Tanzania Launches National Strategies to Combat Poaching and Safeguard Wildlife

June 1, 2023
Combat poaching and safeguard wildlife strategies

Hon. Mohamed O. Mchengerwa, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, handing the Strategy document to Gertrude Lyatuu, UNDP's Head of Environment Pillar, marking a significant step in Tanzania's fight against poaching and commitment to wildlife conservation.

UNDP Tanzania

Tanzania has taken a momentous stride in safeguarding its invaluable wildlife resources with the official launch of the National Anti-Poaching and Wildlife Management Area Strategies. This significant undertaking is part of the comprehensive project "Combatting Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade," led by Ministry of National Resources and Tourism - Wildlife Division (WD), with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility. These strategies not only align closely with the National Strategy to Combat Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade (NSCPIWT) but also hold the potential to make significant contributions towards multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Tanzania.

With over a quarter of the country's land dedicated to wildlife protected areas, Tanzania's natural heritage plays a pivotal role in its economy, thriving tourism sector, and progress towards the SDGs. However, the escalating threat of poaching and IWT poses a severe risk to flagship species like the African Elephant and Rhinoceros, as well as the overall biodiversity treasure of the nation.

The adverse impact of wildlife crime extends beyond ecological consequences, undermining Tanzania's socio-economic progress and jeopardising the country's vibrant tourism industry. To address this urgent challenge, the "Combatting Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade" project focuses on enhancing the financial and technical capacities of relevant authorities, fostering collaboration among stakeholders, and mobilising local communities residing near protected areas. By joining forces, Tanzania aims to safeguard its natural heritage, promote sustainable development, and contribute to the attainment of the SDGs.

The launch of the National Anti-Poaching and Wildlife Management Area Strategies represents a significant milestone in Tanzania's conservation efforts and is a testament to the country's commitment to protect its wildlife resources. These strategies have been meticulously crafted to strengthen capacities for combating poaching and wildlife trafficking while promoting sustainable development in line with the SDGs.

The National Wildlife Management Areas Strategy (NWMAS) adopts a community-based approach to wildlife management, seeking to improve ecological and socio-economic conditions for rural communities through conservation efforts. This strategy has been developed through extensive consultations with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and its associated entities.

Moreover, the National Anti-Poaching Strategy 2023-2033 outlines six strategic areas to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade. These areas include strengthening enforcement capacities, enhancing international collaboration, engaging with consumer states to address the demand for illegal wildlife products, promoting advocacy and public awareness, supporting research, and encouraging community engagement in the conservation and sustainable management of wildlife resources.

The launch of these strategies signifies Tanzania's firm commitment to protecting its natural heritage, preserving biodiversity, and fostering sustainable development. By working closely with local communities, businesses, NGOs, and international partners, Tanzania aims to establish a united front against poaching and illegal wildlife trade, ensuring the well-being of its wildlife and contributing to the global effort to achieve the SDGs.

UNDP remains steadfast in its commitment to collaborate with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, relevant stakeholders, and the public in a united effort to embark on a transformative journey to safeguard Tanzania's invaluable wildlife resources, protect its cherished natural heritage, and foster socio-economic development in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Together, we aim to invest in the conservation of wildlife, combat poaching, and tackle the illicit wildlife trade, recognising that our actions not only contribute to Tanzania's prosperity but also play a pivotal role in the global pursuit of sustainable development and a brighter future for all.