A senior lecturer at University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), College of Natural and Applied Sciences Dr Elkana Kalumanga made the call when speaking recently in Dar es Salaam at the master class training workshop on reporting wildlife conservation, trafficking and poaching in Tanzania, organized by the Journalists’ Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET).
The don suggested the need for the country to invest heavily in conserving the remaining wildlife corridors in the country in order to maintaining ecological and genetic connectivity.
He said: “It is time for wildlife corridors conservation that any other time; this is due to rapid population in those areas”.
Dr Elikana explained that the conservation of corridors was not much needed before because the population was very low, but now the population is much increasing and threats the disappearance of the corridors.
He added: “Joint effort is needed in making this possible, because public sector itself cannot protect corridors. The invasion of wildlife corridors has been creating frequent human-wildlife conflicts in different parts of the country. These human interferences to these corridors aren’t health to the wild animals.”
According to him, wildlife corridors allow animals to move from place to place without interference, Increase gene flow between wild animals, improve species richness and help to secure national interest.
“Since the wildlife is the key sector in supporting national development, more effort is needed to protect corridors in order to facilitate this”.
He further cited biodiversity conservation as an important environmental issue, and it plays an integral role in supporting many sectors of development.
Biodiversity is supporting soil fertilization, recreation and ecotourism, provide food and raw materials as wee as regulating climate change, he noted.
Chairperson of JET Dr Ellen Otaru said that the training is part of the implementation of the project on Promoting Tanzania’s Environment, Conservation and Tourism (PROTECT) funded by the USAID.
The project seeks to promote effective and consistent oversight by the media on reporting wildlife conservation, trafficking and poaching, contributing to their improved use for the public good in Tanzania.
She said the project has been very beneficial as it helping Tanzanian to understand the environment and its importance, how to conserve and protect it for the future benefits.
“This project is equipped media with professional skills of how they can use the platform and continue educating the community on the impotence of wildlife conservation and its benefits in all levels,” she said.
John Chikomo Executive Director of JET called on media to give priority to wildlife conservation issues in order to promote it and tourism as well.
“There are a good number of efforts which has been made in the sector; therefore the media has the duty to educate and build awareness to the community,” he said.
However, the USAID PROTECT project partners with wildlife, conservation, and tourism organizations in Tanzania to address threats to biodiversity conservation and private sector-led tourism growth.