Tuesday 11 August 2015

Tanzania government is to break up the Game Department and move responsibility to the Tanzania Wildlife Authority

The government of Tanzania is to break up the Game Department as one way towards helping to revive the country's elephant numbers, depleted due to rampant poaching.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism thinks it can increase the number of elephants to 100,000 over the next five years.

Lazaro Nyalandu, Minister of tourism and Natural Resources, said the government had decided to dismantle the Game Department which was previously under his Ministry and transfer personnel to the Tanzania Wildlife Authority, which is now being restructured into a completely new agency.

The new agency will be responsible for over 120,000 square kilometres (46,332 square miles) of land.

He also said the number of poachers that are being apprehended is dropping drastically.
"The drop comes from the government effort to increase the number on man-patrol since February last year," he said.

But he would be able to say that  - if there are no eles left then the poachers will move on.

The Minister called for more help from the international community in terms of funding and technical support.

A 2014 survey indicated that the elephant population in the Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem, in Tanzania's undeveloped south, crashed from 20,000 in the previous year to 8,272. So to protect the remaining elephants in Ruaha-Rungwa, the government is already doubling the number of game rangers to 140. Furthermore it is committed to provide transportation, weaponry and uniforms for them to work
efficiently. By the end of 2014, they had hired another 1000 rangers to be deployed throughout the country.

Tanzania and Mozambique have signed a bilateral agreement to protect the Selous-Niassa Corridor, which will become the world's largest protected area.

Not that Mozambique is providing any protection worth a damn to the Niassa reserve. Mozambique has lost 50% of its elephants in just five years, mostly in this area. Government, the police and the judiciary all complicit in the killing.

He has also signed a new agreement with his Zambian counterpart to protect the Miombo woodland.This woodland is about 2.5 million square kilometers of land criss crossing Tanzania and Zambia, a crucial habit for the elephants to multiply in.

I hope this is more than just a PR excerise.

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