Hunting Tourism and its Role in Development of Wildlife Management Areas in Tanzania
Sixth International Game Ranching Symposium – Paris, 6-9 July 2004
by Dr. Rolf D. Baldus and Andrew E. Cauldwell
Tourist hunting in Tanzania has developed over a long period and is a principle source of income for vast areas of the country. The industry has demonstrated an impressive growth in recent years and is an important source of foreign exchange to Tanzania but little information is available on the industry. The Wildlife Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism has developed a command system of control that favours a select group of hunting outfitters with reduced income generation and the exclusion of rural communities who are the legitimate holders of the land upon which hunting takes places. Concessions are leased at fixed rates far below the market value, and many to companies without the necessary marketing capacity. A system of subleasing mostly to foreigners has thus developed. Low rates are achieved and much of the hunting income that is generated never enters Tanzania and cannot be taxed. The Wildlife Policy (1998) describes the development of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) that are managed by the local communities. Tourist hunting is the landuse option that will provide the major source of funds for WMAs. The development of WMAs is delayed and there is no effective schedule for sharing of benefits from tourist hunting with the rural communities on whose land much of the hunting occurs. Outfitters are vaguely required to contribute towards protection and support local communities, but set in a manner that cannot be effectively evaluated. There is a general hesitation among outfitters to accept the WMA concept and effectively empower local communities. International and local pressures will grow and demand change. The Wildlife Division needs to be proactive through implementing effective reform of the tourist hunting industry, but this is only possible if: (i) Effective market-based competition between outfitters for concessions is introduced; (ii) Control of subleasing is implemented; (iii) Local communities are the principal decision makers for allocation of concessions and quota setting for hunting on their land, and they receive and manage the funds generated on their land.
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