Way Forward for Community Wildlife Management (CWM)


On 6th November 2015, TNRF held a Natural Resource Forum Event that took place at Mt. Meru Hotel in Arusha. The forum brought together different experts and practitioners from various natural resource areas (government line ministries, non-governmental organizations, private sectors and the public). The event aimed at promoting dialogue, innovative options and best practices in natural resources in Tanzania while increasing the publicity of TNRF’s work and its’ members through mainstreaming and social media. The forum consisted of two-breakout sessions, one of which was on Community Wildlife Management (CWM) – and was co-facilitated by Mr. John Salehe from AWF together with Mr. Thadeus Binamungu from USAID's PROTECT initiative. Discussion within the community wildlife management session was geared towards recommendation setting for CWM through addressing three big questions;

  • What do communities, conservationists, private sectors and CSOs want?
  • What do politicians and policy makers say?
  •  What does climate change dynamics dictate as far as wildlife is concerned?

Key discussion points and recommendations highlighted by the participants include;

  1. Communities want the government to assure them of their rights in managing WMAs through full devolution of powers to the community- giving them full access and control over the WMA benefits and accrued revenues. Communities also urge for the long-term roles and responsibilities to engage in wildlife conservation.


  1. By bringing on board models such as the WMA, conservationists want to sustainably conserve and protect the wildlife resources but unknowingly exclude full participation of communities and further perceive them as threats rather than being part of the solution. The conservationists need to appreciate the effort communities contribute in conserving wildlife resources since these communities have co-existed with wildlife much longer. Conservationists also need to frequently consult with the communities on measures to increase the size of WMAs taking into consideration their legal rights on land.


  1. The CSOs and Private sector advocate for communities rights to benefit directly from the WMA model while continuing to conserve and utilize the resource sustainably. To successfully achieve this, these non-state actors are urged to continue raising their voices to government and conservationists so that the procedures in planning, management and operationalization of WMAs is made more bottom-up.


  1. Climate Change is and will continue to pose detrimental effects to wildlife resources through increasing temperatures, drought and changes in the rainfall patterns which significantly affect the wildlife ecosystem (e.g. reduced water availability and pastures for the wildlife). Addressing these climatic impacts, the wildlife sector demands more emphasis on capitalizing adaptation more than mitigation in conjunction with the formulation of climate change policy that supports proper land use and land planning.

A more detailed report for all the sessions, which were run at this event, will be shared in due course.