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Elephant summit set in Tanzania late this week

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The Tanzania government, in collaboration with the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) of the United States of America and the United Nations Development Program, has organized a speci

The Tanzania government, in collaboration with the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) of the United States of America and the United Nations Development Program, has organized a special conference late this week to address elephant conservation and anti-poaching initiatives.

This conference, to be taking place in Tanzania’s capital city of Dar es Salaam, will take place Friday this week and is expected to attract national and international stakeholders in conservation of wildlife.

Poaching for wildlife parts and meat for domestic consumption is an ongoing phenomenon in Africa, much of it is small-scale poaching for domestic consumption in poor communities.

The UNDP said in its recent report ahead of the scheduled Elephant Conference that in the past few years, Africa has witnessed an exponential escalation in poaching, spurred by international demand for elephant ivory and rhino horn.

This situation has corresponded in a striking shift in terms of the focus of poaching for elephant tusks and rhino horns, rather than a range of species including game. Numbers of poached elephants have soared up to 400 elephants killed in one day in Africa, the UNDP report said.

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Poaching of elephants and other rare species in Africa have so far attracted the use by poachers of high-tech military weapons and tools, including helicopters and high-tech surveillance equipment and weaponry.

In Tanzania, the report said the government in power has taken various measures to combat illegal wildlife trade, these include increasing routine patrols and launching a special anti-poaching initiative titled “Operation Termination,” aimed to protect the precious wildlife, a leading resource to the country’s tourism.

Tourism accounts for 17 percent of Tanzania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs over 300,000 people, therefore, initiatives to combat illicit wildlife trade is a prerequisite obligation, the report seen by eTN added.

Poaching of Africa’s precious jumbos, rhinos, and other attractive big mammals has been increasing at an alarming rate to an absolute critical condition which needs an international intervention.

The Tanzania elephant conference will share expertise, create consensus, and make recommendations for an immediate, continuing, and sustainable plan of action for Tanzania.

Tanzanian Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources Mr. Lazaro Nyalandu said the US-based ICCF and the UNDP have teamed up with the Tanzania government to organize the summit.

“The conference will be attended by national and international stakeholders in the field of wildlife conservation and will focus on synthesizing a set of recommendations and an actions plan,” Mr. Nyalandu said.

He said poaching of wildlife resource, particularly of elephants, has recently increased tremendously, hence posing a threat to their survival and insisted that the government has taken various measures including increasing routine patrols and special anti-poaching operations to save the wildlife.

ICCF vice-chairman and a member of the board of directors, Dr. Kaush Arsha, said his organization recognizes the Tanzania government’s deliberate efforts to curb the wave of poaching and stressed that his organization will work closely with the government to stop wildlife crimes.

Tanzania is among the African elephant-range states with quite a big number of elephants concentrated in 16 national parks, 28 game reserves, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, 44 game-controlled areas, 38 wildlife management areas, and several rorest reserves.

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Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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