COMBATING POACHING AND THE ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE IN TANZANIA THROUGH AN INTEGRATED APPROACH PROJECT
A decade ago, a wave of poaching and illegal ivory trafficking swept across Africa causing a decline of African elephants. Poaching accounted for more than half of Tanzania’s elephant population between 2009 and 2014. The country was named “the epicentre of Africa’s elephant poaching crisis” and listed by CITES on the global list of countries responsible for the increase in elephant deaths and the thriving illegal ivory trade.
In response to the crisis, in 2014 the Government of Tanzania launched a National Strategy to Combat Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade (NSCPIWT). In order to secure effective implementation of the Strategy, a Global Environment Facility (GEF) project was developed in collaboration with development partners and with support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The goal of the project is to support the implementation of the NSCPIWT to combating poaching and the illegal wildlife trade by strengthening capacity to tackle poaching and wildlife trafficking at both the national and landscape levels. Further, to enhance the collaboration to fight illegal wildlife trade between Tanzania and neighbouring countries.
The project is organized in four components: at the national level, the project supports the Government in strengthening the enabling environment by enhancing legislative and policy frameworks (Component 1). At the landscape level, the project contributes to strengthening the capacity of Tasking and Coordination Groups (TCGs), improve multi-institutional collaboration and increase the level of their cooperation with local communities, business and NGOs in ten targeted ecosystems (Component 2) (Figure 1). The project facilitates 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, and a campaign will be undertaken to raise awareness on issues relevant to biodiversity conservation and wildlife crime among targeted audiences (Component 3) (Figure 2). In addition, the project has a strong knowledge management and communication component. Lessons learned through project implementation will be made available nationally and internationally (Component 4).
The total cost of investment in this project is US$ 21,354,587 of which US$ 5,354,587 constitutes funding from the GEF, US$ 1 million represents cash co-financing from UNDP, and US$ 15 million represents a non cash co-financing from the Government of Tanzania. Other partner organisations including Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and PAMS Foundation are providing in-kind financing to this project through activities implemented under their respective projects activities that are complementing the project.
It is envisaged that in the cause of the project implementation, enforcement frameworks will be improved, operations of tasking and coordination groups will be enhanced and inter-agency collaboration will be strengthened to ensure long-term protection across targeted ecosystems. Successful implementation of the project could spark an interest among other donors and enhance financial sustainability of project outcomes. By building the capacity of stakeholders (law enforcement officers and local communities), the project will ensure continued implementation and serve as a successful prototype for replication at national, regional and international levels. Overall, the project is expected to improve local community livelihoods and wellbeing through development of community managed Wildlife Management Areas in critical ecosystems.
Tanzania Wildlife Division
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