Wildlife Management Areas

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Wildlife Management Areas Wildlife Management Areas

Wildlife in Tanzania has been property and responsibility of the state since the colonial period. In the late 1900s, however, the government ushered in new policies that granted wildlife user rights to communities that established Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) on Village Land. WMAs offer rural people new economic opportunities, but they also come with strict conditions.
To date, WMAs have not achieved their objectives of conservation and local development. The following lesson explores the decentralization of wildlife user rights and their impact on local communities.


Wildlife in Tanzania has been the property and responsibility of the state since the colonial period. State control, however, has not resulted in conservation or development. In the late 1990s, the government ushered in new policies that granted wildlife user rights to communities. Communities are now able to establish Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) on Village Land and “have full mandate of managing and benefiting from their conservation efforts.” WMAs offer communities new enterprise opportunities and revenue streams which can support development and poverty reduction, but they also come with conditions that have limited their appeal and usefulness.

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Created 2010-08-17
Changed 2017-06-07
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