ARUSHA: TANZANIA has reaffirmed its steadfast dedication to the conservation of environment.
Opening the 24th Session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission (AFWC 24) and the 8th African Forestry and Wildlife Week here on Monday, Tourism and Natural Resources Minister, Ms Angellah Kairuki said the country was ready to enhance cooperation, foster leadership to enhance multilateralism in the field of environmental conservation and natural resources management as appropriate.
“In the course of exercising this superlative role, we shall leave no stone unturned while working other countries in the region, development partners, and other relevant stakeholders in pursuit of excellence for the good of our region and its esteemed people,” she said.
Tanzania was also implementing different strategies towards sustainable conservation of wildlife resources including National Anti-Poaching Strategy; National Wildlife Management Areas Strategy; National Human Wildlife Conflict Management Strategy and Tanzania Wildlife Corridors Assessment Prioritisation and Action Plan, according to Ms Kairuki.
“These are some of our key enabling conservation initiatives in forestry and wildlife, therefore to invite different stakeholders to join our efforts in achievement sustainable management of these precious God given resources,” she explained.
However, despite the vast endowment of natural resources, Tanzania was still grappling with a number conservation challenges, according to Ms Kairuki.
They include deforestation, desertification and land degradation; proliferation of invasive species; fragmentation of ecosystems; Human Wildlife Conflict, poaching and rampant bushfires.
Such challenges have been exacerbated by the impacts of climate change which indiscriminately impact the region whose contribution to this challenge is minimal, said the Minister.
“In addressing these challenges, our country has put in place several policy and strategic interventions to conserve forest and wildlife resources with a view to enhance their resilience and sustain the livelihood of our communities,” the Minister assured.
Earlier on, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Representative in the country, Dr Nyabenyi Tipo lauded Tanzania for mainstreaming the environmental agenda.
According to Dr Tipo, Tanzania was dedicated to the cause at the highest level.
She equally challenged participants gathered at the conference to spearhead the fight to save the planet.
“We must strive to ensure that our activities do not harm our planet but restore it,” emphasised the FAO Country Representative.
The African Forestry and Wildlife Commission was established by the FAO Conference in 1959 and it provides a policy and technical forum for the countries of the African region to discuss and address forest issues on a regional basis.
It is converging in Arusha under the theme, Sustainable management of Africa’s Forests and Wildlife resources: boosting Food Security and Resilience to Climate Change for improved livelihoods”.