Anti-poaching drive pays off

…elephants, black rhinos
increase significantly

THE govern-ment’s anti poaching measures have yielded positive results with the country recording an increase in the number of wildlife, especially elephants and black rhinos.

Tabling the 654.6bn/- budget estimates for his docket for the 2023/2024 financial year here on Friday, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mohamed Mchengerwa said that the number of elephants has increased from 43,330 in 2014 to 60,000 this year, equivalent to 38.5 per cent.

The minister said the development has made Tanzania to continue being among the three African countries with the highest elephant population.

On the other hand, Mr Mchengerwa said the country has also recorded a no table increase in the number of black rhinos, from 163 in 2019 to 238 in 2022, equivalent to 46 per cent, thus surpassing the target of national strategy which aims at protecting 205 rhinos come December 2023.

“In addition to that, the safety reports indicate that in a period between July 2022 and April 2023, there are no reported deaths of wild animals caused by poaching,” he said.

The minister also said that Tanzania has continued to be the leading country in the world by having the highest population of lions of about 14,912 and 24,000 giraffes.

He said the government has continued with efforts to strengthen protection and conservation of natural resources by controlling poaching, illegal wildlife trade and harvesting of forest and beekeeping resources.

The minister said other efforts included restricting invasion of protected areas.

“This increase of wildlife is an indication that poaching activities in the country have decreased … these are the results of good plans and cooperation in conservation,” he noted.

He attributed the success to various government efforts, including conducting 479,242 patrols which enabled the arrest of 12,058 suspects and impounding various government trophies.

“The government has also conducted special operations which enabled to prevent poaching incidents and illegal harvesting of forest resources and con- fiscation of various weapons,” the minister said.

Mr Mchengerwa said the government has continued to strengthen the wildlife and forest conservation paramilitary force by providing training within and outside the country in various areas, including investigation and case management.

He further said that the gov- ernment is also implementing a project to combat poaching and the illegal wildlife trade in Tanzania through funding from the Global Environmental Facility – GEF) and United Nations Development Programme –(UNDP).

In the year 2022/2023, the project was allocated 2.9bn/- which was spent in prepara- tions of a National Anti-Poaching Strategy 2023-2033, conduct- ing intelligence patrols which enabled the seizing of 52 ele- phant tasks and arrest of 70 poachers.

Meanwhile, the minister said that the government will in the next three years from 2022/2023 – 2024/2025 embark on implementation of various strategies focused on conserving and promoting tourism.

He said the move aims at boosting tourism contribution in the economy and bring changes which will help to meet the target of increasing the number of tourists to 5 million and 6 billion US dollars come 2025 as stipulated in the Chama Cha Mapinduzi Election Manifesto.

Related Articles

Back to top button