Tanzania | Community-based wildlife conservation brings ecological success stories, study says
Good news about the environment is rare these days, but in Tanzania there are signs that local wildlife conservation efforts can effectively protect the natural resources that provide the lion’s share of revenue for the economy. Eco-tourism is Tanzania’s largest economic sector and biggest dollar earner for this developing nation, but wildlife populations have suffered in recent decades from poaching and clashes with people involved in other economic activities such as farming and mining. The good news comes from a new study that found community-based wildlife conservation can quickly result in clear ecological success, with the largest and smallest species being among the winners.
Tanzania’s wildlife resources are among the finest in the world and include the last intact fully functioning savanna wilderness ecosystem in Africa with the largest terrestrial mammal migration and a high density of big game. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourism in Tanzania generates around USD $6 billion annually. Tourism brings in 25% of the county’s foreign exchange earnings and regularly surpasses the minerals and energy sectors. Tourism represents 13% of Tanzania’s total GDP, and employs around 700,000 people directly and 1.5 million people indirectly. Tanzania receives more than one million international visitors each year, mostly from Europe and the USA, and the numbers are steadily increasing.