Tanzanian MPs raise alarm over possible resurgence of poaching

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-05 22:02:18|Editor: xuxin
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DAR ES SALAAM, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Members of Tanzania's Parliamentary Standing Committee on Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism on Tuesday raised an alarm over possibilities of a resurgence of poaching of elephants due to changes in tourist hunting block licensing system.

The government of Tanzania revoked hunting block licenses in 2017 and announced preparations of a new system of issuing the permits through auction in 60 days.

Stephen Kiruswa, a member of the committee, told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma that the government has already started to experience negative repercussions of the decision as a good number of investors have surrendered most of the hunting blocks to the government.

Kiruswa said that revenues generated from tourist hunting blocks have also been reduced to 8 million U.S. dollars in 2018 from 27 million U.S. dollars in 2008.

"Most of the revenues were spent on conservation activities, including anti-poaching," he told the House, adding that lack of such funds was likely to see the resurgence of poaching.

"The government should take immediate measures to rescue the tourism sector by giving eligible investors a five-year license validity period from 2018 to 2022 for them to recover the loss incurred," said Kiruswa.

In June 2018, the government of Tanzania released an elephant population estimate from a country-wide aerial survey which showed that the elephant population had declined by 60 percent since 2009.