About Us

Who we are

The Community Wildlife Management Areas Consortium (CWMAC) is an umbrella organization for all Authorised Associations (AAs) that manage Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Tanzania. As such, CWMAC is a critical organization in the context of wildlife policy and governance in Tanzania. It plays an important role in representing community wildlife managers and their village-level constituents, giving these rural and often underrepresented groups a voice. In addition, CWMAC serves as a platform for information and best practices sharing; for collective action on policy and governance issues across WMAs; and for linking WMAs with other civil society networks, organizations, development partners, and private investors.

History of Wildlife Management Areas

The WMA model has its roots in the poaching crisis in the 1980s that provoked government and others, including USAID, to promote the concept of Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM). WMAs emerged during the 1990s as a new legal framework for communities to protect, manage and benefit from wildlife and other natural resources on village land outside of Protected Areas. WMAs are mandated to do this by conducting anti-poaching activities and managing tourism investment processes.

The model was innovative within Tanzania when the first WMAs were gazetted in 2007 and has subsequently been expanded, with 22 functioning with user rights and 16 in development by 2016. WMAs mainly border government protected conservation areas and are located in important landscapes and ecosystems within Tanzania.

WMA Timeline:

  • 1998- Wildlife Policy of Tanzania formally adopts WMAs as mechanism for community-based conservation on village lands. 
  • 2003 - Guidelines for establishing and managing WMAs developed and piloting phase begun
  • 2005 - WMA Regulations first issued
  • 2007 -Piloting phase completed and the first 11 WMAs gazetted
  • 2009 - Parliament approved a new Wildlife Conservation Act whichenshrined WMAs in the legislative framework
  • 2012 -New WMA Regulations under the 2009Act issued
  • 2015 - Updated WMA Regulations drafted
  • 2016 - A total of 38 WMAs had been established of which 22 have already acquired Authorized Association status (AAs)


Mission and core purpose


  • The Community Wildlife Management Areas Consortium’s (CWMAC) mission is to enable WMAs to have a unified voice and to work with AAs, investors and government to ensure rights are granted and communities can sustainably manage and accrue optimal benefits from their natural resources.

Core purpose

  • Our core purpose is to enable strong Community Wildlife Management Areas that conserve natural resources and enhance community livelihoods


  • Commitment (To community conservation)
  • Unity (To provide a common voice for all our members)
  • Collaboration (To bring positive change through working with communities, government, and partners)
  • Transparency (To ensure trust and productivity in all our relationships)
  • Innovations and Learning (To continually improve our approach and support to WMAs)
  • Dissemination (To share knowledge and resources)



About Our Work


1. To improve the legal and policy framework, to allow for financially viable WMAs. This objective aims to ensure WMAs have the ability to make themselves competitive and attractive to potential investors. To achieve this objective CWMAC will:

  • Ensure WMAs have increased rights to manage, control and benefit from their natural resources
  • Increase government support and commitment to WMAs 

2. To develop effective governance and management systems within WMAs. Build upon existing work and work collaboratively. CWMAC will work to achieve this objective in two ways:

  • Improve management and operational systems within WMAs
  • Enhance the accountability and integrity of AAs

3. To strengthen partnerships and collaborations to increase the sustainability of CWMAC and its member associations. CWMAC will work to achieve this objective in three ways:

  • Enhance relationships with key government agencies.
  • Strengthen engagement with non-government organisations, networks and civil society platforms.
  • Collaborate with private sector bodies

Expected Benefits

  • Increased allocation of human and financial resources to supporting WMAs by WD and TAWA
  • Laws targeted for policy harmonisation changed
  • Proposed 2015 WMA Regulations approved with revenue retention increased to 70%
  • WMAs taxed on income not revenue. WMAs allowed flexible distribution of revenue between villages.
  • Direct payments by investors allowed.
  • WMAs have freedom to set own tariffs, fees and categories
  • Number of WMA anti-poaching intelligence networks increased from 5 to 10.
  • 12 WMAs managing finances effectively and transparently.
  • 15 contracts signed or successfully renegotiated with investors.
  • 15 WMA Constitutions revised.
  • Increase in number of MOUs with partners from 5 to 10.
  • 50% increase in annual budget
  • Three major donors funding CWMAC project activities and core costs


Our Donors


+255 22 2668615