DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – Tanzania has agreed to form a task force together with the United States, China, Germany, European Union, World Bank and the United Nations Development Programs (UNDP) to control and curb illegal poaching, trafficking and export of ivory in the region.
Speaking to East African Business Week on the sidelines of the International conference on illegal poaching in Tanzania last week in Dar es Salaam, the Tanzanian Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu said the government has decided to team with development partners to curb illegal poaching and export of ivory in the outside market.
Nyalandu said the government has paved the way for the development partners to join the ongoing fighting against the crime wave of elephants in the country.
He said the task force formed by three nations and the united nations groups promised to convince the world to assist the country against illegal smuggling of wildlife.
The various international communities have been inspired and motivated to support Tanzania in fighting against poaching, after the government introduced operation ‘Tokomeza’ and increased routine patrol to fight the illegal business inside and outside the borders, he said.
According to Nyalandu, the government has sought the cooperation of the development partners in fighting poaching and international wildlife trafficking.
He said the government has decided to seek support of international organizations in order to convince the world to stop purchasing ivory and other wildlife products.
“Our aim is to ensure the illegal business comes to an end…we want to save the elephants which are the most hunted,” noted the Minister. He said 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 saying the government will take stern legal measures against anyone found possessing or wearing anything related to wildlife.
“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.
On behalf of the development partners, World Bank, Country Director, Philippe Dongier said they are committed to provide full support to Tanzania through various measures and resources.
“We want to make sure game reserves and official from the ministry and other departments are getting proper training to tackle the menace in Tanzania,” he said.
He said the development partners have agreed to support the government of Tanzania with the proper resources such as weapons, cars, technology, communication devices and training to ensure that elephants killing is abolish.
“We will scale up the efforts and call for action against such illegal activities at international level”, he promised. Dongier said the slaughter of elephants and the seizure of illegal ivory from Tanzania and Kenya have soared to their highest levels in decades.