TANZANIA TURNING POINT...
For those who have been following developments and climate of the Tourist Hunting Industry in Tanzania, there are some new indications of a looming cloud over the need for a Tourist Hunting Industry. I would like to express my serious concerns over the current turbulence and superficial controversy within the industry;
With the new allocations being completed, there has been a disappointing rise in rumors and mumblings about the industry destined for failure due to a local empowerment law. As a Tanzanian, I despise those sentiments. While there is reason for concern due to newcomers into the industry and some very tough regulations that may hinder the best intentions of some Outfitters, there is every reason for optimism for many Tanzanian Outfitters who have vast experience in the industry.
But this is not about foreign and local and most definitely not about segregation - this is about integration which is long overdue. This is an opportunity for stakeholders to come together for a greater cause - for the wildlife and natural habitats! So in consideration of all the negatives and mud-slinging that has been going around in relation to Tanzania - how about considering the fact that Tourist Hunting could be banned!? Does the hunting community want another Kenya case study?
When people who claim to be the guru's of hunting in Tanzania and the salvation for conservation and flash glossy brochures about the millions of dollars being invested for the good of the world - ask yourself why it is that the Tanzanian Hunting Industry only accounts for $20 million dollars in annual revenue and whether that value justifies blocking out 20% of land mass to be utilized by 60 companies. Now think of politicians assessing the scenario and ask yourself again, whether they will not manage to wipe out the tourist hunting industry from the books. Where will that leave the bickering and disgruntled Outfitters?
I plead with the stakeholders of this industry to start paying attention to the bigger picture and work within policy to safeguard the very positive and sustainable Wildlife Conservation Act & Regulations so that we prove our capacity as fully vested stakeholders in ensuring we serve the best interests of the industry and protect our hunting heritage. For those who are good at focusing on personal gains and material value and trying to impose ownership on an international resource - wake up to reality and be wiser in your assessment and tactics.
Murmurs have already begun on how Tourist Hunting should not be prioritized because it is a source of corruption, conflict and generates minimally to the national budget. This combined with community animosity to what is branded a foreign ideology with oppressive connotations is enough to kill an industry So be warned my fellow stakeholders and do question anyone who paints a bleak future for hunting in Tanzania because of Tanzanians. The majority of Tanzanians live in poverty, but maintain civility and peace - but undermining their right to their resources having invited you to share them together, is an instigation that could lead to hostility. Let us tread carefully in partnership on this matter and maintain mutually beneficial collaborations. I speak as an exposed Tanzanian, sensitive to a global expectation and in the best interest of an international industry as well as my country.
Let us not drag this wonderfully blessed country into another closed hunting chapter. Let us all work together to promote and safeguard its resources for benefit to stakeholders worldwide. Karibu Tanzania.