The Tanzanian Government has approved a commercial highway which would run through 53km of the Serengeti National Park and bisect the "Great Migration" route of animals in two locations. There is a southern route that would accomplish the same goals and has been offered to be fully paid by Germany, yet has been denied by the Tanzanian President.
Even after world condemnation, all world scientists stating the devastation it will cause in the Serengeti, Tanzania's financial supporters of Germany opposing it, UNESCO threatening to remove it from a World Heritage Site, and even opposition by Tanzania citizens and tour companies, the Tanzanian Government has approved construction to begin in early 2012, about 7 months away.
There is a coordinated effort by conservation groups that may be effective in stopping it. However, if they fail, the last ditch effort would be a boycott. Below is a letter to the Tanzanian Government boycotting eco-tourism to Tanzania until the portion through the Serengeti is stopped. This letter is being signed in preparation only! At this time, DO NOT cut and paste and send it, but please sign it! If the effort to stop the highway via negotiations fails, this petition will be activated. By signing it now, it will decrease the response time in its effectiveness if it is needed.
Some news clips on the Serengeti Highway, part 1 and 2, each less than 5 minutes can be found in the link at the bottom of this description. They are very good and show a summary of the issue, including an overall map and the President's reasoning. The only way to stop it now is by telling the government it will cost them more in eco-tourism than the cost of the highway.
Part 1 is at the link below. Part 2 you click on the thumbnail below the video. It has a picture of a cloudy sky with trees.
RE: Serengeti Highway
To Whom It May Concern
It has been brought to my attention the proposed highway, which would run through the Serengeti, has been approved to begin construction in 2012.
By now you have been informed of numerous reasons by the world’s leading scientists that this is one of the greatest ecological mistakes to occur to one of the greatest natural phenomenons on the planet. In addition, even one of Tanzania’s biggest financial backers, Germany, has declared it would not only oppose it, but would be willing to fund the alternative southern route.
As your country is already aware, eco-tourism has become a multi-billion dollar industry. The Serengeti represents one of the top 5 eco-tourism destinations in Africa and is the only top 5 destination located in Tanzania.
It is unacceptable to allow any highway through the Serengeti due to the potential harm to wildlife.
You should be aware that the greatest danger with a boycott is the aftermath. Many times, once a boycott has been started, people become so accustomed to practicing the boycott, they don’t stop even after a resolution of the issue. With the surrounding areas of Kenya and Zambia offering almost the same habitat, it would be easy for people to view them as permanent alternatives.
Your country’s primary financial backer Germany, UNESCO, the world’s scientists, multiple country Governments including the U.S., and even your own citizens are all saying no to this. Yet you continue to move forward. Therefore, I feel you have left no alternative but a formal boycott.
I am supporting a full boycott to all eco-tourism travel to Tanzania until the Government denies the building of the highway through the Serengeti.
My boycott will be passed on to all of my family, my friends, and their families. In addition, I will forward my boycott to tour operators. Nearly all species of animals and birds found in the Serengeti can be found in other areas outside of Tanzania, such as Kenya and Zambia, and this will be where I will recommend to travelers and tour operators.
The highway’s cost is estimated at $480 million dollars. With an international boycott of eco-tourism travel to your country, I believe I can help in the effort to exceed that amount in lost tourism revenues to your country.
I would not want to be the President of a country who had the citizens of the world so against its actions, they resorted to a financial sanction affecting the country’s citizens. Yet, this threat to the Serengeti cannot be allowed to happen and you have left the world with no other option but to take action by boycotting.
Do the right thing for your people, use the southern route and STOP the route through the Serengeti.
Signed, The World!