BACKGROUND

In 2010 PAWA signed an Agreement of Co-operation with the PAMS Foundation to enhance conservation outcomes within Australia and Tanzania. The PAMS Foundation is a not-for-profit conservation organisation registered in Tanzania that helps conserve biodiversity, habitats and ecological processes.

The primary focus of the PAWA – PAMS agreement is to support community rangers (village game scouts) within the trans-border Selous-Niassa Wildlife Corridor Conservation Area located between Tanzania and Mozambique. It also includes other forms of capacity building throughout Tanzania. PAWA has been sending aid to assist the village game scouts in southern Tanzania in their fight to conserve biodiversity and to help protect some of the largest elephant, buffalo and sable populations in
Africa.

SELOUS – NIASSA WILDLIFE CORRIDOR

The Selous - Niassa wildlife corridor is a globally significant landscape linkage between Africa’s largest protected areas: the World Heritage listed Selous Game Reserve of Tanzania, and the Niassa Game Reserve of Mozambique. The Selouse-Niassa ecosystem covers an area of approximately 154,000 km2 whilst the corridor covers 8000 km2 of sparsely settled land over a distance of 160 km in the Districts of Namtumbo and Tunduru in Ruvuma Region, southern Tanzania.


Selous Wildlife Reserve

Consisting of natural Miombo woodland the Selous - Niassa ecosystem encompasses a wide variety of wildlife habitats with wooded grassland, substantial areas of open savannah, wetlands, and riverine forests. It forms Africa’s largest Trans Boundary conservation area and supports a large number of globally significant, threatened and CITES listed species.

CONSERVATION UNDER ATTACK

Within the Selous – Niassa wildlife corridor and in many other places across the African continent poaching has reached levels not seen since the 1980’s. Much of the poaching is targeting elephants. These magnificent animals are either shot or poisoned for their ivory with the deaths of many young animals and other non target species occurring as a result. It has been estimated that the Tanzanian elephant population has declined by as many as 30,000 animals over the last few years with some reports stating that upwards of 30 elephants a day are being poached in Tanzania.

Protected area workers across the African continent are fighting a battle to save and conserve the national parks and reserves with their myriad of amazing species from this onslaught of poaching as well as war, famine or international crime syndicates driving the illegal trade in wildlife, conservation and biodiversity are under threat. Rangers are at the front line of this fight and organisations like the PAMS Foundation are actively working to help conserve biodiversity and landscapes in Tanzania. PAWA through its partnership with PAMS is helping in our own small way to assist in their conservation efforts.

RUVUMA ELEPHANT CONSERVATION PROJECT

At present PAMS Foundation are engaged in a major project called the Ruvuma Elephant Conservation Project in southern Tanzania. The aim of the project is to improve the status of elephant conservation in the area between Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania and the Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique The project area covers 2 million ha, primarily community owned land, of which some has been formalised as Wildlife Management Areas. Unlike most national parks and game reserves, community owned land consists of settlements, agricultural lands, and natural area supporting wildlife.


Map of Ruvuma elephant project area

The PAMS Foundation has been working with village game scouts within the Ruvuma project area where poaching has reached unprecedented levels. Many elephants are being shot or poisoned for their meat and ivory or killed because of the human–elephant conflict, elephants damaging and destroy the crops of local farmers, is also a common occurrence.

Each village within the Wildlife Management Areas have 10 to 12 Game Scouts who need training and equipment to undertake their patrols, however the community game scout teams are hopelessly outgunned, out-trained, underresourced and ill equipped. PAWA and others have been supporting PAMS Foundation and the village game scouts through donations of equipment and money to help in the fight to conserve biodiversity in southern Tanzania. PAMS Foundation are currently supporting 200 Game Scouts
who have undertaken over 3700 patrol person days and also helped lessen human-elephant conflict through grass roots initiatives like erecting chilli fences to deter elephants from crops.

PAWA’S AID TO TANZANIA SO FAR

Since the inception of the agreement of co-operation between PAWA and PAMS Foundation a substantial amount of equipment and funds have been sent to Tanzania to assist the PAMS Foundations' “Ranger Support Program”. Much of the equipment has been donated by NPWS rangers and comprises uniforms, raincoats, field equipment, first aid kits, GPS units, laptops etc. Thankyou
to all of you who have sent equipment to PAWA for use in this project.


Game Scouts receiving donated equipment; have bike will travel (K.Clark)

Over the last 12 months PAWA has supplied over 100 kg of equipment to the PAMS Foundation for distribution to the Game Scouts this include equipment transported to Tanzania by rangers attending the International Ranger Federation Congress. Again, thank you to all who took equipment to Tanzania.

In 2012 PAWA also sent money to PAMS Foundation for the purchase of 13 pushbikes to be used as incentive based rewards for Game Scouts who had been excelling in their commitment to conservation works. Bikes are very important forms of transport in these poor area and also aid in undertaking patrol work. The money used for the purchase of the pushbikes was raised by the initial EquipTanzania co-ordinators David and Linley Brill and PAWA would like to thank them for their efforts in
co-ordinating the EquipTanzania project and in raising this funds for the purchase of the pushbikes.

Also, during 2012 there was an incident in Southern Tanzania where two houses owned by Game Scouts were burnt down by poachers in retaliation for their work. NPWS Merimbula Area raised $350 on World Ranger Day. This money along with additional funds from PAWA was sent to Tanzania via the Thin Green Line Foundation to help rebuild their houses. To be able to respond quickly and to provide material to reconstruct the houses of the Game Scouts was a tremendous effort by PAMS and resulted in a huge boost to moral amongst the Game Scouts knowing that there were friends and allies out there willing to help them in there moment of need.


Materials arrive to rebuild houses (K.Clark)

PAWA also sponsored a number of Game Scouts to attend the IRF Congress in Tanzania. This was a fantastic experience for them in their personal development as conservationists and some of the feedback of their experience at the conference was that they never realised that they were part of something so much bigger than what they had imagined.

TANZANIAN RANGERS AND PAMS FOUNDATION NEEDING SUPPORT

So where to now? PAWA does not require any more donations of uniform as our storage facility at Royal National Park has reached capacity. We will continue to send clothing and other equipment to PAMS from this store and also try to meet any specific needs for their “Ranger Support Program” through appeals.

What we do require is funding. PAWA is trying to raise $5000 to send to PAMS to fund specific projects in southern Tanzania that will provide considerable assistance in their fight to save the biodiversity of this area.

For those of you who attended the IRF Congress you will be aware of the great work being undertaken by the PAMS Foundation. For those of you who did not attend the conference be assured that the PAMS Foundation are undertaking great conservation works at all levels from the grass roots with the villagers and the Village Game Scouts of the Ruvuma project area to working with the Tanzanian Government and with International NGO's to protect biodiversity.

If you can help in this fundraising initiative or you want more information please email George Malolakis- malolakis4@bigpond.com or phone (02) 6495 5026

HOW YOU CAN HELP

  1. Donate funds for the purchase of essential much-needed basic equipment.

  2. Donate essential equipment for management operations. This includes:
    • Backpacks
    • Safety equipment
    • Camping equipment
    • First aid kits
    • GPS units
    • Binoculars
    • Digital cameras
    • Laptops
    • Radio communication equipment, both portable and base stations
    • Solar power units
    • Bicycles
    • Tents
    • Raincoats
    • Binoculars
    • Torches
    • Boots
    • Rechargable batteries and battery chargers

    PAMS Foundation wish list

    • Satellite phone
    • Large Tent
    • Bicycle
    • Motor bike
  3. Pass this story on to others so they can become involved too.


Happy faces (K. Clark)