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Tanzania Journal of Forestry and Nature Conservation

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Towards sustainable use of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Tanzania: possibilities and problems

DTK Shemwetta, P Wilfred

Abstract


Sustainable use of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) has become  equated with wise exploitation of wildlife resources therein and ownership devolution of WMAs to the local people by the Government. Demand for sustainability is often driven by the severity of overexploitation of wildlife resources and perceived conflict between the wildlife and other enterprises, especially agriculture. The reason behind having WMAs is to find a solution regarding conservation of wildlife resources outside core protected areas by addressing issues of poverty and right to sustainable use and share  benefits accrued from wildlife by local communities. Wildlife utilization, as the primary form of land use in WMAs and one of the main local sources of livelihood for local people in Tanzania, may be a more ecologically sustainable and economically viable option for use of WMAs. However, this is constrained by uncertainty in land tenure system, unequal benefit sharing, procedural difficulties in establishing a WMA, lack of ownership
devolution and the conflict of interests. Integrated livelihood improvement and articulation of a clear development vision and strategy that is not restricted to wildlife utilization needs to be a priority in order to ensure sustainable utilization of WMAs.



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