Saturday 31 December 2016

China finally announces a complete ban on its ivory trade by the end of 2017

On Friday December 30th China announced a complete ban on all ivory trade, and processing, to be implemented by the end of 2017.

The sale and processing of ivory by the first batch of traders will stop by 31st March 2017 and all registered traders will be phased out by the end of the year.

It is thought that 70%  of the trade in ivory takes place in China. Other big traders are Hong Kong and Japan, although the Japanese deny (wrongly) that there is any illegal ivory in their domestic market and state that they do not need to close it as it does not contribute to the poaching crisis.

International attention is now focusing on Japan, which voted against all CITES proposals to protect elephants. But a recent report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found that the nation’s elephant tusk registration system is being subject to fraud and allows for poached tusks  from Africa to be sold legally in the domestic market.

Hong Kong has announced previously that it will also close its domestic market.

This is a massive step towards saving the elephant and for once I cannot praise the Chinese government enough for their decision.

However - let's hope that this does not simply mean that the trade will mushroom in other states such as Laos, Cambodia or Burma (Myanmar).

                                                                  "Thank you China"

Thursday 15 December 2016

China will soon announce when it is closing its legal ivory markets

China is set to announce when it will close its legal ivory carving factories. Last year, the world’s largest market for both legal and illegal ivory said it would shut down commercial sales within the country. But did not set a timeline.

At the time, conservationists described the announcement as the “single greatest measure” in the fight to save elephants from poaching. Wildlife advocates have since urged Beijing to get on with the job.

Advocates for the total ban believe it will discourage local demand for black market ivory and shut off smugglers’ attempts to launder poached tusks into legal markets.

“I think the Chinese government is serious about shutting down the domestic market in ivory in China,” Wildlife Conservation Society ivory trade policy analyst Simon Hedges said last week.

“Our government is serious upon any promise made to the world,” said Wei Ji, a wildlife researcher who does consulting work for China’s largest environmental NGO.

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Poaching in Tarangire, Tanzania

At least 167 people were arrested in Tarangire National Park in Manyara Region between January to October this year allegedly for poaching or illegal grazing of Livestock.

Some of the suspects have already s appeared in court where some were sentenced to jail.

Other cases are still pending in regional and district courts.

Tarangire now uses a triple Global Positioning System (GPS), a device that enables park rangers monitor the park better. The device helps rangers to track down poachers.

The surging number of livestock in the park has been attributed to the lack of land management strategies by villages. Also wildlife is being killed in the areas adjacent to the park. Recently six elephants were killed.

Tarangire is one of the most economically viable National Parks in the country and protecting it is of utmost important to the country's developing tourist infrastructure.

Wednesday 7 December 2016

For Parque Nacional de Limpopo read Slaughterhouse

The Kuger is attached to the Parque Nacional de Limpopo  in Mozambique on its eastern side.

Researchers have been tracking about 40 collared elephants in and around Parque Nacional de Limpopo, the Mozambican section on the huge Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) administered by the Peace Parks Foundation. The aim was to understand the area’s “fear landscape” – how elephants navigate within risky human infested areas.

Sadly there is a lot to fear and some of them have already been shot by poachers. In fact in the last five years the elephant population has halved with only about 1250 left.

In September, Michelle Henley of Elephants Alive flew the northern sections of the PNL and found no elephants. “It was a huge shock and a wake-up call,” she said. “Part of the problem is that Kruger has consolidated its forces to the south to curb rhino poaching, leaving the central and north open to elephant poaching.”

And in the past 12 months 68 elephants were poached in the Kruger. The slaughter is spreading down from the decimated populations of East Africa. Only a couple of years back the South African government was denying that they had any sort of elephant poaching problem.

It's going to get worse - a lot worse.
Do they all have their heads up their arses?

Friday 11 November 2016

Vietnam Ivory seizures

A staggering five significant ivory seizures in the weeks leading up to Vietnam hosting a major intergovernmental event on illegal wildlife trade highlights ongoing concerns about the nation’s role in illicit wildlife trade.
In total, Vietnamese authorities confiscated over four and a half tonnes of trafficked ivory during October 2016.

Just how much ivory is going through Vietnam? Is it the new frontier?

Monday 31 October 2016

Magafuli talks tough on poachers

Tanzania's president on Saturday ordered the security forces to go after top criminals financing organized networks behind elephant poaching, saying no one was "untouchable".

"I am behind you ... arrest all those involved in this illicit trade, no one should be spared regardless of his position, age, religion ... or popularity," Magufuli said in a statement.

"Go after all of them ... so that we protect our elephants from being slaughtered."

Magufuli issued the directive after visiting the Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry in Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam, where he saw 50 tusks seized from poachers.

Magufuli said he would continue to support the work of Tanzania's National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (NTSCIU) to fight elephant poaching.

Wednesday 14 September 2016

IUCN votes to close down all domestic ivory markets

Honolulu, Hawaii – On Saturday, September 10th world government and NGO representatives voted at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Hawaii urging governments to close down their domestic ivory markets.

Domestic ivory sales in most countries are legal. Many experts believe that domestic ivory markets help fuel poaching by stimulating demand and allowing traffickers a cover for their illegal imports and exports.

A recent survey by Paul G. Allen’s Great Elephant Census (GEC) earlier this month revealed that in just seven years there has been a 30% decline of Africa’s elephant populations due to the enormous demand for ivory.

In response, the IUCN, which has 1,300 members from more than 160 countries, voted in favour of closing domestic markets by an overwhelming majority of 91%.

This was in spite of fierce resistance from South Africa, Namibia and Japan – the latter with a thriving domestic ivory market of its own – who threatened to walk out of the debate and resign from the IUCN in protest.

The three countries then sought to soften the language of the motion by insisting on no less than 20
different amendments. All were rejected.

Credit: Adam Cruise - Conservation Action Trust for this article.

Wednesday 31 August 2016

Tanzania: US military trains 50 game scouts in Rungwa Game Reserve

A total of 50 Tanzanian game scouts are benefiting from  training by US military experts to increase their ability to combat wildlife poaching and trafficking in Rungwa Game Reserve in Tanzania. This will also help the wildlife of Ruaha National park which is contiguous with Rungwa.

The training is being conducted the US Army Africa Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa and the North Carolina National Guard Special Forces.

During the training session between July 25 and September 9 the game scouts are being trained in surveillance and patrol techniques, arrest and detention procedures, search and seizure, crime scene investigation, first aid, human rights and rules of engagement.

This program is one part of a major effort by the US Government and other partners to protect the elephant and wildlife corridor between Rungwa and Katavi, thus conserving a critical link between the Ruaha- Rungwa and Katavi ecosystems.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with WCS, is supporting the $8.5-million five-year Southern Highlands and Ruaha-Katavi Protection Program (SHARPP).

Ruaha-Rungwa has been the subject of massive amounts of elephant poaching in the last few years with the population dropping from 35500 in 2006 to around 15000 or less in 2015.

Monday 1 August 2016

Thousands of poachers snares removed in one park

Just to highlight the severity of the problem of  illegal killing of wildlife for bushmeat let me give some figures.

One year ago today the Management of Liwonde National Park in Malawi was taken over by African Parks.

Bear in mind that this was already Malawi's flagship park and you might have expected it to have received some protection.

Since taking over they have removed  over 40 gin traps and over 16000 snares.

That's in one park in one year. Imagine the amount of animal suffering that has been averted. But then think of all the other places in Africa where this is going on, both inside and outside protected areas, and you can see what a massive problem it is.

No wonder lions and leopards resort to cattle raiding. In many areas their prey species are being wiped out.

Monday 25 July 2016

Kenya: Ivory smuggling Kingpin gets 20 years in jail

After more than 2 years of  twists and turns, Feisal Mohammed Ali was sentenced to 20 years in jail by a Mombasa law court for posession of  2 tons of ivory worth 44 million shillings.

The Kenya Wildlife Service issued a statement saying "The guilty verdict is a strong message to all networks of poaching gangs, ivory smugglers, financiers, middlemen and shippers that Kenya will not watch as its elephant population is decimated or its territory used as a conduit for traffickers."

About time a top man was successfully prosecuted. That the case was never quietly dropped was largely thanks to the efforts of the NGO WildlifeDirect, who ensured that it was kept high profile and that justice was not corrupted, despite various irregularities on the way.

The defence is expected to appeal against the sentence so it's not quite all over yet.

Power to the Kenyan people who are now realizing that wildlife is not only their heritage, but also an irreplaceable treasure, job creator and foreign currency earner.

Friday 22 July 2016

Massive shipment of pangolin scales intercepted in Hong Kong

Hong Kong officials have intercepted 259 bags of pangolin scales weighing 7 tons. It is the biggest seizure in the last five years and was worth around $1.8 million. The scales were found after a routine search and were labeled as recycled plastic particles. They had transited from Nigeria.

Last month another shipment of 4.4 tons of scales was found originating from Cameroon and was also listed as plastic.

Pangolins are also known as scaly anteaters. There are eight species found in Asia and Africa but hunting has largely wiped them out in Asia and now the African species are being decimated. The scales are used in ridiculous Chinese medicine and they are also considered a delicacy.

They have incredibly long tongues - as long as their bodies - which they use to mop up ants with. They are said to be the World's most trafficked mammal.

Although they are widespread in the wild it is still considered a real privilige to actually see one. In all my travels I have yet to get lucky.

Thursday 21 July 2016

Vietnam is becoming the new centre for illegal ivory processing

A new report from Save the Elephants found that the amount of ivory items on sale in Vietnam has risen by 600% since 2008.

The majority of the tusks are smuggled in from Africa whereas back in 2008 they tended to come from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

The old loophole that it is 'old' ivory obtained pre 1992 is being used to get away with it. That and the usual problems of weak pusuance of the law, pathetic customs control, and corruption are allowing the maket to expand as China slowly, ever so slowly, shuts down its ivory trade.

Most of the ivory is sold to guess who - Chinese tourists.

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Tanzania police arrest 9 people in connection with ivory smuggling

Dar es Salaam — Police in collaboration with Interpol in Southern and Eastern zones have arrested nine people in possession of 1.2 tonnes of ivory with a value of Sh4.6 billion. These are part of a group of 256 people being held for various crimes including human trafficking, drug abuse, illegal migration, trading in minerals, possession of firearms and vehicles.

Code-named 'Operation Usalama III', the operation was part of the wider mission of eradicating crime.

 The operation was a by-product of a two-day meeting held in Matola, Mozambique, between May 26-27, by 27 member countries of the Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation (SARPCCO) and Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Co-operation Organization (EAPCCO).

Thursday 9 June 2016

China will have a timetable for the ivory ban by the end of this year

By the end of this year China will set a timetable to phase out commercial trading in ivory, a Chinese official said during a meeting with a U.S. delegation on Monday.

The comments were made by Yan Xun, deputy general director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Management of the State Forestry Administration, during the eighth session of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue held in Beijing
China’s promise follows the announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on June 2 that it will implement a “near-total” ban on ivory trade.

Cristian Samper, president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, said in a statement that a ban in both China and the U.S. will send a message to the world that ivory markets are shutting down. “Elephants now have a fighting chance,” said in written statement to Sixth Tone.

The population of African elephants, poached for their tusks, has dropped to around 500,000 from more than 1 million in the 1970s.

Ivory haul worth millions of shillings stopped at Mombasa

Kenya Revenue Authority officials have intercepted a container containing Ivory estimated to be worth millions of shillings this morning at the Mombasa Sea Port barely a month after President Uhuru Kenyatta set ablaze 105 tonnes of Ivory at the Nairobi National Park.

The ivory was intercepted at a Container Freight Station by custom officials on Tuesday morning and investigation and verification procedures are underway, involving a joint effort by KRA and KWS officials.

Wednesday 8 June 2016

Poachers sentenced to 120 years in jail in Southern Tanzania

Five people have been sentenced to a total of 120 years between them and must pay a fine of 335m/- for being found with two pieces of elephant tusks and nine tails of the wild animal, among other government trophies.

The sentence was imposed last Friday by Senior Resident Magistrate Pili Mande at Manyoni District Court in Singida Region, after convicting the five on the offence of poaching and various other related crimes.

The offences include being in unlawful possession of government trophies, which are two elephants tusks, two elephant tails, being in unlawful possession of firearms, that is three SMG, one Riffle and one homemade gun (gobole) and dealing with poaching.

They were caught by rangers in the Runwas Game Reserve which is part of the hard hit Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem.

Government of Tanzania requests an immediate global ban of ivory trade

The government  of Tanzania has submitted a special request to a United Nations council responsible for controlling illegal wildlife trade, pushing for permanent and immediate ban of ivory business in the world.

The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, has said here that it was hard for the country to curb poaching without a combined effort from other international bodies. He was speaking during the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) annual meeting with editors and senior journalists from different media houses.

Prof Maghembe, who was the chief guest at the meeting, pointed out that the demand for government trophies was high in Asia, being sold as an essential commodity in China, further pointing out that the anti-poaching war needed collective efforts.

Thursday 24 March 2016

Chinese poachers sentenced to 30 years jail in Tanzania

Two Chinese poachers were recently sentenced to 30 years in jail each or ordered to pay a record Sh108.7 billion fine in one of the heaviest sentences aimed at curbing the illegal ivory trade.

The Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court found Xu Fujie, 31, and Huang Gin, 51, guilty of illegally possessing 706 pieces of elephants tusks.

They were each ordered to pay Sh 54.3 billion fine or face the lengthy sentence of a whole three decades behind bars.

The jailing of the two is the latest in a series of heavy court judgments that has seen several Chinese and Tanzanians handed long jail sentences. This appears to be a renewed anti-poaching drive.

Magistrate Mkeha also convicted the Chinese of attempting to bribe the police and officers from the wildlife department with Sh30.2 million. For this, they will serve five years in jail, and pay a Sh 1 million fine. However, the Chinese were acquitted of charges of possessing a bullet cartridge.

Magistrate Mkeha said the court had been satisfied with the testimony from nine prosecution witnesses and exhibits. “Considering the evidence adduced in court and the huge loss that the nation has suffered for the killing of 226 elephants, it is obvious the accused are a real threat to the elephant generation within the boundaries of our country,” said the magistrate. Evidence provided by nine prosecution witnesses proved the offence beyond all reasonable doubts, he said.

State lawyers, Faraja Nchimbi and Paul Kadushi, had asked the court to mete out a severe punishment, saying between 2010 and December 2013 a total of 892 elephants were killed in Tanzania’s national parks.

I do think that last statement is a slight underestimate by about 40000 !

The convicts entered the country in 2010 and stayed for three years until 2013 when they were arrested at Kifaru Street, Mikocheni B in Kinondoni District, Dar es Salaam. The duo posed as garlic importers and marine product exporters. The seized tusks were found in sacks of garlic in the house where the two lived. They had killed, he said, a quarter of all elephants killed in the country between 2010 and 2013.

Mr Nchimbi told the court that there was sufficient reason to believe the two Chinese were ring leaders and financiers of an elephant poaching syndicate in the country. The dramatic arrest of the convicts was led by the then Tourism minister Khamis Kagasheki, who found the tusks cleverly mixed with shell and garlic to avoid suspicion. The tusks the duo were caught with weighed 1.8 tonnes and had an estimated value of $3.1 million (Sh5.4 billion).

Bring back Khamis Kagasheki !

Thursday 17 March 2016

Angola proposes to ban the trade in ivory

Luanda — A decree banning the sale of ivory and its derivatives will be presented Friday in Luanda by the Multi-sector Commission against environmental crimes.

The decree will shut down ivory sale outlets, like the Luanda's Benfica handicrafts market.

The measure to curb ivory trade (and rhino horn) includes the deployment of a crime unit at Luanda's 4 de Fevereiro International Airport and in the localities of Maria Teresa (Cuanza Norte) and Bengo

The Minister of the Environment, F├ítima Jardim, said that trade of ivory artifacts  will cease to exist in the country as a means to curb poaching.

Monday 14 March 2016

Namibia: Police arrest five for rhino and elephant poaching

The police arrested five people in three different regions on Saturday for poaching rhino horns and elephant tusks.

One man was arrested in Kavango East for possession of elephant tusks, while two men were arrested in Opuwo for possession of rhino horns. Two more suspects were arrested in Khomas Region on suspicion of poaching rhinos, the police said yesterday.

The four poaching suspects, two from Windhoek and two from Kunene, will appear together in the Katutura Magistrate's Court this week.

The latest arrests bring to eight the number of people arrested this year in connection with poaching, or being found in possession of rhino horns and elephant tusks.

Last year 22 people were arrested for poaching, or being in possession of rhino horns and elephant tusks, according to police statistics.Twenty-nine carcasses were found in the Etosha National Park and five at Palmwag/Klip River since January.

Last August Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta questioned the conduct of prosecutors who recommend bail for suspected poachers, while crucial investigations are still ongoing. Shifeta said it is frustrating for law enforcement officials, who are working tirelessly to nab poachers, when prosecutors propose bail for suspects: "We've arrested a lot of people, including a police officer in Windhoek. I understand the police officer was given bail of N$25 000 and I asked why he was given bail. The prosecutors are supposed to deny bail. I heard they proposed bail on two occasions."

At least half the World's population of black rhinos live in Namibia (2000+ in Namibia).

Tanzania to form elite anti poaching force

Tanzania is working on a new security strategy that will help curb poaching of elephants and other crimes against wildlife within and outside protected areas. It is hoped to be operational by 2017

The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Jumanne Maghembe said the new security strategy will involve training a special force that will be equipped with modern and high-tech surveillance equipment to detect elephant poachers and other criminals operating inside Tanzania's protected parks.

Conservationists estimate that more than 13,000 elephants were poached in Tanzania in 2015 alone.

A 15% increase in poaching was noted in the Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem that year.

Commemorating the World Elephant Day in August 2015, conservationists put the number of elephants killed by poachers between 2011 and 2015 at about 65,721.

Between 1970 and 1980 poaching and killing of elephants in Tanzania saw their population decline to 55,000. However, the international ban on the sale of ivory and other elephant products together with highly effective anti-poaching operations resulted in elephant populations increasing to an estimated 130,000 in 2005 and 110,000 in 2009, according to WWF in Tanzania.

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Poachers poison an elephant and hundreds of other animals in Kruger National Park

Rangers in the Kruger National Park have found an elephant carcass, 110 dead white-backed vultures, two male lions and two black-backed jackals killed by wildlife poisoning on the 27th of February.

The elephant's body was found with gun shots to its head. The tusks had been removed and then its carcass was laced with poison.. Scavengers in the vicinity of the elephant  were poisoned after feeding from  the remains.

This type of poaching is the very worst, if you can categorise it. It is indiscriminate in a similar manner to the use of snares, but acts on so many other creatures in the food chain.  The poachers use the poison, usually cyanide, to kill off vultures which may alert rangers to their recent whereabouts away by circling overhead.

This technique is more common in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, where there have been several incidents off mass deaths in recent months.

More poached rhinos found in Namibia

Thirty-four poached rhino carcasses have been discovered so far this year by aerial and foot patrols in the Etosha National Park and Palmwag/Klip River areas of the Kunene Region. Twenty nine  were found in Etosha National Park and five at Palmwag/Klip River.

Friday 19 February 2016

Almost 100 elephants killed in Zimbabwe in 2015

Close to 100 elephants were killed the country last year, with poachers increasingly turning to the use of chemicals such as cyanide to kill them.

There is a worrying trend where locals are increasingly being involved in poaching activities.

The parks agency, which recently received anti-poaching equipment from China, was upping its anti-
poaching activities and had over the last five years detected close to 8,000 incursions and accounted
for 175 poachers, 145 of whom were locals.

Tuesday 9 February 2016

More arrests over shot down British helicopter pilot in Tanzania

At least five suspects have so far been arrested in connection with last weekend's incident in which a
British pilot Roger Gower (37) was killed. Mr Gower, 37, who was working for the Friedkin Conservation Fund, had been tracking elephant poachers.

Poachers armed with an assault rifle gunned down his helicopter which was patrolling the Maswa Game Reserve in Simiyu region on January 29th.

Roger Gower came to Tanzania about seven years ago and was piloting the helicopter on a mission to track poachers who had reportedly killed three large elephants.

Gower, 37, and a safari guide, Nicky Bester, were flying low to the ground. A bullet is understood to have passed through the floor of the helicopter, hitting Gower first in the leg then in the shoulder before exiting through the roof. He managed to land the helicopter before he died and his companion jumped free and hid from the poachers.

A source revealed that antipoaching operations have been intensified nationwide since the slaying of the British helicopter pilot, netting eight suspects and 21 rifles within the Selous Game Reserve in Mahenge District as well as the five locally.

The Friedkin Conservation Fund was quoted saying that among suspects arrested are members of a network providing illegal weapons and smuggling ivory.

Monday 8 February 2016

Black rhino poached in the Maasai Mara

A black rhino has been found killed in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, near the Tanzania border.
It was thought to have been killed on Friday and was minus its horns.

In 2015, 11 rhinos were poached, according to figures from KWS, which says there are about 1,030 of them (black and white) remaining in the country.

According to the Mara Conservancy, there are about 30 black rhinos in the Maasai Mara today, down from around 120 in the early 1970s

A joint investigation is being carried out be KWS and their Tanzanian counterparts.

Monday 18 January 2016

Kenya ivory detection dogs make four busts in one week

Ivory detection dogs at Kenya's Jomo kenyatta International Airport have made four ivory busts in one week. In each case the ivory was in the luggage of passengers travelling to China. At least two of those arrested were transiting from Ghana and Mozambique, so the ivory could have come from much further afield.

Most of the ivory had already been worked into necklaces, bangles and various other trinkets. This is an increasingly common occurrence, given the number of Chinese now working in Africa.

The dogs and their handlers graduated from the AWF Conservation Canine program in July, after two months intensive training. Other teams from Tanzania have been similarly trained and deployed to Julius Nyerere Airport and the Port of Dar es Salaam.

Kenyan Teams have been deployed to Nairobi and Mombasa airports.

We need more dogs as they can make such a huge contribution to the fight against poaching.

Wednesday 13 January 2016


 Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in his annual policy address announced that Hong Kong will be joining with China in introducing a ban on ivory trading.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said “The Government is very concerned about the illegal poaching of elephants in Africa. It will kick start legislative procedures as soon as possible to ban the import and export of elephant hunting trophies and actively explore other appropriate measures, such as enacting legislation to further ban the import and export of ivory and phase out the local ivory trade, and imposing heavier penalties on smuggling and illegal trading of endangered species. Meanwhile, the Government will strengthen enforcement and take rigorous action against the smuggling and illegal trade in ivory.”

A timeline has not been published but it should at least depress the price of ivory further and discourage poaching even more.

The other worry is that speculators will switch from ivory to rhino horn, especially if South Africa ever gets a legalised market going. This is the last thing the rhino needs.

Rhino poaching on the increase in Zimbabwe

A further large increase in rhino poaching in Zimbabwe in 2015 saw at least 50 rhino poached, more than double the figure lost the previous year, a conservation group, the Lowveld rhino trust has reported.

They said at least 42 of them were black rhinos, which are by far the rarest of Africa's two species.

There are reckoned to be just over 750 rhinos in Zimbabwe.

Thursday 7 January 2016

Eighty rhinos poached in Namibia in 2015

Four more rhino carcasses were found at Grootberg Lodge in Kunene region in late December last

This discovery brought Namibia's rhino poaching toll last year to 80, according to figures
released by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

Namibia has experienced a sharp increase in cases of rhino poaching over the past five years
with only one rhinoceros poached in 2009, one in 2010 and one in 2011. Two were killed in 2012,
four in 2013, and 25 in 2014.

Most of the Rhinos were poached in Etosha National Park.

Namibia is a very important stronghold for the Black rhinoceros.

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Tanzania Deputy Minister for Natural Resources suspends operations to remove herders from protected areas

Dar es Salaam — A recent directive by the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr
Ramo Makani, to suspend operations to remove cattle from various game and forestry protected
areas in the country has caused sharp reactions from conservationists.

One person said "It is a stab of a knife in the back of conservation in the whole wildlife conservation range globally. One is not sure if the minister has not opened a can of worms,".

The new President John Magufuli has recently appointed Prof Jumanne Maghembe as new Minister
for NaturalResources and Tourism, and conservationists are hopeful that he will use his experience,
integrity and wisdom to revoke the directive as soon as possible.

Wildlife is one of Tanzania's biggest assets.  Most of the countries tourism is  wildlife based and it contributes up to 17 per cent of Tanzania's GDP, which is more than any sector and is planned to increase.

Herders who invade game reserves often use poison to kill animals such as lions which pose a threat to their cattle. Their animals also massively degrade the environment. Poachers will also use this as a golden opportunity to kill more wildlife.

I wonder if the Deputy Minister has read the the Wildlife Conservation Act (WCA) No. 5 of 2009 
that states that any person shall not graze any livestock in a game reserve or wetland reserve?

I have to ask why such an idiot is given a job like this. I could do a damn sight better.