Commissioning ranks to conservators at the weekend, TANAPA Director General Dr Allan Kijazi directed officers and wardens to tune themselves to widening their role beyond protecting wildlife.
“Our uniforms go beyond policing the national parks. TANAPA officers are expected to place engagement and hospitality above paramilitary trainings,” he declared.
Well-behaved conservators stand a better chance of achieving good results not in protecting the wildlife but making positive contribution to the country’s hospitality industry, he said.
Dr Kijazi was speaking at the Lake Manyara National Park adjacent grounds, during the occasion to award military insignia to 80 senior officers and 19 conservators, who had just completed their paramilitary training and ready to serve.
TANAPA oversees 21 national parks dotting the entire country’s landscape. Tourism remains the bedrock activity for national parks, even though TANAPA is also bestowed with conserving wildlife and natural resources in the zones it administers.
“It is therefore important that we place service ahead of everything. The oaths taken today and corresponding ranks attest to this new form of responsibility,” the director underlined.
He used the opportunity to remind the officers that the insignia ranking was not about going around brandishing weapons, but officers and conservators ought to maintain the usual humble ‘ready to serve’ approach. “The image of national parks is essentially all about enjoying nature peacefully as well as studying its flora and fauna,” he pointed out.
As of now, TANAPA operates under the International Standards Organization (ISO) certification and one of its game parks, Serengeti, has in the past few months been named the best safari destination on the continent.
Neema Mollel, a paramilitary graduand, said the new ranks will not only command better discipline among them but also give them a better sense of recognition and acceptance as a new level of public service.
For his part, the TANAPA head of the Security Department, John Nyahangwa said the training not only placed the conservator in better position of undertaking the tasks of protecting wildlife and natural resources but also reinforces discipline through official chains of command.
And while serious poaching incidences have largely been eliminated in the recent past on the basis of government affirmations, this does not mean TANAPA relents in expanding its paramilitary preparedness, he asserted.