Non consumption use

ZWE - Legal Hub - Non consumption use - Picture © FAO/Daniel Hargrove


The two principal Acts regulating the eco-tourism industry in Zimbabwe are the Tourism Act and the Parks and Wildlife Act. The relevance of the Parks and Wildlife Act is that it is the principal legislation in the designation and identification of protected areas (also known as ‘park area’). Although the Act does not clearly define the term ‘protected areas’ according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) framework, it provides for the “establishment of national parks, botanical reserves, botanical gardens, sanctuaries, safari areas, and recreational parks; to make provision for the preservation, conservation, propagation, or control of the wildlife, fish, and plants of Zimbabwe and the protection of her natural landscape and scenery”.  

While the Parks and Wildlife Act provides for the establishment of protected areas, the Tourism Act regulates the tourism industry. However, the Tourism Act does not provide a definition of eco-tourism and ecotourism businesses, and there are no specific licences for eco-tourism and no mechanisms to ensure that indigenous people and local communities (IPLC) can benefit from wildlife tourism and conservation initiatives/activities. Section 3 of the Tourism Act establishes the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA). The ZTA is responsible for the registration and issuing of licences to tourist-designated facilities, promotion of tourism in Zimbabwe and the setting up of standards within the tourist industry. All tourist-designated facilities must be registered and licensed by the ZTA.