By David Kisanga
Tanzania has signed an agreement with the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to curb the current wave of poaching.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) took place in Dar es Salaam yesterday, with the signatories being the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu, ICCF Vice Chairman, Dr Kaush Arta and UNDP Acting Resident Representative, Philippe Poinsot.
The two organisations promised to convince the world to assist the country against illegal smuggling of wildlife.
They said various international communities have been inspired and motivated to support Tanzania in fighting poaching, after the government introduced operation ‘Tokomeza’ and increased routine patrol to fight the illegal business.
Nyalandu said the government has sought the cooperation of the two parties in fighting poaching and international wildlife trafficking.
He said that the government has decided to seek support of international organisations so that they can convince the world to stop purchasing ivory and other wildlife products.
“Our aim is to ensure that the illegal business comes to an end…we want to save the elephants which are the most hunted”, noted the Minister, adding that poaching of wildlife resources, particularly of elephant tusks has increased tremendously.
He said with the international community’s intervention Tanzania is sure to win the fight, thus remove the current threat to elephant’s survival.
He also cautioned the public that the government will take stern legal measures against anyone found possessing or wearing anything related to wildlife.
In another development, Nyalandu said that Tanzania, ICCF in collaboration with UNDP expect to convene a meeting of key stakeholders to share expertise, create consensus and develop recommendations for an immediate, continuing and sustainable plan action for the government.
The summit which is expected to take place on May 9 and 10 in Dar es Salaam is to be attended by local and international stakeholders in the wildlife conservation sector.
“The summit will focus on synthesizing a set of recommendations and action plans,” he elaborated.
Seconding Nyalandu, ICCF Vice Chairman, Dr Kuash Arta promised to support Tanzania in its efforts to fight poaching.
“The world is already providing support to Tanzania on its efforts against poaching and smuggling of wildlife resources”, he said.
He added that the entire world is now focusing on how to back Tanzanian’s dramatic efforts in curbing such illegal activities which are increasing daily especially the killing of elephants.
Acting UNDP Country Resident Representative, Philippe Poinsot said they are committed to provide full support to Tanzania through various measures. “We will scale up the efforts and call for action against such illegal activities at international level”, he promised.