New Natural resources And Tourism Minister Named


Published: March - 2007

Up in Tanzania, safari operators are upbeat about the naming of Jumanne Maghembe as the new Natural Resources and Tourism Minister. He is widely viewed as more pro-hunting than the previous minister who, you'll recall, abruptly tried to shut down lion hunting last July. High on the agenda of TAHOA (Tanzanian Hunting Operators Association) is a push to extend the hunting season. Right now, the season runs July 1 to Dec. 31. Operators would like to extend it a full month, either by opening it a month earlier or closing it a month later. TAHOA is also pushing to regain a position on the Advisory & Examination Board for PH's, which they lost under the previous minister. They say they want to put more controls on the quality of hunters being granted PH licenses.

The big issue looming in the background now is the reallocation of all hunting concessions in 2009. In all, some 600 applicants are vying for control of the 140 available concessions. Successful applicants will be notified in 2008, with hunting rights to start in 2009. It's unclear at this point how many areas will actually change hands, as current operators who paid for at least 40 percent of their quota each year, fielded anti-poaching teams and invested in community development and infrastructure projects are in line to keep their areas. The wild card is the possibility that some of the large companies will be accused of underutilizing some of their blocks. There is also perennial talk about the need to involve more native Tanzanians in the safari business. Overall, though, chances are overwhelming that the reallocation process will be orderly.

One of the main reasons hunting is so stable in Tanzania is the tradition there among operators to give back to the local community. Some of the most remarkable community development projects in the world can be found in Tanzania. One of the best-known is the Cullman Hurt Community Wildlife Project (www. cullmanandhurt.org), which operates in areas allocated to Robin Hurt Safaris. Since its inception in 1990, the project's work has led to........(continued)

 
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