THE conservation of wildlife in Africa should be a collective responsibility for all stakeholders on the continent, hence the need to join forces in combating wildlife crimes.
This was said at the two-day regional meeting to stop wildlife crimes and advance wildlife conservation. The event ended on Saturday.
Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu, while gracing the summit called for countries to work together for sustainable development through inclusive approaches and community awareness on the importance of wildlife management.
The meeting focused on law enforcement, transnational dimensions of wildlife crime, and conservation.
The meeting included representatives from African countries, members of the US congress, UN agencies, donor countries, and representatives of civil societies, the academia, among others.
Participants reaffirmed their commitment to continue managing and conserving the wildlife in the region including Tanzania.
Mr Nyalandu said the value of enhancing and strengthening collaboration between various stakeholders should not be underestimated.
He also stated that the future of African wildlife is everybody’s responsibility spanning from the individuals to regional bodies.
“The problem of poaching requires an African Solution — we must work together to improve the situation from a regional perspective and that is by working together as a region.
We have launched a National Strategy to fight and combat poaching. We have established the Tanzania Wildlife Authority to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in dealing with wildlife issues and challenges.
I call upon you all to deliberate on action plans to fight and combat wildlife crime and see it come to an end,” the minister stressed.
Participants cited the value of protecting natural resources as they are the backbone of socio-economic development in any country.
Emphasising the importance of natural resources management and wildlife, UN Resident Coordinator in Tanzania, Mr Alvaro Rodriguez, stated that wildlife crimes pose challenges for the environment, livelihoods based on tourism, and sustainable development.
He added that the anti-poaching issues should be tackled at national and regional levels.
“The United Nations stands ready to continue and increase its support to national, regional and international responses to addressing wildlife crimes.
In our responses, we must continue to utilise key international instruments we already have to tackle this issue” he added, “But much more needs to be done.”
Explaining further he said, “We need more cooperation between source, transit and consumer countries.
We need more support to social and economic development activities including livelihoods diversification, community based natural resource management and decentralised resource management to bring value, aesthetic and financial, of wild flora and fauna to communities and provide a disincentive for illegal trade.
We need more focus on governance and the rule of law and we need more national and regional cooperation.”
Speaking on behalf of the ICCF, co-organiser of the event, Vice- Chairman, Dr Kaush Arha, stated, “The meeting was transformative in calling for the setting of national recovery targets for critical species such as elephants, rhinos and lions.
Furthermore, the meeting agreed on specific action on trans-border initiatives which are likely to lead to bilateral agreements between Tanzania and neighbouring countries.”
Head of European Union delegation to Tanzania and EAC, Ambassador Mr Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi commended Tanzania on steps ta
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