Arusha — GOVERNMENT'S efforts to combat poaching in the country have received a boost as the United States government pledges to provide, among other things, technical support.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Ambassador Khamis Kagasheki, and the Deputy Secretary, US department of Interior, Mr David Hayes, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here on Monday aimed at addressing the problem.
Ambassador Kagasheki said the MoU will further existing relations between the two countries in developing tourism and wildlife sector, to bring more economic benefits.
"The natural resources that the country is abundantly blessed with should benefit all Tanzanians, and this is part of steps to ensure that this is realized," he explained. The minister noted that the two governments are planning to hold a conference in Tanzania on poaching, to find ways to help rescue African elephants.
The US Deputy Secretary, Department of |Interior said Tanzania's tourism and wildlife sector has the potential to boost the nation economically. Mr Hayes, who was visibly impressed by the country's landscape, describing it as magnificent and wonderful, said the two governments have had a long partnership in the area.
"The MoU renews the commitment between the two governments," he explained. The chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resource and Environment, Mr James Lembeli, commended Ambassador Kagasheki for his good work at the ministry.
He said the MoU, signed between the two governments, will help bring to an end poaching in the country. Five WMAs were targeted including Ikona, Burunge, Enduimet, Mbomipa and Ipole, to begin cash for work programme to help develop needed infrastructure consisting of branding and marketing of WMAs, training of village scouts, hunting concession management training and development of a coordinated monitoring system.
Both USAID and US Department of Interior have provided assistance to WMAs in the country, through the cash for work programme. WMAs are community owned and managed conservation areas that work to conserve wildlife and their habitats at the same time bring benefits to local communities.
The US government has supported the establishment of WMAs in Tanzania since 1998, both in the form of policy and institutional development and implementation.