Tag Archives: government

Tanzania: Foreign Nationals Warned Against Poaching

Tanzania Daily News
5 November 2013

Dodoma — THE government has vowed to take serious punitive measures against foreigners who enter the country and then engage in poaching.

The Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu, said that irrespective of their countries of origin, the government would not hesitate to take action against such people as the country had embarked on an operation against poaching.

Mr Nyalandu said wild animals, including elephants, were the pride of the country, adding that they highly contributed to government revenue through tourism, hence they should be safeguarded at any cost.

The deputy minister was responding to a supplementary question raised by Ms Riziki Lulida, who claimed that poaching was mostly being perpetrated by foreign nationals, yet the government was not taking serious measures to deal with them.

Ms Lulida said that foreigners, mostly from Asian countries, were killing wild animals with abandon, probably with an ill motive to ensure that the animals perished from Tanzanian parks and reserves.

“It is shameful to see Asians, particularly Chinese nationals, engaging in the massacre of our animals and transporting them to their countries for their own benefit. Why are you not dealing with this issue while it has been severally reported by all the relevant authorities,” Ms Lulida said.

She added that last Sunday a Chinese national was arrested for illegally being in possession of 700 tusks, which means that about 350 elephants have been killed.

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Kenya calls for concerted efforts to save elephants

Njoroge Kaburo, English.news.cn

September 21, 2013

NAIROBI, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) — Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Friday called for increased support in order to save elephants which are being slaughtered at a high rate.

Speaking at an anti-poaching campaign at the Amboseli National park, Margaret said the government has shown essential political goodwill and support in the fight against ivory trade to save elephants and other endangered species.

“We are inviting everyone to help us protect the elephants. The world is a global village; the demand for ivory comes from countries far away. We need to work together to save the elephants, ” she said.

The First Lady’s remarks came as wildlife activists have launched PoachersExposed.com, an online campaign aimed at naming and shaming poachers in the East African nation and help in the fight against the menace.

The Kenya United Against Poaching (Kuapo) said the launch of the online campaign was motivated by the spike in killings of 100 elephants each year in Kenya, noting that the campaign will show charged or convicted people with links to poaching.

PoacherExposed allows informers to do so confidentially and hopes the information will reveal patterns of conviction by region, court and magistrates.

“There are concerns that along the chain there are issues of evidence not being collected properly to judges not fully understanding the impact of the crime, to leniency and corruption, ” Chandra said.

Photos will be posted along with name, where available, alongside court case information or charge sheet.

Margaret called for the need for the law to provide for stiffer penalties to deter poaching which was a major threat to the country’s economy, stability and natural heritage.

“We must all be concerned by the impact of poaching. The only people who benefit from ivory trade in Kenya today are a handful of criminals. I am leading the campaign for the future, for my children. Imagine Kenya without elephants. All Kenyans must say no to poaching.” she said.

Statistics from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) showed that 3 percent of overall wildlife tourism earnings are now being redirected to the treatment of wounded elephants and catering for orphaned calves.

Margaret emphasized the need for communities involved in wildlife conservation efforts to benefit directly from their noble efforts.

She said communities must benefit from protecting wildlife as an incentive for them to appreciate the importance of peaceful co- existence with wild game in their private ranches and minimize conflicts between wildlife and human.

The Kenyan government in August launched an elite paramilitary force to boost the fight against poaching that is to blame for a decline in population of elephants and rhinos in the east African nation.

The new anti-poaching crack unit comprises officers drawn from specialized units of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Administration police and the General Service Unit.

The specialized anti-poaching squad will undergo a three-week training, to be equipped with skills and knowledge on fighting wildlife crimes that have escalated in Kenya’s vast jungles.

The East African nation has also fast-tracked the implementation of an action plan to fight poaching of elephants in response to the convention on international trade in endangered species (CITES).

Margaret, who is at the forefront in the campaign against poaching and is passionate on wild game conservation, said elephants are a global heritage and should be protected for posterity.

She said elephants at the park are individually known by names like human beings, adding that communities must benefit for real from protecting our wildlife.

“This campaign is aimed at creating a national understanding of the elephants to show the connection between conservation and sustainable livelihoods,” she said.

Conflict between land for wildlife and land for farmers and pastoralists in Kenya has also reached crisis level with rampant killing of lions and elephants among other types of important wildlife.

The First Lady lauded the communities adjacent to national parks and game reserves for the frontline role they played in the protection of wild animals roaming private land during their daily and seasonal migrations.

The game park has its ecosystem spreading across the Kenya- Tanzania border and is recognized by UN Education, Science, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a Biosphere Reserve due to its richness in flora and fauna.

Tanzania: Joint Effort Required to Curb Poaching

Tanzania Daily News
18 August 2013

GOVERNMENT should not be left alone to fight poachers, rather joint efforts are needed from the public as well, a Member of Parliament has advised.

The statement was made when the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Amb. Khamis Kagasheki threw in the towel last week, saying government alone cannot tackle the menace.

Busega MP, Dr Titus Kamani said that the rate at which people are nabbed with elephant tusks and rhino horns is alarming and more efforts are needed to curb the malice. Dr Kamani, whose constituency borders a national park in Simiyu Region said cooperation is required to win this war.

“If the situation continues unabated there will be a far-reaching economical impact to our nation since tourists may stop coming as they are attracted by these large mammoth animals,” Dr Kamani, who is a livestock and wildlife expert said.

According to him, about 100 elephants are poached each year, while statistics show that the country remains with around 80,000 elephants and the population is thinning very fast due to greedy people.

Rhinos and elephants are major tourist attractions and the country needs every one to protect these species not only for the coming generations but to contribute to the national coffers.

He said the problem was not only in Tanzania but in South Africa as well, where 400 elephants are killed every year. The MP said the killing of elephants is fuelled by the high demand from traders in Hong Kong and China who use the tusks for decorative purposes.

In a bid to sensitise ‘wananchi’ on joining hands, the MP said, he will use the upcoming Serengeti Marathon to take place in his constituency early December, this year. The event is expected to attract over 100 runners and 3,000 people from all walks of life.

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Kenya Airways backs Anti-poaching Campaign

PRESS RELEASE

Kenya Airways backs Anti-poaching Campaign

NAIROBI JULY 24, 2013 – Kenya Airways has joined the ‘Hands Off Our Elephants’ campaign that aims at ending elephants poaching and ivory trafficking through Kenya, as well as eliminating demand for the commodity around the world.

The campaign, which is spearheaded by Kenya’s First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, has been put together by WildlifeDirect, a wildlife conservation charity, to create awareness, engagement and mobilization on the issue within Kenya, across Africa and around the world

Kenya Airways’ Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Titus Naikuni, said that conservation of elephants and other wildlife, is the responsibility of all Kenyan individuals, companies and government agencies.

“Elephants are part of our environment; therefore poaching them harms our country and national heritage. Mother Nature is very unforgiving when we change the balance in the environment. This is the reason we decided to get involved. As Kenya Airways, we do not condone poaching or delivery of poached ivory on our flights, and this message has been passed to our staff and passengers. Any of our staff found involved or abetting poaching will face the consequences,” Dr Naikuni added during a press briefing held in Nairobi.

Speaking during the briefing, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Judi Wakhungu, said that the government is stepping up anti-poaching efforts by deploying modern technology and modernization of the Kenya Wildlife Service; in addition to establishing a Canine Unit to detect movements of illegal ivory at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and Moi International Airports in Mombasa.

“The government has also directed that all poaching cases be prosecuted as economic crimes, and revised penalties to higher fines of over Ksh1 million and sentences of over 5 years. Once the new Wildlife Bill is enacted, these penalties and sentences will be enhanced to make them punitive and discourage poaching and ivory traffickers,” Prof Wakhungu added.

The director general of the Vision 2030 delivery board, Mugo Kibati, said that elephants are a major factor in the success of the tourism industry, which is one of the major sectors in the economic pillar of Kenya’s Vision 2030.

“In our Medium Term Plan, we have set out to grow tourist numbers from the current 2 million to 3 million by the year 2017. However, this will not happen if our elephants disappear,” Mr Kibati told the press briefing.

In recent days, there has been a surge in cases of poaching, posing a threat to elephants. According to statistics from the Kenya Wildlife Service, elephant poaching has grown consistently over the last three during which 829 elephants were killed. Last year, Kenya lost 384 elephants to poachers compared to 278 in 2011 and 177 in 2010.

In addition to this, the country has been identified as one of the leading transit routes for smuggling ivory out of Africa, with several incidents of ivory seizures and recovery of wildlife carcasses in recent days. KWS estimates that more than eight tonnes of raw and worked ivory have been seized since 2009.

The demand for ivory in the Far East, particularly China, has attracted criminal cartels to Kenya, who are feeding the insatiable demand. Conservationists warn that unless the demand is extinguished, poachers will wipe out Africa’s elephants.

The CEO of Wildlife Direct, Dr Paula Kahumbu, lauded the government for welcoming the initiative which brings Kenyans together to save the country’s heritage.

“Kenya traditionally has been at the frontline in combating elephant poaching but we have lost that ground in recent years. It is essential that we work together and restore our leadership position in the world to ensuring that we protect our endangered species, and a global heritage. While we crack down on wildlife crime in Kenya, we also need the help of governments of Africa, Thailand, China and US whom we are asking to ban the domestic markets of ivory as legal markets are a cover for laundering illegal ivory. We will also appeal to the hearts of anyone buying ivory in these countries as they are contributing to the slaughter of African elephants,” Dr Kahumbu added.

In February, Kenya Airways signed a deal with Born Free Foundation, an international charity, to contribute towards anti-poaching campaigns and conservation of wildlife conservation in Africa, and partner to raise funds for such initiatives.