Tanzania: Mantra Joins Anti-Poaching Campaign


Tanzania Daily News

Date Published
MANTRA Tanzania Limited and the Wildlife Division have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to co-operate in combating elephant poaching in the southern Selous Game Reserve.

Under the agreement, Mantra and the Wildlife Division have agreed that Mantra will invest US $800,000 in 2014 on anti-poaching operations. The MoU was signed by the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu, and Mr Chris Sattler, CEO of Uranium One Inc. on behalf of Mantra Tanzania, an affiliate of Uranium One, which is developing the Mkuju River Project.

The project is a world-class uranium mine in southern Tanzania. The brief signing ceremony was held on the sideline of a two-day Wildlife Summit held in Dar es Salaam at the weekend.

“Elephant poaching has reached critical proportions in the Selous Game Reserve and Mantra is committed to taking action to address it,” Mr Sattler said.

He added, “This MOU allows us, together with the Wildlife Division, to fully develop and implement an advanced, innovative antipoaching programme to curb poaching and save the Selous elephant population.

“I acknowledge and thank Minister Nyalandu for his leadership on this important issue. I know he shares my hope that this programme will also help lead the way for other public-private partnerships in wildlife conservation in Tanzania and Africa.”

Minister Nyalandu said the government supports Mkuju River Project and will move forward expeditiously to make sure that all other remaining issues to be signed including the Mining Development Agreement (MDA) are finalised before the end of this financial year which ends in June.

According to the agreement, the MoU establishes an oversight Committee comprised of two representatives from Mantra and two from the Wildlife Division.

This Committee is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring joint antipoaching programmes, as well as for communicating and consulting with a wide variety of stakeholders, including representatives from all levels of government, local communities, hunting concessions and nongovernmental organisations.

The MOU’s central focus will be the continued development of an anti-poaching initiative, which Mantra first began in 2013. Under this programme, 20 recent graduates of the Selous Game Reserve (SGR) game warden training college are assigned to Mantra’s anti-poaching unit.

The agreement states that the scouts remain employees of the SGR and return to the SGR after a 12-month tour of duty. While with the Mantra anti-poaching unit, the scouts are housed at a camp near the Mkuju River Project and conduct regular anti-poaching patrols in a 20,000-square kilometre area around the project site.

Mantra’s anti-poaching unit activities are also supplemented by local information gathering networks, which help collect, analyze and share information on poaching activity.

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