Highlights and Publications

Wildlife Management in Tanzania: Recentralization, Rent Seeking, and Resistance

Wildlife management in Tanzania is currently undergoing a process of recentralization. While the Wildlife Policy of 1998 opened up for community participation and local benefits, the Wildlife Policy of 2007 and the Wildlife Conservation Act of 2009 re-focus on central government control of income from both sport hunting and safari tourism.

The wildlife sector in Tanzania is marked by little transparency and accountability and with considerable rent-seeking behavior. In fact, the hunting business is generally considered one of the most corrupt sectors in a country with increasing public attention on corruption. Recentralization and rent-seeking are not, however, occurring without resistance from communities.

Some villages have resisted being part of ‘Wildlife Management Areas’, which are promoted jointly by the State and international conservation groups as being ‘community-based’. Central to this opposition is the recentralization of revenues from safari tourism that previously came directly to villages. In discussing these issues, we draw on careful readings of new legislation as well as in depth studies of wildlife management practices at three locations in northern Tanzania.

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