Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Community in and around wildlife-protected areas could fight poaching effectively, if they are meaningfully benefiting from the resources, tour operators say.

Chairman of Tanzania Association of Tour operators (TATO) Willy Chambullo said that the government has no option rather than to embrace the community if the war against poaching is to be won.

Addressing hundreds of people who took part in an annual March for elephants and rhino event in Arusha, Chambullo made a passionate call upon the government to review its policy to enable residents around the national parks to benefit more.

“The communities in and around the wildlife protected areas feel that the animals and other flora and fauna are government properties and that they have nothing to do with their lives” Chambullo stressed.

According to him, this perceived perception need to be corrected by availing more opportunities to the communities in and around national parks to make them feel ownership of the wildlife resources.

TATO also highlighted several measures, including a major operation to stop poaching and deal with criminal intermediaries that are involved in the chain from national parks and protected areas, to the ports.

In the list of proposal tour operators demanded a total ban on ivory trade now than latter.

“We need our government to put pressure on CITES and the United Nations to impose a total international ban on all ivory and rhino products trade - horn and ivory” says Chambullo.
TATO also demanded the government to engage China and United States of America directly using Tanzania’s much wanted mineral resources such as oil and gas and uranium as leverage to force china to close of its ivory carving factories.
Chambullo further wanted the government to seek more support from the international community to help fund anti-poaching and to conduct regular wildlife census counts of all wildlife.

“We are of the view that the government needs support from development partners, for a more all inclusive approach to improve development in areas outside national parks serving as migratory corridors and wildlife dispersal zones in improving community based tourism based on nature based & cultural tourism activities” he stressed.

Natural resources and tourism Minister, Lazaro Nyalandu said the government would ensure that the communities are the number one beneficiaries of their own resources than ever before.


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