The German government has released 18 million euro to support conservation of wildlife in the Selous Game Reserve (SGR) in Southern Tanzania.
Germany also donated 6 brand-new Toyota Land Cruisers for anti-poaching patrols in the Selous, the biggest wildlife conserved reserve in Africa.
The Germany ambassador to Tanzania, Mr. Egon Kochanke, said the Selous Ecosystem Conservation and Development (SECAD) program was a joint effort by the two governments and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to effectively conserve the SGR and its wider ecosystem and address threats to its status as a World Heritage site.
The program will be implemented by the Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism through the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS).
Germany has committed more than 99.5 million euro for the protection and sustainable management of natural resources in Tanzania since 2012. The program “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in Tanzania” is implemented by GIZ and KFW (German programs) in collaboration with WWF and the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS).
The wildlife conservation program also includes supporting community-based natural resource management and benefit-sharing mechanisms in the Selous Game Reserve and Serengeti National Park; building social and economic infrastructure in the local communities adjacent to the parks; and support to park management in housing for rangers, vehicles, and walkie-talkies, as well as setting up security plans.
Other areas of German support are in conservation area Institutional capacity building on the national and district level, and technical advice for the establishment of the new Tanzania Wildlife Authority.
The German government had assisted Tanzania in a large-scale elephant census of the population in the Selous ecosystem in 2013 which revealed a dramatic decline of the population.
Selous and its surrounding ecosystem had lost two-thirds of its elephants in just 4 years, with just 13,000 elephants remaining. Germany had also handed over 2 surveillance aircraft for the Serengeti and Selous.
Other programs funded by Germany are the drafting of security plans for the Serengeti and Selous as well as an “Emergency Action Plan” for the Selous.
German engagement in the wildlife sector dates back to 1959 when a famous German researcher, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Grzimek, made a milestone development in conservation of the present Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority.
These two wildlife parks are the leading tourist attraction sites in East Africa, pulling in hundreds of tourists every year.