DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – The government has outlined four priority areas to combat wildlife poaching and illegal trafficking.
Recently the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu , highlighted these areas during a roundtable discussion with stakeholders in Dar es Salaam.
He said the container control programme will be introduced to increase capacity for efficient and thorough monitoring of export containers at air and sea ports.
“We are expecting to conduct a comprehensive training programme for customs staff on aspects of risk analysis, cargo inspection, information exchange and post-seizure investigations,” he said.
Nyalandu said port control units will be established at container terminals, with liaison points with the Wildlife Crime Unit and existing National and Transnational Serious Crimes Unit.
According to him, each unit will be equipped to target high-risk containers, increasing the efficiency of searches.
“We shall ensure that customs departments are equipped with and trained in the use of high-tech scanning equipment and trained sniffer dogs,” he said.
He said departments will also be given additional staff members in order to increase the rate of detection of smuggled goods.
The minister emphasised that selected staff will have to act as clandestine monitors, with recording devices, to support intelligence gathering.
He said the first priority of the government is to boost and align the intelligence capabilities in the wildlife sector and improve links with national systems and response mechanisms, including the National and Transnational Serious Crimes Unit.
“Our strategy therefore includes the creation of a Wildlife Crime Unit housed in my Ministry but effectively linked to all other arms of government.
“This national Wildlife Crime Unit will be overseen by a proposed Ministerial Committee on Wildlife Security that will allow a linkage to other related Ministries, in order to unite the wildlife and security sectors in addressing wildlife trafficking,” he said.
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