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. These protected areas and their wildlife are crucial to tourism and the economic development of rural areas. However, to date there have been very few economic benefits for the people living in the vicinity. Population growth and a rising demand for land for grazing and cultivation purposes are increasingly jeopardising protected resources and intensifying the risk of conflict between people and wildlife. As the local inhabitants do not benefit sufficiently from the conservation areas, their commitment to sustainable forms of management is low, which is encouraging non-sustainable management practices and illegal activities such as poaching. Poaching, especially of elephants for the international ivory trade, has increased dramatically in recent years. The elephant population and also other species have experienced a drastic decline. This is posing a serious threat to the attractiveness of Tanzania’s protected areas and their potential for tourism.
The responsible actors have to date not had sufficient coherent mechanisms at their disposal to ensure the protection of the wildlife populations and at the same time offer incentives for the local population to support sustainable resource management.
The central government, local governments, autonomous protected area authorities and private sector in Tanzania have put mechanisms in place to improve the protection of globally important wildlife resources and create incentives for the local population to support sustainable resource management.
The project is providing advice to the new parastatal Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA). TAWA was taken out of the Wildlife Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to form a separate entity, with a view to improving management of the protection and sustainable use of wildlife populations. The Wildlife Division continues to be responsible for strategic sectoral coordination.
At the decentralised level, advice is being provided to two district administrations in the Northern Serengeti ecosystem. The focus is on better planning, coordination, more transparent management (especially of income and expenditure) and greater involvement of the local population and the private sector. The intention is for the administrations to make better use of the potential offered by sustainable resource management to stimulate income and employment opportunities.
The project is an integral part of a joint development programme with the Tanzanian Government and KfW Development Bank. KfW is supporting large-scale infrastructure projects in the Northern Serengeti ecosystem and Selous Game Reserve, in and around the two protected areas. The cooperation partners include the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society (ZGF).
Drafted with programme support, the change strategy for the establishment of an autonomous wildlife protection authority (TAWA) was incorporated in 2014 as an interpretative document into the Tanzanian legislative text and granted national recognition. TAWA has been operational since July 2016. The strategy and financial plans as well as the human resources scheme were jointly developed by key stakeholders with support from the programme. Managerial staff from the Wildlife Division and TAWA received training to guide the change processes. TAWA has opened its headquarters in Morogoro with programme assistance.
Training courses on topics such as the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro districts have increased the capacity for local management of natural resources and defused land use conflicts between protected areas and people living in their proximity. Help with introducing an electronic payment system to collect visitor and tourism fees has led to increased transparency and more effective management of revenues. Support to forums for dialogue with civil society, public and private sector actors has contributed to benefit sharing in the conservation areas through improved communication and information.