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Human & Natural Resources
The lives of all Tanzanians depend on natural resources
for both the present and future generations. The country is endowed
with significant natural resources, which include forests and woodlands,
wild animals, rivers, lakes and wetlands. All these resources play
big roles to the economy is terms of the social and economic goods
and services, which they provide. The depletion of these resources
will positively undermine the ecological sustainability of economic
The potentials and different roles played by these
sectors to the economy are outlined under specific sub sectors i.e.
Fisheries, forests, wildlife, beekeeping and tourism.
Tanzania is a coastal state endowed with fishery resources. She
has both marine and inland fisheries potential. The marine water
covers 64,000 square kilometres which includes the Indian Ocean
and the Exclusive Economic Zone which covers 223,000 square kilometres.
The fresh water includes the riparian shared waters of East African
great lakes namely Lake Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa.
The country has also other small natural lakes,
man made lakes, river systems and many wetlands with fish potential.
All these water cover 58,000 square kilometres. The country has
coastline of about 800 km declared as its Exclusion Economic Zone
but has not yet exploited. The present annual fish catch is about
350,000 metric tons.
The number of fishermen who are permanently employed
is 80,000 and few others obtain their livelihood from the sector
by being employed in the fishing and fishery related activities.
The artisanal fishermen produce about 90% of the total fish catch
in the country; only 10% is derived from industrial fishing. Most
of the fish caught is consumed locally while Nile perch; sardines
and prawns are for exports.
It contributes about one third of the animal protein
or 30% of the total intake to the Tanzanian population. It is a
source of employment, livelihood to the people, recreation, and
tourism in order to generate foreign exchange. The contribution
of the sector to GDP for the past five years has been staggering
between 1.6 and 3.1%.
Tanzania has about 33.5 million
hectares of forests and woodlands. Out of this total area, almost
two thirds consists of woodlands on public lands which lack proper
management. About 13 million hectares of this total forest area
have been gazetted as forest reserves. Over 80,000 hectares of the
gazetted area is under plantation forestry and about 1.6 million
hectares are under water catchment management.
The forests offer habitat for wildlife, beekeeping
unique natural ecosystems and genetic resources. Also bioenergy
is the main sources of fuel for rural population and accounts for
92% of the total energy consumption in the country. However, it
is estimated that the sector's contribution to the Gross Domestic
Product is between 2.3% and 10% of the country's registered exports.
This contribution is underestimated because of unrecorded consumption
of woodfuels, bee products, catchment and environmental values and
other forest products.
The value of the Tanzanian forests is high due to
the high potential for royalty collection which increase revenues
to the country, exports and tourism earnings as well as the recycling
and fixing of carbon dioxide and conservation of globally important
biodiversity. The sector also provides 730,000 person - years of
employment who are engaged in various forest related activities.
The real contribution is under estimated due to unrecorded labour
in the collection of woodfuels and other forest related products
consumed by households. The wood industry accounts for about half
of the sector is recorded contribution to GDP. The other half is
contributed by non-wood products and services.
Despite all the importance and roles played by the
forest resources to the economy, there are a number of problems
faced which hamper the development of the sector and thus the under
estimation of contribution to the economy. The various problems
include among others deforestation, inadequate forestry extension
services, inefficiency wood based industries and poor infrastructural
facilities. Others are outdated legislation, fragmented administration
at all levels between the centre and the local levels, lack of participation
of various stakeholders in the management of the resources and poor
resource databases, outdated and non existence of management plans
for efficient resource use.
Products and Potentials
of the Sector
The network of protected areas which are devoted
to wildlife conservation are the major country is utilization industry.
The forms of wildlife utilization practiced in Tanzania are game
viewing which are potential earners of local and foreign exchange
earnings and employment as they provide tourist attractions. Others
are tourist hunting; resident hunting, ranching and farming. Game
trophies and live birds are also exported which generate export
Furthermore, the sector employs about 2282 people
who are permanent and about 2046 are employed on temporary basis
(tour guides and porters). The communities living adjacent to protected
areas do benefit through hunting will animals for game meat and
get support of services from the private companies operating nearby
and the government institutions related to wildlife sector.
On the other land, the sector is constrained by
illegal hunting (poaching) especially of the endangered species
like elephants, competition with other land users, lack of public
awareness of wildlife importance, lack of baseline data and information,
inadequate rural user rights to the community and limited capacity
in terms of budgetary allocation and human resources.
Tanzania has a rich and diverse spectrum of fauna and flora including
a wide variety of endemic species and sub-species. The biological
diversity and degree of endemism consist of primates, (20 species
and 4 endemic), antelopes (34 species and 2 endemic) fish (with
many endemic in Lake Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa and other small
lakes and rivers), reptiles (290 species and 75 endemic), amphibians
(40 endemic) invertebrates and plants caround 11,000 species including
many endemic). Besides these, Tanzania possesses important populations
of species that are threatened but widespread across Africa.
Furthermore in terms of its habitats various grasslands
and open woodlands of the Serengeti and Maasai Steppe in the north-west
and north-east of Tanzania support some of the greatest concentration
of large mammals in the world.
The wildlife of Tanzania is a unique natural heritage
and resource that is of great importance both nationally and globally.
Tanzania has 19% of her surface area devoted to wildlife in protected
areas where no human settlement is allowed and 9% wildlife co-exists
The Wildlife Policy
The wildlife conservation Act is for the protection,
conservation, development, regulation and control of fauna and flora.
Grazing livestock in game reserves is prohibited under the act.The
aim of policy and Regulatory Framework is to involve a broader section
of society in wildlife conservation particularly the rural communities
and the private sector.
- To maintain the great biological diversity endowment
which constitutes an important economic base to the nation.
- To broaden the scope of players in the interpretation
and implementation of the policy.
- To increase the sectoral contribution to the
Gross Domestic Product from 2% to 5%.
- To enhance wildlife protection, utilization,
management and development of protected areas and international
- To stimulate and guide the local communities
and the private sector by administering, regulating and management
of the wildlife resource.
The main strategy to implement the policy is to
prevent illegal use of wildlife throughout the country; to create
an enabling environment which ensures sustainable wildlife schemes
directly benefiting local communities, through retaining sufficient
revenues from wildlife utilization in protected areas for management
and development purposes, and cooperate with neighboring countries
in the conservation of transboundary ecosystems.
The wildlife sector mandate is sustainable utilization
of the wildlife resources. Antipoaching activities have been intensified
resulting in the decrease of poaching incidences. The wildlife policy
and legislation focuses on peoples' participation in the conservation
and protection of the resources. The policy has facilitated improvement
in performance of the sector in attaining the overall goal of effective
conservation and sustainable utilization of the wildlife resources.
Communities living adjacent to the protected areas share benefits
in the form of social and economic infrastructure support.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority:
- It covers 8,300 square km. It has a finest blend
of landscapes wildlife, people and archaeological sites in Africa.
It is also a pioneer of experimenting the multiple land use.
- A parastatal responsible for maintaining the
coexistence of human and wildlife in a natural and traditional
- Conserves the biological diversity and ecological
integrity of the Serengeti eco-system and Ngorongoro highlands.
- Conserves the area's internationally significant
palaetological and archaeological sites and resources.
- Maintains and promote those values for which
the areas is designated as a World Heritage Site and International
A research institute on wildlife and wildlife diseases:
- Collects, stores and disseminate wildlife research
findings and advices on sustainable development of the wildlife
resources and advice stakeholders accordingly.
- Coordinates research activities of foreign researchers
in collaboration with the Commission for Science and Technology.
College of African Wildlife Management conducts
training for technical wildlife managers for most of the English
speaking African countries.