TOURISM and Natural Resources Minister, Dr Pindi Chana has challenged the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) to come up with solutions that will help to protect endangered species in the country.
Inaugurating the wildlife institute’s board of directors here on Wednesday, Dr Chana insisted that it was imperative for TAWIRI to delve on more research and studies that will help salvage species that are on the verge of extinction.
“What are we doing to protect our rhino and Kihansi spray toads,” queried the minister, shortly before TAWIRI’s sixth board of directors.
Dr Chana noted that onus was on the organisation charged with conducting and coordinating wildlife research in the United Republic of Tanzania in keeping the number of wild animals in check through comprehensive researches and studies as the country craves to attract 5 million tourists, in the next two years.
“Research is a prerequisite of sustainable conservation as we are all gearing for an influx of visitors in the near future,” she emphasised.
Tanzania targets an increase in income from the sector to notch 6 billion US dollars (about 14tri/-) from 5,000,000 tourists come 2025, up from the current 1,527,230 arrivals and an income of 2.6 billion US dollars (about 5tri/-).
According to target indicators for the tourism sector, by 2025/26 real growth rate is projected to rise from the current 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent.
The plan envisages an average number of nights to be spent by a tourist to go up from 13 to 14, while average expenditure per tourist per day (non-package/package) (US) will increase from the current 216/379 to 326/455 in 2025/26.
In the same vein, the Minister tasked TAWIRI to look for solutions on zoonotic diseases and invasive species wreaking havoc in some of the protected areas.
She cautioned that two could slowly deplete the number of wild animals and plants if they aren’t resolved.
In his rejoinder, the chairperson of TAWIRI Board of Directors, Dr David Manyanza assured the Minister that the nine-man board will hit the ground running to ensure that prosperity reigns in the research institute’s day to day activities.
“As a board, we will remain focused on giving scientific explanations to conservation related challenges facing the country,” he said.
Dr Manyanza added that his board will be guided by a strategic plan that will oversee TAWIRI daily operations.
The multi-faceted board of directors comprises of a host of conservation gurus and research experts who head a several wildlife agencies in Tanzania.