Making Wildlife Pay in Northern Tanzania

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Ecotourism and sustainable trophy hunting have delivered verifiable conservation benefits in parts of Africa, but scaling up has proven difficult. Now, an innovative pilot scheme in Tanzania is trying an alternative approach: paying communities directly to protect wildlife habitats. The Ecosystem Marketplace examines this promising new model for wildlife conservation.

First in an occasional series leading up to the September 16-18 Regional Katoomba Meeting in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania

The stone patio at Tarangire Safari Lodge sits on a bluff overlooking the Tarangire River, where thousands of elephant, buffalo, zebra, and antelopes congregate during the long Tanzanian dry season.

During this time of year the lodge – easily the best vantage point for miles around – is packed with tourists from Europe and North America enjoying evening cocktails as they watch families of elephants drifting down to the river in the fading light. Such spectacles have made Tarangire National Park one of the jewels in northern Tanzania's tourism circuit, and a key part of an industry which generates over $800 million in total annual revenues in one of the world's poorest countries.

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