The government of Tanzania has approved a major commercial route across the Serengeti National Park, in the direct path of the greatest land migration on earth. Such a highway would destroy the integrity of a priceless World Heritage that has been protected by the people of Tanzania since the birth of their country.
The Tanzanian government has a responsibility to work for development and welfare of its people. But in doing so, it does not need to sacrifice its most precious natural area, its income from tourism, or its heritage of conservation.
The German government has a plan to help resolve this issue. It has offered to study and help find funding for an alternate southern route. In addition, it has generously offered to study and fund the building of local roads for communities living around the Serengeti. The World Bank has also offered to help fund the alternate route.
The stakes are high. It is a critical test case for the 21st Century – do we have the vision and the will to work for the welfare of our expanding human population while still preserving our world’s priceless natural areas?
If we can't save the Serengeti, what can we save?
As a friend of Tanzania and its people, I urge you to:
• Halt plans for a northern route to ensure the integrity of the Serengeti National Park and surrounding natural areas.
• Accept support offered by the World Bank and German government to study and help fund an alternate route that will not adversely affect protected wildlife areas.
• Accept the generous offer by the German government to study and fund local road development in consultation with local communities.
The government of Tanzania has a responsibility to work for development and welfare of its people. But it does not have to sacrifice its most precious natural heritage and income and jobs from its tourism industry. Please work with your friends in the international community to build your economy and preserve your priceless heritage.