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On 4th September, 2017 TNRF in collaboration with Community Wildlife Management Areas Consortium (CWMAC ), Mazingira Network Tanzania (MANET), Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism –(Wildlife Division and Tanzania Wildlife Authority - TAWA), Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Tourism Confederation of Tanzania (TCT) and Representatives of WMAs through  Engaging Civil Society and Private Sector in Developing Advocacy Agendas funded by-PROTECT, jointly organized a seminar to Parliamentary Committee for Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism and Tanzania Parliamentary Friends of Environment (TAPAFE) at Morena Hotel in Dodoma. Official opening remarks were delivered by the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism Hon. Engineer Atashasta Nditiye while welcome remarks were delivered by the TNRF Board Chairperson Dr. Suma Kaare.

The seminar aimed to create awareness to the Members of Parliament (MPs) on policy and legal framework governing WMAs, conflicting policies, laws and regulations which hinder effective development and progress of WMAs and/or investment in the WMAs, and provide more understanding on issues around WMAs’ revenue collection, disbursement and benefits sharing, , as well as sharing a broad knowledge of the tourism sector in Tanzania, its challenges and contribution to the national economy.

The seminar brought together  seventy (70) participants ( Female 27 and Male 43), from Parliamentary Committee on Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism, Members of TAPAFE, MPs hailing from constituents with WMAs and key officials from Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Other participants included TNRF Board Members and Press (ITv and TBC).In the seminar, the following topics were presented by Policy Advocacy Team members that comprise of TNRF, CWMAC, TATO, TCT, MANET and WMAs Representative:

  • Revenue collection, disbursement and benefit sharing (CWMAC)
  • Challenges: Business and Investment Climate in Tourism Industry (TATO)
  • A Need to Enhance the Process to Harmonize Policies and Policy Instruments (TNRF)
  • WMAs Governance: Policy and Legal Framework

At the end of the seminar session, MPs shared their opinions and questions on the subjects presented and they were very impressed with the work of this Advocacy Taskforce and the event in general. The following came out and as the way forward:

  •  The same knowledge and awareness should be shared to all MPs. The chairperson to ask space from Speaker of the Parliament. This was recommended by the MPs.
  •  All actors including NGOs should work together with government to promote WMAs
  • The MPs were pleased to hear that in the WMAs with investment, AAs play key a role to finance community development projects rather than seeking community members contributions
  • The government should subsidize WMAs in the areas with less investments
  • It was jointly recommended that all revenues should be collected by WMAs and not TAWA, or TAWA to establish an instant payment system to facilitate funds distribution  
  • That such seminars should be organized for 2-3 days to allow wider dissemination of knowledge and detailed discussions
  • MPs to be one of key stakeholders during WMAs establishment and governance meetings.
  • It was recommended that the MPs should establish Parliamentary Working Group to deal with issues in the Tourism Sector.
  • Advocacy Taskforce recommendations should be shared to MPs and the Parliament makes decision for implementation.
  • The tourism awareness, knowledge and skills should be imparted from primary schools through universities and the media houses.

The seminar achieved key issues, among them are increased MPs awareness on policy and legal framework governing WMAs; MPs are informed of the specific recommendations for the improved business environment in WMAs including harmonization of the taxes, fees and levies; MPs are aware of challenges and recommendations for improvement on the systems for revenue collection, disbursement and benefit sharing; and      MPs are aware on the areas for harmonization of the sectorial policies and instruments; and Policy recommendations from the MPs and the Advocacy Taskforce geared to solving the challenges faced by private sector and WMAs Management.