Tanzania’s newly appointed Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism on Sunday revoked all tourist hunting permits issued by the ministry this year.
Addressing tourism stakeholders in the political capital Dodoma, Hamisi Kigwangalla said the permits will be re-applied through auction.
“Acting on authority bestowed on me, I am officially revoking all permits given to tourist hunting companies this year,” he said.
The minister ordered officials overseeing the issuing of the hunting permits to prepare the new system of issuing the permits through auction in 60 days.
“Issuing the hunting permits through auction makes the exercise more transparent,” said Kigwangalla.
He also ordered that tourist hunting blocks which were in dispute, including Loliondo and Natron, should not be given permits until the disputes were resolved.
In September 2015, the Tanzanian government was advised to suspend tourist hunting but it said it did not believe the practice had fueled wildlife poaching as proposed.
The then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Adelhelm Meru, said hunting tourism helped to enhance wildlife conservation and balance the ecosystem.
Tanzania Hunting Operators Association chairman Eric Pasanisi said the proposed suspension on hunting tourism will adversely affect wildlife conservation as 65 percent of conservation funds were derived from tourist hunting. Enditem