Tanzania has a remarkable record of conservation that includes some of the greatest natural areas left on earth, such as the iconic Serengeti National Park. But massive new development, government inaction, and an eroding ethic of conservation are bringing this heritage to the brink.
Assaults to a priceless natural heritage
Elephants in Tanzania are being slaughtered at a tragic rate. An extensive report just released by the United Nations shows that Tanzania leads the continent as the source of blood ivory!
Work is starting on paved roads around the Serengeti National Park, increasing the threat of a commercial route cutting across the park itself. Scientists say this would be the end of the great migration. The government has ignored international help to build a better southern route around the park.
The government says it is determined to build a soda ash factory on Lake Natron, the breeding ground of virtually all of Africa’s Lesser Flamingoes.
A port is being planned for Mwambani Harbor, which will destroy the Tanga Coelocanth Marine National Park.
Uranium mining will begin in Tanzania’s Selous Reserve, which has one of the largest concentrations of elephants in Africa.
There are plans for a dam on the Rufiji River, a critical water source in the Selous reserve.
There is corruption among officials, who have been implicated in the ivory trade and disappearance of climate change funds.
UNESCO wanted to make the Eastern Arc Mountains a World Heritage Site. After fifteen years of work, the government abruptly stopped the process.
We must tell President Kikwete that the world is watching. His government must reverse course, stop the wildlife slaughter, abandon threats to the Serengetii and other areas, and protect the heritage it inherited on behalf of the Tanzanian people and the world.