Joint Tanzanian-German financial cooperation project in support of the Selous Game Reserve officially launched

Matambwe, Tanzania, 17 June 2017 – On Saturday, Professor Jumanne Maghembe, the Tanzanian Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, together with the German Ambassador, Egon Kochanke, officially launched the ‘Selous Ecosystem Conservation and Development Program’, SECAD. The program is the joint effort of the Tanzanian and the German governments and civil society to effectively conserve the Selous Game Reserve and its wider ecosystem and to address threats to its status as a natural World Heritage Site. The program is funded through KfW on behalf of the German Government and will be implemented by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (MNRT) through the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) in cooperation with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS).

Minister Maghembe (right) and the German Ambassador Kochanke present the Selous Emergency Action Plan.
“We greatly welcome the German government’s engagement in the protection of the Selous,” said Minister Maghembe today at the project launch held in Matambwe in the Selous Game Reserve. “The Selous Ecosystem Conservation and Development Program SECAD provides a firm basis for the protection of the Selous’ natural resources – for the benefit of the country, adjacent communities and Tanzania’s natural heritage.”

Ambassador Kochanke added, “in light of huge challenges facing the Selous Game Reserve like poaching, encroachment and poverty in its buffer zones, but also in light of the significance of this magnificent and unique ecosystem of global importance, the German government is committed to supporting the Tanzanian government in protecting the Selous Game Reserve for the benefit of present mankind and future generations”.

“The Selous is the largest protected area in Tanzania and at the core of our conservation efforts,” said Martin Loibooki, director general of TAWA. “We address challenges related to the poaching threat, resource management and the reserve’s sheer size. SECAD will greatly contribute to achieving our conservation goals.”

The German government provides 18 million Euro for the program to be implemented over a five-year time frame. The program’s goals are to strengthen the management of the Selous Game Reserve and priority parts of the buffer zone around the reserve and the Selous-Niassa wildlife corridor. This is to ensure that the Selous ecosystem remains intact while conservation and sustainable use of natural resources contribute to rural development.

As co-financing and implementing partners, FZS and WWF have agreed to provide financial contributions of approximately 400,000 Euro each. While FZS will be responsible for activities inside the Selous Game Reserve supporting TAWA in protected area management, law enforcement, key species protection initiatives and ecological monitoring, WWF will advise the Selous management on outreach and community conservation and lead activities focused on the sustainable management of the natural resources in priority areas around the Selous Game Reserve. An international implementing consultant will support the Selous Game Reserve in the provision of priority infrastructure and equipment.

“Community work is an integral component of conservation efforts. We need to get the people living in the ecosystem on board,” said Asukile Kajuni, the WWF program deputy coordinator. “As one of our first tasks we will assess the current status of five adjacent Wildlife Management Areas in order to develop appropriate actions and strengthen the tourism marketing with a view to support community natural resource business enterprises.”

“We have a long history in the Selous, in cooperation with the Tanzanian government, and we are excited to take our activities to the next level with SECAD,” said Kathryn Doody, the FZS Selous Conservation Project leader. Beyond its activities for SECAD, FZS operates two aircraft for monitoring and logistics in the vast area and provides ongoing maintenance to the Selous vehicle fleet. Moreover, funded by KfW and based on a recommendation by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, MNRT and TAWA, with support from FZS, elaborated the Selous Emergency Action Plan outlining emergency measures to support the removal of the Selous from the list of World Heritage Sites ‘in danger’. KfW Country Director Helmut Schön said, “we are very happy the Emergency Plan could be launched today. It will provide the Tanzanian government with an important framework in the protection of its unique ecosystem, and SECAD will play a pivotal role in getting the priority measures implemented.”