reserve.
WWF is adopting a zero poaching approach for elephants in the Selous. This includes a holistic approach working with the Selous Reserve management, partners, communities and law enforcement agencies.