Tanzania is well endowed in Extractive resources including wildlife and forestry resources, it is the expectations of the majority that wildlife and forestry resources will significantly contribute to national development including communities that live within and surrounding protected areas. In order to assess whether wildlife contribute or not to the social economic wellbeing of communities, ANGONET & Kepa undertook a study on CSR aspect in the wildlife and forestry sectors. Among others, examining the following issues namely; benefits sharing, human rights, corruption, accountability, transparency and community participation.
A thin contribution from the wildlife/ forest resources and findings from other studies shows CSR practise in the sector is limited to sheer the magnitude of the problem. In this light, this study was planned to assess the state and effectiveness of CSR in alleviating poverty and contributing to economic development of the community and the country at large.
The approach or methodology applied is based on qualitative and quantitative methods where stratified-random sampling was employed to selected villages, household and groups from different stakeholders for sampling. – Qualitative method – focused group discussions, informants, opinion leaders and personal communication with residents were used as tools for data collection. These data and information were tested against secondary information i.e. literature review. Statistical analyses for both quantitative and qualitative data were done using by Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 14.
In general, study findings revealed that at least half of all the respondents had an idea on CSR. General awareness varied from at least knowing one component of the model to understanding the entire paradigm. Three quarters of all respondents acknowledged that there is usefulness of wildlife in their areas, yet they expressed their dissatisfaction of the socio economic impact of wildlife. For instance, let say what is collected is 60bn/= per year versus what is offered and/or delivered per project in village is between TSH 5m-40m in a period of 25 years or more. On the other hand it is claimed that loss of life, properties and other forms of damages caused by raiding animals outweigh the benefits accrued by villages/residents.
Lack of clarity about CSR on whether it is a voluntary or mandatory has contributed a lot to bring a confusion so the difficulties in its implementation to bring an indented socio economic contributions.
Government institutions stated that although there was no clear guidance on how CSR should be executed, but it is strongly recommended as an important practice. The companies/or corporations are further required to respect people’s dignity and other human right standards. It was nonetheless unfortunate that the private sector stated that CSR in the Wildlife Sector in Tanzania was philanthropy and not legally binding. These trend tempted abuse of CSR practices.
Majority of the respondents contended that there was insufficient transparency among leaders and between investors including signing of business contracts to the extent that the local people felt to have been denied the right to freedom, justice, fraternity and accord with regard to information acquirement within the Wildlife Sector. The cases of this nature are evidenced in Burunge WMA commonly known as JUHIBU that one investor out of five investors operating accommodation facilities is, to some extent obliged with the law. For instance, in 2011/2012 Maramboi Tented Lodge (MTL) remitted the amount of TZS. 568, 507,200 to Burunge WMA through Wildlife Division but report from JUHIBU revealed different figures i.e. TZS. 473, 738,859.93 received by JUHIBU contrary to amount paid by MTL. (Source: data supplied by Maramboi) need to be verified.
In addition, agreements that were entered between local communities and the government or investors with respect to wildlife management and benefit sharing were rarely fulfilled. It is further claimed that leaders in the Government at all levels including the village, district, region and the nation were not accountable and not taking appropriate actions to investors and staff in public institutions who were involved in dishonest deeds. Relevant reports on wildlife protection and utilization and on revenue collection and expenditure were not as
appropriately and timely disseminated as required to respective authorities. Slightly above a quarter of all the respondents declared that many government workers and those from the private sector were involved in corrupt practices within the Wildlife Sector.
In conclusion, respondents declared that corruption practices were implied in leaders’ circumstantial behaviour as it is hard to prove because they were done in secrecy. Respondents claimed further that both rangers from public organizations and workers from private investors were violating human rights. Majority of the respondents mentioned land grabbing acceralate land conflicts as one of the main human rights’ abuse.
Since the launch of the National Wildlife Policy of 1998 and other policies and guidelines emphasizing on the utilization of natural resources to poverty eradication and economic growth there has not been clear and harmonised guideline to guide the realization of CSR. As a result, Tanzania has continued to register relatively lower margin from natural resources particularly wildlife in economic growth and poverty alleviation than it is expected. The Private Sector advised that in spite of CSR being an important tool to improving governance, the government should be strict to enforcing existing policies and laws by taking severe actions to those who violate them such as abusing human rights, engaging in corrupt practices, and misusing public funds and other resources particularly wildlife.
It is recommended that local people should be actively involved in the management of wildlife including decision making, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. They should be capacitated focusing on the values of wildlife and their habitats, the consequences of habitat destruction and ways of mitigating the problem.
The government in collaboration with all stakeholders should establish elaborate guiding framework between different actors in particular the government, investors and the local communities who bear the cost of living with wildlife. Benefit sharing should be developed to ensure that profits are equitably distributed to offset the conservation-induced cost and should trickle down to households, which directly suffer from wildlife instead of concentrating the same at the community level alone.
It is further recommended that laws and policies governing wildlife and forestry sectors should be reviewed and amended to accommodate interests of communities as well as increasing clarity surrounding the collection of revenues accrued from the wildlife and forest resources and plough back an agreed percentage of the funds to communities. Indeed, enhancing community participation and involvement in all aspects of decision making process concerning distribution of revenues as well as management of those resources was of important aspect recommended towards improvement of livelihood of communities in the area.