Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Arusha hosts first Pan-African meet on sustainable tourism

Tanzania's vice president Dr. Mohammed Gharib Bilal in Arusha at the opening of 1st pan African meeting on sustainable tourism yesterday 15th Oct 2012

Vice President Dr Mohammed Gharib Bilal called for collective efforts in conserving and protecting the country’s natural resources and the wildlife whose very existence is been threatened by poachers.

Dr Bilal made the call in Arusha when he flagged off the four-day first Pan-African Conference on Sustainable Tourism Management in National Parks and Protected Areas.
The VP pointed out that it was prime time for all potential stakeholders to chip in and jointly work as one team to win the war against poaching perpetrators.
He recounted that in the last three decades, Tanzania has been experiencing increased environmental destruction on both land and water resources due to poaching activities.
“…the only way to tackle poaching and environmental destructions is to involve other players, including civilians, Non-Government organizations and people living around or near such protected areas…” Dr Bilal told the gathering.
Contradicting recent report by the Chairman of parliamentary Committee on Land, Natural Resources and Environment, James Lembeli who revealed that the country is losing an average of 30 elephants every day, the VP reported that Tanzania has made great strides, evident in the ‘increase of elephants in recent years’ and he is further quoted saying “there were only 55,000 jumbos in 1989 but the number has shot up to the current 140,000 elephants.”
Dr Bilal urged noting that natural resources and wildlife were important components of eco-tourism which is becoming the most favorite form of modern tourism.
Presenting a paper earlier in the morning, the Director General for Tanzania National Parks, Allan Kijazi said Tanapa had already formed a special department which deals with community participation in the conservation in which villages surrounding the national parks under its jurisdiction also benefit from funds from the institution.
The forum has attracted more than 400 delegates from 40 African countries and the rest of the world and has been organized by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Among the high profile official include 13 ministers from Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Seychelles, Siera Leone, Uganda and Tanzania.

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