By Florian Kaijage
Investment relations between China and Tanzania have been cited in elephant poaching in Tanzania, calling for serious government intervention, a report on the elephant poaching crisis has revealed.
According to a well-detailed report authored by the Tanzania Elephant Protection Society (TEPS) made available to the Guardian, though the Chinese investments were important in the country’s economy and development, they shouldn’t compromise country’s natural wildlife conservation efforts.
The report -- which states clearly the current rate of 30 elephants killed every day and 850 elephants shot every month -- poses unprecedented risk of the country’s elephant population perishing in the next seven years notes:
“China is the number one investor in Tanzania … but the majority of tusks exported illegally from Tanzania end up in China due to the huge demand for Ivory in China”
It affirms: “Tanzania’s partnership with China is of great benefit to the country’s economy and development but it must not be at the expense of Tanzania’s vital natural resources and tourist industry … this requires political will and strong leadership.”
The document, whose was availed to The Guardian recommends: “ Tanzania government should make investment from China and other countries strictly conditional on China tackling its demand for ivory at home , and stronger law enforcement collaboration to halt the flow of ivory from Tanzania to China.”
Experts also recommended for the presence of sniffer dogs working 24 hours at every port and airport.
In one of its four recommendations to the government, the report says: “Ivory is a big business for major criminal … also involved in trafficking drugs and violent crimes. The issue must be treated as a serious crime which is a major threat to the nation. More....