Environmentalists want killers of jumbos heavily punished

29Jan 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
Environmentalists want killers of jumbos heavily punished

ENVIRONMENTAL activists through Mazingira Network – Tanzania (MANET) have called upon the government to ensure that reckless killings of innocent elephants and rhinos are stopped and perpetrators of the barbaric business are heavily punished.

Remnants of coastal forest

MANET is an umbrella organisation of more than 70 environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

MANET secretary Frank Luvanda expressed concerns over the unstopped poaching in the country’s wildlife sanctuaries, saying the wanton practice remains a serious challenge that needs all players to address the vice.
“But, we believe the current government under President John Magufuli will deal with the challenge,” he said, urging the government to ensure that boundaries of all protected areas are known to the public.

In that case, it would be necessary to reduce boundary conflicts between villagers living adjacent to protected areas and the authorities governing those areas.

“We also want to see illegal fishing gear such as dynamite fishing, poison fishing, and the use of under-size fishnets is stopped. We also want to see the government stop further deforestation of natural forests in Tanzania both in the protected forests and on the general land,” the official said in a statement issued in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

According to Luvanda, there is a need for the government to ensure simple and affordable renewable energy technologies are disseminated to communities for sustainable management of natural resources in the country.

MANET also wants to see all multinational oil and gas companies operating in Tanzania abide by international safety and environmental standards so as to protect marine ecosystems.

He implored the need for local communities to be engaged in environmental conservation as part of responding to the negative effects of climate change in the country and globally at large.

“The government should also ensure that all old policies and legislation that resulted in the current environmental challenges and threats are reviewed for better management of natural resources and sustainable development of our country.”

“It is also high time the government collaborated well with Civil Society Organizations both national and international in the conservation of the environment. Tanzania also needs to put in place mechanisms that would help in combating corruption and poor governance around natural resources in Tanzania,” said MANET chairperson Zubery Mwachulla.

Commending President Magufuli’s stand in tackling environmental challenges, wildlife poaching, and in solving the problem of boundaries between villagers and protected areas, Mwachulla said:

“As MANET, we’ll collaborate with the government in scaling up environmental conservation in forestry, wildlife, fishery, and extractives (oil and natural gas).We’ll also work hand in hand with the government in addressing environmental challenges brought by climate change and support renewable energies as part of mitigation and adaptation efforts to climate change in Tanzania,” Mwachulla said.

MANET has been working closely with World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) in ensuring that there is sustainable conservation of natural resources in Tanzania.

In 2014, MANET partnered with WWF in a campaign against illegal wildlife trade, dubbed: ‘Illegal Wildlife Trade Campaign’.

The campaign involved local communities fighting against barbaric killings of innocent wild animals, which is currently at an alarming rate.

The official from WWF Tanzania, Gerald Kamwenda was quoted as saying the fight against poaching needs collective efforts among stakeholders.

MANET is a national NGO and an umbrella of 71 Civil Society Organisations. It works primarily in advocating for good governance of natural resources that would in turn improve livelihood of community members.

It also works basically in three thematic areas namely, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries.

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