The government has been urged to use diplomatic means to discourage the ivory market in friendly nations in a move to curb the increasing wave of elephant poaching in the country.
The advice was given by members of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation Board in a meeting with Natural Resources and Tourism minister Ambassador Khamis Kagasheki in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
The meeting follows a request by TPSF to meet with Minister Kagasheki to discuss various issues including strengthening cooperation between the private and public sectors.
Issues discussed included how forest resources can be better utilised for the improvement of the country’s economy and for the benefit of the people.
TPSF Chairman Dr Reginald Mengi said efforts to fight poaching in the country have not succeeded because the illegal practice involved big-wigs, some of whom were government officials.
“The number of elephants being killed and the speed of such killings is an indication that the network involves big people…if only ordinary people were involved, it would have been easier to nab them,” he said.
TPSF board member Raymond Mbilinyi said since the ivory market was well known the government should exert diplomatic pressure to discourage it.
“The market is well known. The number of elephants being killed is big. The government should deploy diplomatic measures to discourage the market,” said Mbilinyi.
In a related development Dr Mengi said the forest sector can contribute a lot to the country’s development if it is well developed.
He said inadequate sensitisation on how people can make money from the forest sector have led many to invest in tree harvesting instead of planting trees for business. More....