Written by Lindy Taverner
Tanzania’s National Task Force for anti-poaching, comprised of the highly effective National & Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (NTSCIU) and the Wildlife & Forestry Crime Task Force under the Ministry of Natural Resources & Tourism, continues to make landmark progress in reducing wildlife crime.
The recent extradition of Gakou Fodie from Uganda to Tanzania, which made international news, is linked to several transnational cases of ivory smuggling that are under ongoing investigations by the joint National Task Force.
“Apart from his links to the shipment of 6 tonnes of pangolin scales to Asia from Africa, the international wildlife trafficking network that the syndicates Fodie is associated with are being investigated for ivory smuggling cases which occurred in 2015, 2016 and in 2017” says Wayne Lotter of the PAMS Foundation.
PAMS Foundation supported Senior State Attorney Paul Kaduchi in his significant effort over several weeks in Uganda, which resulted in the extradition of Gakou Fodie to Tanzania. One of Kaduchi’s colleagues from the NTSCIU and Directorate of Public Prosecution, Senior State Attorney Yamiko Mlelakano, has also achieved extremely noteworthy results recently.
PAMS Foundation Director, Krissie Clark, said that his achievement of no less than 31 convictions resulting in sentences of 20 years and more for ivory poachers in one court (Simiyu Regional Court) is very likely to be a continental record.
Clark further stated “We and our funders are exceptionally pleased to be able to assist the Tanzania Government in making the outstanding progress it has been making in reducing the killing of elephants and in setting new benchmarks in terms of results, as the campaign continues to tighten the noose on illegal wildlife traffickers at all levels. Through networks and partners such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Lusaka Agreement Task Force, it is very heartening to see that the impacts of great enforcement and teamwork is extending internationally as well.”
Malcolm Ryen, Chief ecologist at Essential Destinations, says, “As operators in the bush we can confirm that in the past 2-3 years poaching has been dramatically reduced. We would like to thank the great work done by the NTSCIU and PAMS Foundation in collaboration with the government of Tanzania.”
Protected area management specialist, Peter Scott, states, “From humble beginnings, a crisp clear vision and utter devotion, the PAMS Foundation is fulfilling a critical role in the wildlife crime and trafficking underworld very few are willing to undertake. The global conservation world is taking notice of their exemplary model and revolutionary, yet highly successful, intelligence-led based anti-poaching approach in combating wildlife crime.”
Michelle Henley, Elephants Alive Director & Principal Researcher, shares, “It is encouraging to see what strides PAMS and the Tanzania Government has made in reducing the killing of elephants over the past few years. It represents a shining example of how a credible NGO can work with government to slowly turn the tide.”
Tanzania has managed to revolutionise conventional anti-poaching tactics that were clearly failing, demonstrating how the intelligence-led multi-agency approach to endangered species protection offers an efficient and cost-effective solution to the urgent issue of wildlife security.