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Tanzania: Wildlife Policy, Anti-Poaching Plan Launched to Boost Tourism

DAR ES SALAAM: THE government has pledged to continue engaging different development partners in wildlife conservation to bring poaching to an end and attract more tourists in the country.

Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Ms Angellah Kairuki expressed the commitment at the weekend during the launch of the Wildlife Policy Implementation Strategy and Tanzania Elephant Implementation Plan 2023-2033 in Dar es Salaam, which was preceded by the 6th Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting.

The initiative was launched by the ministry in collaboration with UNDP, Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and in partnership with its dedicated partners.

According to the minister, the gathering provided a platform to highlight the significant strides made in the ongoing fight against poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.

The minister further noted that the government has invested a lot in wildlife conservation with the aim of attracting more than 5 million tourists in the country come 2025 with an expected revenue of 6 billion US dollars.

“We cannot have proper tourism if we do not put in place conservation measures that will ensure sustainable wildlife,” she said as she called on the private sector to ensure they, among other things, build more hotels that will accommodate the expected tourists.

Recent data from the ministry for 2022 reveals remarkable achievements.

Since 2014, Tanzania has witnessed a commendable increase in its elephant population, soaring from 43,330 to an impressive 60,000.

Additionally, rhino numbers have shown extraordinary growth, rising to more than 200.

The UNDP’s Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) project, a collaboration with the government through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and with support from the GEF, has emerged as a shining example of success in combating poaching.

Launched during a critical period of heightened poaching, particularly from 2009 to 2013 when Tanzania was identified as one of the “Gang of Eight” by conservationists, this initiative has made substantial progress.

The UNDP Resident Representative, Shigeki Komatsubara, commended the government, its partners, and the local community for their commitment to combating poaching, adding that the IWT project has served as a catalyst for positive change, reinforcing the importance of international collaboration in preserving wildlife.

He said the UNDP remains steadfast in its commitment to support Tanzania in sustaining and advancing its efforts against poaching and further noted that the IWT project exemplifies the profound impact that collaboration, vigilance and proactive measures can have on safeguarding Tanzania’s rich wildlife heritage.

The Chairman of Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Mr Wilbard Chambulo said the private sector is ready to collaborate with the government in ensuring the new policy is well implemented if tourism Is to make strides.

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