Along with shocking statistics from the sharp end of the African elephant poaching crisis, there is also some heartening news about the war on poaching from Tanzania in the article linked below. Particularly interesting is the description of a perceived winning strategy combining: defence of the elephants by properly equipped rangers and scouts, the targeted attack of both ring-leaders through intelligence-led operations targeting buyers and high-level traders in urban areas followed by their effective legal prosecution, killing the demand in consumer countries, and in the ‘midfield’ winning the intelligence war through supportive local communities who perceive greater benefit from legal development than the poaching. This newspaper article is well worth reading:
Turning the Tide Against Poaching: Lessons from Tanzania
Peadar Brehony, The Courant
November 17, 2016
“To single out a few results produced from the multi-agency National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigations Unit (NTSCIU) since 2014, one can see some internationally unparalleled achievements:
- 1,306 poachers and illegal ivory traders arrested, of which over 250 were in Dar Es Salaam and other major cities, demonstrating that the war has been taken to the ring-leaders in the cities
- Over 350 firearms and 40 vehicles used in ivory poaching have been confiscated;
4 of the biggest ever illegal ivory traders have been arrested, including Yang Feng Glan the notorious Queen of Ivory, and Boniface Matthew Mariango, also known as “The Devil”
- 84% of those that have reached trial have been convicted, with the rest either in custody and awaiting trial or turned state’s witness; and
- 51 offenders have been given prison sentences of 16 years or more – some as much as 40 years.
- All of these significant results were achieved with a budget of less than US$3 million to date, where other people have talked of tens of millions of dollars to achieve less meaningful results.”
I hope that you find this news encouraging. It certainly is true that there seem to be lesons to be learned from Tanzania’s war on poaching.
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site
African Elephant News:
Asian Elephant News:
All Scientific Papers:
Peadar Brehony worked as Technical Advisor to PAMS Foundation in Tanzania (http://pamsfoundationtanzania.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/PAMSFoundation/). He has just recently started his PhD in socio-ecological systems in East Africa at University of Cambridge.