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Tanzanian parliament approves upgrading
five game reserves to national parks

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian Parliament on Saturday approved the upgrading of five game reserves to national parks.

The approval, made in the capital Dodoma, brought to 22 the total number of national parks managed by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA).

The lawmakers unanimously approved the upgrading of Biharamuro, Burigi, Kimisi, Ibanda and Rumanyika game reserves to national parks.

Job Ndugai, speaker of the National Assembly, described the upgrading of the five game reserves as another milestone in the country’s wildlife conservation.

TANAPA manages the nation’s 17 national parks which covers approximately 15 percent of the land area and has the mandate to conserve and manage the wildlife in Tanzania, and to enforce the related laws and regulations in this industry.

TANAPA also manages the biodiversity of the country, protecting and conserving the flora and fauna.

However, TANAPA does not have a mandate over the game reserves such as the Selous Game Reserve, which is managed by the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which is managed by the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority.

Tanzania marine parks set to attract more foreign tourists

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The Tanzania Marine Park and Reserves Unit (MPRU) said on Friday it has put in place strategies aimed at increasing the number of foreign tourists visiting the marine parks from 45,000 to 70,000 annually.

John Komakoma, the MPRU Acting Manager, said the strategies included a focus on tourism marketing on emerging new tourism markets while continuing to strengthen existing markets.

"As we are part of the government’s massive tourism promotion, we will continue to improve the tourism infrastructure," said Komakoma.

The official said MPRU was collaborating with state-owned Tanzania Tourist Board and other tourism stakeholders both within and outside the country to prepare and distribute different tourism promotion strategies and materials to cater for different customers.

He said another strategy involved collaboration with international media outlets and major TV stations or programs to produce promotional footage that catered for specific countries with major international languages.

Komakoma said tourists visiting Tanzania’s marine parks came from China, Switzerland, Germany, Britain, the United States, Canada, Russia, among others.

"These tourists come to enjoy beaches, sandbanks, historical monuments, coral gardens, the whale sharks of Mafia Island Marine Parks and the sea turtles of Maziwe Island," said Komakoma.

Currently there are three marine parks and 15 marine reserves in Tanzania under the supervision of MPRU.

Tanzania rules out lifting ban on exports of live wild animals

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania on Friday ruled out lifting its blanket ban on exports of live wild animals.

"We are working to review the Wildlife Conservation Act 2009 to be able to impose total ban on the export of wild animals," Hamis Kigwangala, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, told the National Assembly.

"The ban which has been in place for three years will not be lifted," the minister told the House in the capital Dodoma.

Constantine Kanyasu, the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, said the government had in 2016 imposed the ban on export of live wild animals following exporters’ violation of the Wildlife Conservation Act (No. 5 of 2009).

Tanzanian government to collect over US 26 million
dollars  from tourist hunting in 2019: minister

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities said on Wednesday that more than 26 million U.S. dollars are expected to be collected from tourist hunting in the 2018-2019 financial year.

Hamis Kigwangala, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma that a number of interventions have been put in place by the ministry aimed at bringing about revolution in the tourism industry.

He said implementation of the government’s "Hunt More for Less" campaign will improve the sector as well as boost revenues.

The minister said that there have been various issues related to tourist hunting since 2008, which resulted in decrease in revenue earnings.

Kigwangala said Tanzania was expected to tap 16 billion U.S. dollars from the tourism sector by 2025.

He said a recent World Bank report showed that by 2025, Tanzania will receive 8 million foreign visitors compared to the current 1.5 million tourists arriving in the country each year.

"We have embarked on efforts to market our tourist attractions abroad, including establishment of the Tanzania Safari Channel," said Kigwangala.

On Tuesday, Members of Tanzania’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism raised an alarm over possibilities of a resurgence of poaching of elephants due to changes in tourist hunting block licensing system.

The government of Tanzania revoked hunting block licenses in 2017 and announced preparations of a new system of issuing the permits through auction in 60 days.

Stephen Kiruswa, a member of the committee, told the National Assembly that the government has already started to experience negative repercussions of the decision as a good number of investors have surrendered most of the hunting blocks to the government.

Kiruswa said that revenues generated from tourist hunting blocks have also been reduced to 8 million U.S. dollars in 2018 from 27 million U.S. dollars in 2008.


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