Tanzania announced its new anti-poaching strategy during an international conference in Dar es Salaam at the weekend titled "Stopping Wildlife Crime and Advancing Wildlife Conservation: A Call to Action".
Tanzanian Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director for Tanzania Phillippe Poinsot signed a memorandum of understanding Saturday (May 10th), setting up the Tanzania Wildlife Conservation Basket Fund, which will be co-ordinated by UNDP. "This fund will create the most credible mechanism upon which development partners and other stakeholders will be able to support wildlife conservation efforts," Nyalandu told Tanzania's The Citizen after signing the agreement. "The fund will be transparent and it will be implemented by an independent board that will oversee wildlife conservation projects to be approved by the wildlife strategic plan."
Tanzania will also establish the Tanzania Wildlife Authority to oversee wildlife management in the country.
In opening remarks at the conference, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said community-based natural resource management was key for establishing a long-term solution to elephant poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
"Community-based tourism, jobs in wildlife and park management, and government revenue-sharing from tourism can all help reduce poverty and inequality, including for women, youth, and marginalised groups," she said. "The illegal trade, however, benefits lawbreakers who are often not from the local community, with the big profits flowing to sinister criminal syndicates."
Tanzanian wildlife, in particular elephants, has been threatened by poaching over the past decade.
A survey in the Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem found that the elephant population there decreased from 31,625 elephants in 2009 to 20,090 elephants in 2014, according to Tanzania's The Guardian.
"Approximately 30 elephants a day are killed... at this rate the population will be exterminated by 2020," the Tanzanian Elephant Protection Society, an independent conservation group, said according to AFP.