News

13 May 2014

UNDP HEAD SAYS COMMUNITY INITIATIVES KEY TO MANAGING WILDLIFE

Visiting UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark, says community-based natural resource management is key to a long-term solution to elephant poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

Speaking recently at Ruaha National Park with people from some of the 21 villages adjacent to the park, she learned of their experiences and management challenges in wildlife conservation. “It is clear,” she said, “everyone in a community, including women, youth and the elderly, has a role to play in long term sustainability of their communities and wildlife closed to protected areas. Community based initiatives must be given the support they deserve to generate incomes for rural people and help diversify icomes through tourism and other service sectors,” she said.

Helen Clark visited Ruaha National Park in Iringa to witness the results of the UNDP and Global Environment Facility conservation project known as SPANEST focused on conserving the wildlife and landscape of Tanzania’s Southern circuit, including Ruaha, Kitulo, Mpanga-Kipengere and Mount Rungwe protected areas.

Through UNDP support, the project undertook a census that showed a notable decline in elephant populations in the Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem, falling from 31,625 elephants in 2009 to just 20,090 in 2013.

UNDP support enabled purchase of graders. Park management has started improvement of roads. This access will open the area for enhanced tourism opportunities, better security, as well as facilitating regular patrols for anti-poaching. Other work has been to providing training to park rangers in the area of Walking Safari as well as various communication devices for the park rangers.

Ms. Helen Clark (right), Administrator, UNDP stressing a point to Mr. Allan Kijazi,  Director General of TANAPA when she visited Ruaha National Park yesterday.

Ms. Helen Clark (right), Administrator, UNDP stressing a point to Mr. Allan Kijazi, Director General of TANAPA when she visited Ruaha National Park yesterday.

Ms. Helen Clark (right), Administrator, UNDP admiring a rarely seen Pangolin at Ruaha National Park.

Ms. Helen Clark (right), Administrator, UNDP admiring a rarely seen Pangolin at Ruaha National Park.

Ms. Helen Clark (right), Administrator, UNDP poses in a picture with the plant operators of the grader, which was donated by UNDP to Ruaha National Park through a SPANEST Project.

Ms. Helen Clark (right), Administrator, UNDP poses in a picture with the plant operators of the grader, which was donated by UNDP to Ruaha National Park through a SPANEST Project.

Ms. Helen Clark (right), Administrator, UNDP talking to a section of Park Rangers at Ruaha National Park.

Ms. Helen Clark (right), Administrator, UNDP talking to a section of Park Rangers at Ruaha National Park.

From right to left: Ms. Helen Clark (right), Administrator, UNDP, Mr. Allan Kijazi DG of TANAPA, Mr.Godwell Meing’ataki, SPANEST Project Coordinator and Dr. Christopher Timbuka, Ruaha Chief Park Warden in front of the Anti-poaching patrol vehicle donated by UNDP through SPANEST.

From right to left: Ms. Helen Clark (right), Administrator, UNDP, Mr. Allan Kijazi DG of TANAPA, Mr.Godwell Meing’ataki, SPANEST Project Coordinator and Dr. Christopher Timbuka, Ruaha Chief Park Warden in front of the Anti-poaching patrol vehicle donated by UNDP through SPANEST.

Ms. Helen Clark (right), Administrator, UNDP listening to a Walking Safari Tour Guide at Ruaha National Park shortly before starting a Walking Safari at Ruaha National Park.

Ms. Helen Clark (right), Administrator, UNDP listening to a Walking Safari Tour Guide at Ruaha National Park shortly before starting a Walking Safari at Ruaha National Park.

UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark (second left) enjoying a Walking Safari at Ruaha National Park.

UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark (second left) enjoying a Walking Safari at Ruaha National Park.

The ongoing rain in the country has been a blessing to the Great Ruaha River.

The ongoing rain in the country has been a blessing to the Great Ruaha River.