Arusha — TANZANIA and Kenya have through the European Union (EU) backing launched three 85bn/- new wildlife cross-border projects.
The EU Delegation to Tanzania and East African Community (EAC), together with EU Delegation to Kenya, Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA) and Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism met here recently to launch the ambitious projects.
The projects are funded under the 11th European Development Fund’s (EDF) Cross-Regional Wildlife Conservation Programme for Eastern and Southern African and Indian Ocean regions.
Experts from Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS), Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, TAWA and Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) as well as representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Planning and East African Community gathered here for the occasion.
EU Head of Natural Resources Section Jenny Correia Nunes said the EU has been supporting wildlife conservation efforts in Tanzania for decades, with the aim of boosting the domestic capacity to manage wildlife. “We as well support antipoaching drive and promote community participation.
It is our hope that by the end of these projects all stakeholders will have the capacity to sustainably manage ecosystems and the wildlife they host and that the already good collaboration between Kenya and Tanzania in combating cross-border wildlife crimes is strengthened even further,” she said.
The projects’ implementing partners are Vi Agroforestry, Oikos East Africa and Stichting IFAW. The launch also aimed at bringing together participants to exchange information among themselves and key stakeholders in the wildlife field and see how best to increase the projects’ effectiveness in wildlife protection.
The projects also envisage improving livelihoods of the communities living in or adjacent to the trans frontier conservation areas through community involvement in conservation activities and strengthening cross-border collaboration.
Participants were informed of the objectives of each project and how they will be implemented. They were also updated on the regional component that is implemented through the United Nations Organisation on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and which involves
government stakeholders in combating wildlife crime. The EU has been a long-standing collaborator in wildlife conservation activities across the globe and particularly Tanzania.
In her closing remarks, Ms Grace Aloyce from the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Office of National Authorising Officer, said: “Sustainability of the efforts to combat wildlife crimes should go hand in hand with improvement of livelihoods of the adjacent communities. Incentives for community engagement in protection should outweigh the temptation to participate in poaching or degradation of wildlife habitats. Conservation is costly, financial contribution of the EU to this programme is highly appreciated.
” The regional programme has 12 projects implemented by civil society organisations focusing on community involvement in wildlife conservation and improved management of shared eco-systems and one project implemented through UNODC that involves government stakeholders with focus on law enforcement and enhanced anti-trafficking efforts.
The whole programme has a financial window of 30 Million Euro (over 80bn/-) and it aims at strengthening Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (TFCA) management and improved law enforcement on wildlife crime.
The three regional wildlife cross-border projects that cover Tanzania and Kenya include the Greater Kilimanjaro initiatives to enhance community participation in sustainable conservation of the trans-frontier ecosystem and wildlife – implemented by Oikos East Africa and the Strengthening Community Support for Law Enforcement and Anti-Poaching Efforts in the Greater Kilimanjaro Trans Frontier Conservation Area (TFCA)- implemented by Stichting IFAW as well as the Initiative for Conservation of Mara-Serengeti Transboundary Ecosystem- implemented by Vi Agroforestry.