September 25, 2017

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ARUSHA: Tanzania has vowed to get tough measures with the groups and
individuals responsible for the mass poaching of elephants.

Gaudence Milanzi, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources
and Tourism called for stern actions against poachers and other people
engaged in illegal wildlife trade in the east African nation.

He said poachers and other people engaged in illegal wildlife trade would
be punished severely to deter would-be offenders.

“We’re concerned that wildlife crimes such as poaching and illegal trade in
ivory would pose serious threats to biodiversity, nature tourism, and
foreign investment,” Milanzi said in an interview.

Milanzi called upon villagers and local government to team up in the fight
against elephant poaching, a move that threatens the future of tourism,
which is one of leading sectors in Tanzania as it contributes 2 billion U.S
dollars to GDP.

He also said that Tanzania has set aside September 22, every year as a
special national day for elephants aimed at encouraging local people to
take part in the fight against poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

According to Milanzi, the idea has emanated from the 15th Conference of the
Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC), on the convention on international trade in endangered
species of wild fauna and flora.

This year’s National Elephant Day was held in southern Tanzania’s district
of Namtumbo, which is close to Selous Game Reserve, and Niassa nature
reserve in Cabo Delgado Province and Niassa Province, Mozambique.

It is estimated that Selous Game Reserve generates over 6 million U.S.
dollars in annual revenues, which are distributed between the reserve, the
national government, and more than 1.2 million people living in the
surrounding area.