Amended Schedule to the Wildlife Conservation Act Non-Consumptive Wildlife Use Regulations GN 196 now in circulation

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism has today provided tourism companies with an amended schedule to the Wildlife Conservation Act Non-Consumptive Wildlife Use Regulations GN 196 of September 2007. The Schedule is retroactive from 1st July 2008. 

The amended schedule is currently at the Government Printers, and will be probably available later this month as an officially printed version. However, the version of this schedule as provided to tourism companies by the Ministry can be downloaded here.

The amended regulations follow a consultation meeting held earlier this year on 28-29th April with the Wildlife Division facilitated by TNRF and AWF, more details of which can be found here. Some of the key recommendations made at the consultation between dividing revenue collection between central government and Wildlife Management Areas or Local Government Authorities have not made it yet into the amended version of the schedule. However the fees have been lowered and slightly simplified.

Background information

Many Wildlife Management Area Authorised Associations, Local Government Authorities (Villages and Districts), tourism companies and conservation stakeholders  expressed concern about the Non-Consumptive Wildlife Use Regulations, when they were released in September 2007.

The main issues expressed by stakeholders have been that far too little revenue will be kept at the local level for development and conservation, that the number of fees and overall taxation level is on the high side for the tourism sector, and that the combined effect will be to constrain local wildlife revenues, particularly from reduced community-orientated eco-tourism investment on village lands to the detriment of local development and conservation.

The Wildlife Division has said that a proportion of the fees collected subsequently will be returned back to Local Government Authorities and Wildlife Management Area Authorised Associations.

The concerns expressed are underpinned by a principle that tax and revenue management must be structured to support best practices in devolved natural resource management regimes – a mismatch will lead to system failure, lost development opportunities and resource degradation

More information will be forthcoming shortly.