Wildlife resources are economically important and critical natural heritage in Tanzania. The country dedicates over 25% of its land surface to wildlife protected area networks (National Parks, Conservation Areas, Game Reserves, and Game Controlled Areas). Despite various efforts to conserve wildlife, iconic species such as the African elephant and rhinoceros are being poached to near extinction, causing systemic and tangible devastation to global biodiversity resources. Tanzania has previously been called “the epicentre of Africa’s elephant poaching crisis” after a government census revealed loss of a catastrophic 60% of its elephants between 2009-2014.
Wildlife poaching and the illegal trafficking of wildlife products is negatively affecting both ecosystems and the socioeconomic development of the country through its impact on the tourism sector. To effectively fight poaching, further efforts are needed to strengthen the financial and technical capacity of the relevant authorities as well as enhancing the collaboration amongst key stakeholders. Increased involvement of communities, especially those living in protected areas, is central in the fight against poaching.
The project will support the Government of Tanzania in implementing the National Strategy to Combat Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade (NSCPIWT) by strengthening legislation and capacity to tackle poaching and wildlife trafficking at the national level. It will also enhance the collaboration to fight illegal wildlife trade between Tanzania and neighboring countries, which is in alignment with the objectives of the overall Global Wildlife Programme, launched in 2015 by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
At the landscape level, the project will contribute to strengthening the capacity of tasking and coordination groups, improve multi-institutional collaboration and increase the level of cooperation with local communities, businesses and NGOs in nine targeted ecosystems.
The project will facilitate increased involvement of local communities in wildlife enforcement and monitoring activities, and address the need for enhanced sustainable livelihood opportunities to reduce dependency on vulnerable habitats and wildlife within the Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem of southern Tanzania.
The project will have a strong knowledge management and communication component. Lessons learned through project implementation will be made available nationally and internationally, and a campaign will be undertaken to raise awareness on issues relevant to biodiversity conservation and wildlife crime among targeted audiences.
Gertrude Lyatuu, Practice Specialist (Environment & Natural Resources)
email@example.com or +255 784 622 08
Find out more about the project by downloading the project fact sheet.