ARUSHA,TANZANIA – 12 Sep, 2017 – One of the principal protection institutions in Tanzania, TANAPA, which manages the national parks, including such world renowned landscapes as the Serengeti, has signed on to a UAV anti poaching surveillance. Bathawk Recon, the UAV operator, and has been working together with the TCAA, the Military, the Ministry of Natural Resources and TANAPA to develop the operational option for three years.
The UAV plan is an innovation in a number of ways not the least institutionally where the effort is part of a Public Private Partnership sponsored by the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation. Consensus and working together are an integral part of the plan. “Of course Government and Non Profits are important in conservation but the poaching emergency needs ALL sectors and most especially the private sector to be engaged,” says Godfrey Simbeye CEO of TPSF and Chair of the Private Sector Anti Poaching Initiative.
But the bold and forward thinking part of this innovation is on the technical and operational side. There are other UAV anti poaching projects in Africa but to date the efficacy of those efforts are still in question. Does UAV anti poaching rally work? Well at Bathawk Recon they would probably tell you “only if you do it right”. The expense and effort of buying a drone, manning a team and deploying them to the bush have to be cost effective and bring results.
This question of effectiveness is the key shift in protection area strategy at the moment. There’s a continent wide change from covering as much ground as possible with rangers to defining where rangers can or should go through intelligence. Shifting to this latter strategy “Intelligence Led” is a reflection of policing strategies in many contexts, not just protection areas.
TANAPA and Bathawk Recon’s agreement to deploy the Proof of Concept which will test the operational plan and technology for six months is actually a two fold advance. Yes it’s a demonstration of working together and different sector working to contribute, step by step, to a single process. But at the same time those staid and somewhat time weary characteristics are proposing a radical shift in Protection Area thinking.
Mike Chambers, Director at Bathawk Recon, explains that “The hardware and software we propose in the Super Bat DA-50 will integrate with the ground teams and rangers to bring a true intelligence led tool to Protection Area authorities”.
So this agreement between Bathawk and TANAPA isn’t just two partners wanting to work together, it’s a proposal to demonstrate a new anti poaching tool that could rapidly advance the field and be applicable across multiple areas and in many countries. They are going to test it in Katavi National park as soon as possible: Poachers beware!
Company Name: Bathawk Recon
Contact Person: Idrisa Jaffary
Phone: 255 76202 83 77