Protection of wildlife and sustainable management of natural resources
Title: Sustainable management of natural resources in Tanzania
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (MNRT)
Overall term: 2016 to 2019
Tanzania has placed vast areas of the country under protection in order to conserve its globally important ecosystems and wildlife populations. The protected areas and wildlife are of huge importance to the economic development of rural regions and for tourism. However, to date there have been very few economic benefits for the population in the vicinity. Population growth and a greater demand for land for grazing and cultivation pose a growing threat to wildlife in the protected areas and increase the risk of conflict between people and wildlife. As the inhabitants do not benefit sufficiently from the protected areas, their commitment to environmentally sustainable management is low. Consequently, management practices are rarely geared towards sustainability, which indirectly encourages illegal activities such as poaching. Above all, the illegal hunting of elephants for international trade in ivory has increased sharply in recent years. Other wild animals are also increasingly being captured for the consumption and trading of bushmeat and illegal wildlife trafficking. Many species have experienced a dramatic decline in numbers. This is posing a serious threat to the attractiveness of Tanzania’s protected areas and their potential for tourism.
The responsible stakeholders do not have coordinated mechanisms at their disposal to ensure the protection of wildlife and at the same time offer incentives for the local population to support environmentally sustainable management.
Central government, autonomous protected area management authorities and local governments have put mechanisms in place to improve the protection of globally important wildlife and to create incentives for the local population to support the sustainable management of natural resources.
The project supports the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), a parastatal authority founded in 2016, in its organisational development and advises it on the management, protection and sustainable use of Tanzania’s wildlife populations. The project also provides support for the Wildlife Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism for the strategic coordination of the various protected area management authorities in Tanzania.
At local level, the project advises two district administrations in the north of the Serengeti ecosystem. The goal is to better leverage the potential of resource management to generate income and jobs through better planning, coordination and more transparent management in the areas of human-wildlife conflict, forestry management and environmental education as well as through greater involvement of the population.
The project is part of a joint development programme with the Government of Tanzania and KfW Development Bank. KfW Development Bank is supporting large-scale infrastructure projects in and around the two protected areas in the northern Serengeti ecosystem and the Selous Game Reserve. Cooperation partners include the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society (ZGF).
- A change strategy for the establishment of the autonomous wildlife protection authority TAWA was drawn up with the support of the programme. In 2014, this was incorporated into the Tanzanian legislative text as a basic document and granted national recognition.
- In 2015, TAWA took over the Ministry’s tasks in the area of wildlife management. Since then, the authority has received advice from the project in the area of strategic organisational planning and development, in particular.
- In 2016, TAWA opened its headquarters in Morogoro with the support of the programme. Since then, the project has helped build the capacities of managers and employees in the areas of administration, communication, personnel management, protected area management, IT and tourism.
- In the Serengeti and Ngorongoro districts, training measures, the foundation of local elephant deterrence groups, and the introduction of a monitoring system have led to a better management and monitoring of human-wildlife conflicts. This has reduced conflicts in some areas around the Serengeti ecosystem.
- Forest management plans have been drawn up with the involvement of the population in various areas of both districts. These plans promote a better management of natural resources and ensure that important ecosystem services provided by the forests are retained for adjacent protected areas. One ecosystem service provided by the forest is the function of water storage for adjacent protected areas, for example.
- An environmental education manual has been produced specifically for the Ngorongoro district and is being distributed. District-wide, the manual explains environmentally sustainable techniques for the use of natural resources.