TAWA deserves praise for its mega hit

TANZANIA is among few countries in the world that have set aside big portions of their land for conservation.

Protected areas in the country are extremely varied, ranging from sea habitats over grasslands to the top of the Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. About a third of the country’s total area is protected to a certain degree as national parks, game reserves, marine parks, forest reserves or the like.

Tanzania rangelands are a stronghold for biodiversity harbouring a variety of animal and plant species of economic, ecological and socio-cultural importance. Efforts to protect these resources against destruction and loss have involved, among other things, setting aside some tracks of land.

In the government’s efforts to further conserve the areas, it came up with a Government Notice No. 135 published on 9th May 2014, to establish Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) as a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, in line with Section 8 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2009 (Cap 283).

It became operational on the 1st July of 2016 with core responsibilities of biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of wildlife resources outside national parks and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

This entails managing a total area of 163,056.96 kilometre squares, comprising of game reserves, game controlled areas, ramsar sites and open areas. In addition, TAWA oversees the management of wildlife in captivity (farms, zoos, ranches, sanctuaries and orphanages) and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

It has since propelled Tanzania to new heights in conservation and tourism sectors, as the country Authority keeps excelling with a remarkable increase in tourists’ arrivals, income and reduction in poaching.

There has been noteworthy improvement in tourism services and an increase in income emanating from hunting blocks fees. The increase in income, according will help the country to achieve its target of notching an income of 6 billion US dollars (about 14tri/-) from 5,000,000 tourists come 2025 as stipulated in the Third Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III of 2020/2021 to 2025/2026).

This achievement is huge and TAWA deserves praise for what it has accomplished in few years of its existence, as optimism is on sight to have a greener country, more wild animals, income and less poaching nearing zero.

It is worth to remember that in 2019 the government initiated a new electronic order for allocating hunting blocks that has registered tremendous success in several countries, such as Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The new system means that fewer hunting tourists earn the country more funds than many tourists who come to the country for viewing tourism attractions in the national parks and protected areas and for cultural tourism.

This is a very positive outcome and the trend should be maintained, as it seems that after release of the Royal Tour documentary, tourism will be giving the county bigger per cent of its foreign revenue.

It is high time that citizens, especially those living in villages near national parks, Ngorongoro and other protected areas, such as nature reserve forests.

Significant success is conspicuous in the new system and there has been an increase in hunting blocks fees by 174 per cent. A first class hunting block that was leased at 60,000 US dollars, is now leased between 151,000 and 285,000 US dollars.

Second class hunting block is now leased at between 81,000 to 250,000 US dollars, up from 30,000 US dollars. Third class hunting block now fetches between 31,000 and 255,000 US dollars up from 18,000 US dollars.

It has been established that income the country earns from one hunting tourist equals to at least 60 tourists, who come to sample the country’s national parks, sightseeing, bird viewing, cultural tourism, and mountain trekking.

It is commendable for TAWA to take this line of thinking and promoting low volume, high revenue in tourism.

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