ITV News has reported that anti-poaching rangers working for a programme supported by aid organisations including the UK have been complicit in the poaching of elephants.
We are investigating these allegations, which date back to 2013-2015. We note that Dr Beale, the author of the report cited by ITV, stated that, “we think the number of people involved was small and it is important to remember these results are from five years ago, since when there has been huge progress.”
DFID is one of several donors to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which funds a project called Spanest, run by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The GEF has robust rules and safeguards in place designed to ensure programmes have maximum development impact and to protect against unintended consequences.
A DFID spokeswoman said:
‘'We are investigating allegations made regarding poachers in Tanzania. The UK is committed to tackling the illegal wildlife trade and the root causes of poaching, in order to reduce crime and instability in some of the poorest countries, and protect the worlds’ most iconic species."
The Illegal Wildlife Trade damages livelihoods, undermines economic development and rule of law. By tackling this trade, the UK is helping to protect the poorest communities, create jobs and prosperity and preserve some of the world’s most iconic species.