Tanzania: Reasons Why Nation Failed to Sell Stockpiles of Ivory
Tanzania Daily News
24 March 2010
Dar es Salaam — The government’s failure to consult stakeholders and other experts on the sale of ivory has been outlined as one of key reasons which made Tanzania fail to sell the stockpiles of ivory.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam today after the news that a United Nations conservation meeting in Doha has rejected the proposal, a tourism stakeholder identified as Mr Juma Kasano from Arusha said the government did not involve them fully.
“No consultation with any stakeholder has been carried out, even though there was clear opposition to this proposal and we only manage to get a hard hit on the country with very bad publicity as a country that even though is not capable of protecting its wildlife resources where funds are highly available from tourism industry is instead presenting itself as a greedy country”, he said.
Mr Kasamo also said Kenya has beaten Tanzania once again, they got all the good publicity of being the good boys against us as bad boys.
He said that if the government had consulted experts in the private sector it could have helped the government to come up with solid reasons as to why they would want to sell the ivory.
This should be an example and a lesson to the government to make sure that they involve the private sector experts and stakeholders whenever they make such crucial decisions, said Mr Kasamo.
Ms Memory Laizer told the Daily News that the move had tarnished the reputation of the country and that would also affect the tourism sector in the country which was recovering from the world economic crisis.
“We did urge the government that the sale would damage the image of the country but they did not want to listen to us,” she said.
Conservationists from United States, European Union and several African countries including Kenya claimed that Tanzania did not do enough to fight poaching.
Tanzania requested that it would be able to lift the ban on the sale of ivory from its elephants and dispose of some 200,000 pounds (90,000 kilograms) of ivory.
It noted in its proposal that its elephant population has risen from about 55,000 in 1989 to almost 137,000, according to a 2007 study.
Countries around the world met in Doha, Qatar, this week to discuss a one-time sale of ivory.
Tanzania and Zambia want to sell the stockpiles of ivory they have built up over the past few decades.
They have as much as 90,000 kilograms of elephant tusks. Neighbouring Kenya is against any relaxing of the ban on the ivory trade.
It says such action could increase the illegal trade, which would be a serious threat to elephant numbers.
The Kenyan Wildlife Service’s Patrick Omondi said: “We totally believe that any experiments to allow partial lifting of (the) international ban in ivory trade stimulates elephant poaching .Indeed there has been an increase in poaching across the entire continent, with some countries losing their entire population.”
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