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Arusha, 05th April, 2018; Today the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Tanzania and the East African Community, together with the Delegation of the EU to Kenya, the Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, met in Arusha for the launch of three new wildlife cross-border projects. These projects are funded under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Cross-Regional Wildlife Conservation program for Eastern and Southern African and the Indian Ocean.
The meeting brought together government wildlife experts from both Kenya (KWS) and Tanzania (Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, TAWA and TANAPA), representatives from; Ministry of Finance and Planning Tanzania, the East African Community and from the implementing partner organisations - Vi Agroforestry, Oikos East Africa and Stichting IFAW. The launch event also aimed at bringing together participants in order to exchange information between key stakeholders in the wildlife field and to see how the new projects can increase effectiveness of wildlife protection in transfrontier conservation areas between Tanzania and Kenya, improve livelihoods of the communities living in or adjacent to the trans frontier conservation areas through community involvement in conservation activities and strengthen 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 in particular in Tanzania. Speaking during the launch, the EU Head of Natural Resources Section, Mrs. Jenny Correia Nunes, said "The EU has been supporting wildlife conservation in Tanzania for decades now, with the aim of strengthening the wildlife authority's capacity in managing wildlife, combat poaching and promote community participation. It is our hope that by the end of these projects all stakeholders will have the capacity to ensure sustainable management of 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."
Also reading the closing remarks on behalf of Eng. Leopold Lwajabe, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Office of the National Authorizing Officer in Tanzania, Ms. Grace Aloyce 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 the protection should outweigh the temptation to participate in poaching or degradation of wildlife habitats. Conservation is a costly endeavor, hence the financial contribution of the EU to this program is highly appreciated."
In total, the Regional Program has 12 projects implemented by civil society organisations focusing on community involvement in wildlife conservation and improved management of shared eco-systems, and 1 project implemented through UNODC that involves government stakeholders with a focus on law enforcement and enhanced anti-trafficking efforts .The whole program has a financial window of 30 Million Euro (approx. 82.7 billion Tanzania Shillings). The aim of the overall program is: i) strengthened Trans-frontier Conservation Area (TFCA) management; and ii) improved law enforcement on wildlife crime.
The three regional Wildlife Cross-Border Projects that cover Tanzania and Kenya are: