Conservation in Africa and Tanzania
Environmental Protection in Africa has two main motivations: tourism receipts and/or commitment.
Tanzania has worked conscientiously to maintain large habitats. The authority that manages Tanzania's 16 national parks, TANAPA, is working to increase the number of reserves to receive national park status and thus greater protection. Few believed in TANAPA's ambition to create a national park for mainly flowers. Today Kitulo National Park in southern Tanzania is a dream destination for botanists.
Ruaha National Park area doubled a few years ago when two adjacent reserves were incorporated. With 23,000 km2 it is now Tanzania's largest and Africa's third largest national park.
Another aim is to transform the Selous with its about 50 000 km², making it one of the world's largest nature reserves. However, only about 10% is available for photo tourism, the rest is earmarked for a regulated trophy hunting. TANAPA has other plans for Selous ...
Of course these investments require that the tourists come here. No tourists, no income for the local population, increased poaching, more land must be conquered for cultivation, less land for the animals.
Protected areas, as in the rest of the world, have different levels of protection. Below a rough explanation of these levels in Tanzania and most of Africa.
1. National Park. Human settlements are forbidden as is all forms of exploitation. TANAPA operates and has financial responsibility for operation and maintenance.
2. Reserve (Game Reserve). Human settlements are not prohibited, but in some cases regulated, as well as human activity within the reserve. Operation and maintenance is often outsourced to local or regional authorities.
3. Game Controlled Area. Is often added as buffers around national parks. So is for example Serengeti surrounded by three GCA. Sometimes, controlled hunting, so-called trophy hunting is permitted. GCA is run by local communities that receive revenue from photo and hunting tourism to increase motivation to keep wild life intact.
All indications point to a method where the locals are committed, motivated and serves conservancy is the only way forward, if not Africa's natural areas be sacrificed as was the case for example with the European ones. In this spirit operate a variety of projects, large and small.