Kamis, 10 Februari 2011


Tanzania has always embraced the policy of consumptive utilization of wildlife, except during 1973-1978 when hunting was banned under Government Notice No. 210 of 1973. The ban led to a calamitous upsurge in poaching and, in 1978, the government was forced to permit hunting once more. Following the lifting of the ban, the parastatal Tanzania Wildlife Company (TAWICO) was granted a monopoly over the industry, receiving sole authority to allocate quotas and blocks to various outfitters. The Director of Wildlife's powers to allocate hunting blocks were suspended. In 1984, TAWICO's monopoly was revoked, as the government began to embrace economic liberalization. In that year, nine private companies were allowed to hunt in addition to TAWICO and, finally, in 1988, the government relegated TAWICO to the role of outfitter, competing for hunting blocks with other companies (Severre: 33-4). The power to allocate hunting blocks and determine quotas was returned to the Director of Wildlife.
As stated above, Section 84 of the Wildlife Conservation Act of 1974 requires the minister responsible for wildlife to establish the rules by which licenses, permits, certificates, and other documents are to be granted. Twenty-five years have passed and the Minister has not yet complied with this requirement. This failure to comply has caused tremendous problems in the industry because the Director, who is the main conservator under the Act, has had no guidance on how to rule on applications for hunting privileges.
In the absence of ministerial guidance, the Director has set his own criteria for the allocation of hunting blocks. Although these rules were never formally made public, they were known to include the following:
  • the company, or its employees, should have experience in hunting;
  • the professional hunters in the company should be conversant with the requirements of the Wildlife Conservation Act, 1974;
  • the company should possess the necessary equipment for hunting, such as vehicles, radios, camping gear, etc.;
  • the company should possess an office with communication facilities;
  • the company should be registered and hold appropriate accounts in Tanzanian banks;
  • the company should have a program aimed at integrating conservation activities with the needs of rural communities;
  • the company should vow to abide by conservation laws and tourist hunting byelaws;
  • the company should have credible referees;
  • the company should have proof of client bookings and respective downpayments (Severre: 34-5).
Although these criteria appear reasonable, they exceed the powers granted the Director under the Wildlife Conservation Act, 1974. In fact, the Minister is the only official with the legally constituted authority to make regulations on how tourist hunting should be conducted in Tanzania.
In any case, as many complaints allege, in practice, the allocation of hunting blocks has reflected the Director's personal whim rather than the consistent application of these guidelines. These complaints prompted the Minister and the Director of Wildlife to enter into an agreement with Tanzania Hunting Operators Association (TAHOA), an NGO representing the professional hunters in the country, setting out the conditions under which hunting blocks would be allocated. Under this "Consensus Agreement" of 14th November 1994, every hunting company would have to meet the following six conditions in order to be allocated hunting blocks:
  1. Achieve an average utilization rate of 40 percent of its allocated quotas. This should be based on monetary value rather than number of animals killed.
  2. Contribute to anti-poaching activities in cooperation with the Wildlife Division.
  3. Open up roads and airstrips for the continuing use of anti-poaching squads and the Wildlife Division during the hunting off-season.
  4. Offer assistance to communities adjacent to hunting areas.
  5. Pay all required fees by the stipulated time (April 30).
  6. Ship client trophies in timely manner.
The legality of the Consensus Agreement is open to question on the same grounds as the Director's criteria for block allocations. Under the Wildlife Conservation Act it is the Minister who is empowered to regulate wildlife utilization. One could argue, however, that the Consensus Agreement is legal in so far as the government has the right to enter into agreements that do not violate any existing laws. In the case of Wengert Windrose Safari (T) Limited vs. The Director of Wildlife & 2 Others the High Court of Tanzania upheld the legality of the Agreement, stating that it, "clearly comes out as a policy document, which among others, guides and controls hunting activities in Tanzania and on which both the hunters (including the Applicant) and the government rely."

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