Thursday, August 20, 2015

$105bn lost as jumbos killed in Tanzania

 

By Veneranda Sumila The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania lost more than $105.15 billion in the past five years due to poaching, a latest report reveals.

The report by the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) showed that Tanzania lost 60 per cent of its elephants in the past five years. The country had as low as 43,330 jumbos in 2014 from 109,051 in 2009.

According to AWF a single elephant can generate $1.6 million in tourism revenue if left to live out its normal lifespan.

This means 65,721 elephants were killed in the past five years. According to the report, they could have generated $105.15 billion if they were left to live.

On the contrary, local traders and poachers generated as low as $2,800 when they sold ivory.

Tanzania’s permanent secretary in the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Adelhelm Meru, has warned that poaching could affect as many as 3.8 million tourism jobs across Africa.

Those to be hit include guides, drivers and hotel and restaurant staff. “While poachers are profiting from these beloved species, tourism could suffer,” Dr Meru said.

According to him, Tanzania has 700,000 tourism-related jobs and predicts that the number could double, if “large-scale killings of wildlife” are stopped. “If the current situation is unchecked, these jobs will vanish into thin air.” The study titled ‘Poaching steals from us all -- the elephant crisis in Tanzania’ suggests that Tanzania is “the largest source of poached ivory in the world”.

It said between 2009 and 2011 “Tanzania was a country of export for 37 per cent of large ivory seizures”.

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