Tanzania loses 30 elephants to poaching every day, a shocking 10,000 every year, the government says the situation cannot effectively reverse for lack of resources.
The country’s elephant population is, according to some reports less than 150,000. The same applies to the continent, where the jumbo population has shrunk to 470,000 today from more than 1.3 million elephants in 1977.
The government has called the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to allow the sale of its consignment of ivory in a bid to raise resources to fight poaching.
“Elephant poaching is very serious and needs a lot of resources to scale down the magnitude of the problem…” deputy minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu said here over the weekend, when briefing journalists on the forum on sustainable tourism management in African National Parks, which opens today.
Explaining the strategy behind seeking to sell the consignment of ivory in the country, the minister said the money so raised will be use to fight poaching which is on the raise to feed the demand from East Asia and the rest of the world too.
“If CITES will allow Tanzania to sell its consignment of ivory, the country is expected to get more than US$ 20 million, which will go directly to conservation and protection of elephants and other endangered wildlife species…” the deputy minister elaborated.
Recently, the Chairman of parliamentary Committee on Land, Natural Resources and Environment, James Lembeli revealed that from 2006 to 2009, 30,000 elephants were killed by poachers.
In protected areas like Selous-Mikumi zone and other reservations and parks, there are a lot of elephants poaching and the rate is increasing and to blame are the lack of funds, equipment and trained work force to fight back, this according to the chairman.
“More staff should be employed in the wildlife department and infrastructures in the forests should be reconstructed to protect the elephants for the future generation…” Lembeli advised the government.