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Stop the Serengetti Highway

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Laikipia on Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:36 pm

Latest from AWF

AWF Reinforces Position on Serengeti Highway: Road Alignment Must Fall Beyond Boundaries of the Park
Jul 16, 2010
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No Mere Refinement of the Current Road Design Could Possibly Mitigate What Is a Fundamentally Flawed Idea

Nearly a month after issuing a Position Statement opposing the construction of a highway through Serengeti National Park, AWF has been joined by a growing number of local and international organizations expressing concern over the environmental impacts of the proposed road.

The highway as currently proposed would cut through the northern part of the park, severing a critical corridor for the annual migration of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra, a phenomenon aptly called one of the ‘greatest spectacles on earth.’ AWF believes such a road would negatively impact conservation, wildlife and human security, and park revenues. Most importantly, the road would mar a national and global asset in which the rule of nature still prevails and the footprint of human activities is hardly visible.

AWF continues to urge the Government of Tanzania to consider alternative proposals that would leave the ecosystem of this treasured national park intact. Additionally, it contends that the government’s election commitments to advance the economic development of the region are better met by leveraging rather than fragmenting this global asset. AWF's Maasai Steppe Heartland Director, Dr. Steven Kiruswa states “I believe that the best way for Tanzania to conserve the Serengeti as a world-renowned national park is to avoid any development that would interfere with its critical corridor for wildlife seasonally moving between Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. No amount of care in constructing a commercial road in a unique ecosystem such as the Serengeti would ever leave it the same again. It is therefore imperative that an alternative route must be considered to fulfill the good and rightful intentions of the government of Tanzania to provide better roads to underserved communities in remote districts such as Loliondo and Mugumu."

To further build global understanding of the ecological dangers associated with the proposed highway, AWF CEO, Dr. Patrick Bergin recently visited the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, to deliver AWF's position on the proposed road and to consult with the IUCN Director General about how the proposed road might affect Serengeti National Park's status as a World Heritage site.

AWF continues to consult with other conservation organizations, tourism companies, and public agencies to spread awareness and understanding about the road proposal, and is supporting efforts now under way to form a Tanzanian-NGO-led coalition to work with the government on alternative proposals.

A longtime partner of Tanzania and a well-established global leader in conservation, AWF continues to monitor official government statements about the plans for the highway. Although general assurances are being given that the road will be built in a way that addresses wildlife concerns, AWF believes no mere refinement of the current road design could mitigate what is a fundamentally flawed idea -- a commercial road through the Serengeti.

Fully acknowledging the need to balance good conservation planning with economic development, AWF has urged that the Government of Tanzania reject the road proposal, and offered alternative route recommendations that would achieve similar commercial goals without degrading the park. Alternative highway routes posed by AWF experts can be viewed at www.awf.org/serengeti.


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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  littlewid on Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:45 pm

Lets hope they listen Lai and for once make a sensible and right decision for the animals and the environment and not one based on greed through money. The decision may already be made in principle but lets hope that AWF and other organisations have a louder and more correct voice.

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Laikipia on Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:00 pm

From Lions on FB a youtube video which explains the second option.


http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lions/169946721665

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Laikipia on Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:26 pm

Update from Save the Serengeti


Campaign to stop the Serengeti highway

Dear Serengeti Supporter,

Thanks for being patient. We appreciate your support! We've been pushing hard, both behind the scenes and publicly. Here's an update...

The word is that no further decision will be made until after Tanzanian elections on October 31. At the moment, there is little publicity or dissent in Tanzania. People are afraid to speak out in an election year. But our petitions, Facebook supporters, and web site are having an impact. The government has definitely heard us!

We're circulating the economic impact statement in Tanzania, showing the devastating effect the highway will have on the tourist industry and economy. This has already reached several decision makers. Tanzanian tourism associations will use it to make their case at an upcoming hearing.

We're accelerating our media campaign now, recently sending out hundreds of press releases to news organizations and journalists. We're making some progress, but are surprised that major news organizations have been slow to cover this story. If you have contacts or are a journalist, let us know.

We have plans for the next phase of our campaign - we're pushing hard for an alternate southern route. See our website for more on this.

Wisconsin residents: Contact your Senator, Russ Feingold, Chairman of the Sub-committee on Africa in the Foreign Relations Committee. Let him know about this issue, urge him to ask the government of Tanzania to choose an alternate route, and ask him to help find funding for it. Contact him here.
Please let us know what you hear from him.

Next steps: We'll be contacting international scientists to solicit their support. And we will be petitioning lending institutions like the World Bank and USAID to help as well.

We're also joining forces with another nonprofit that will allow us to take donations for this cause. And also have a more public face.

We'll win this fight if we work together. But be sure that it won't end with this highway. There are more threats on the horizon.

In the meantime, please continue to spread the word.

Again, thanks for your support! And stay tuned.

Save the Serengeti Team
info@savetheserengeti.org


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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  littlewid on Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:03 pm

Thank you for posting that Lai, they are working hard aren't they and I am so pleased the support is there for them, its good the government is hearing them but a shame all is really on hold until after the election. I do wonder what else is in store though, it sounds ominous doesnt it.
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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Laikipia on Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:14 pm

There are daily reports on it Littlewid - it's certainly getting coverage, but that doesnt mean a positive outcome sadly.

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  littlewid on Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:32 pm

We just have to hope that all the support works in their favour and that the Government are truely listening. Elections always seem to pop up when decisions like this need to be made and as they say, no-one will speak out during an election but then is that a good thing to give more time to gather the evidence they need as to why it should not happen or is it in the favour of the Government to stick their heels in? not very well put but my brain is a little frazzled this evening, sorry Lai.
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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  whitestarling on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:25 am

I got the email yesterday, but unfortunatley my internet connection went down. Thanks for putting it up Lai.It does seem to be an opportunity for someone to make an issue out of it, the problem is do the voters care enough, and if so which way would they vote do voters in the Citys, and big Towns realise the benifits that their wildlife, and ecosysytems bring to their Country
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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Laikipia on Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:04 pm

True WS -

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Laikipia on Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:32 am

From Jonathan and Angie's blog

Serengeti Highway – Latest
Published by Jonathan and Angie under Uncategorized

We know that many of you are concerned about the proposed ‘Serengeti Highway’ as it has become known. Just as we leave for the Mara we recieved the following from a friend working with the Zoological Society of London. As far as we know this is a joint Press Release from ZSC and World Conservation Society (WCS).

Proposed public road through the Serengeti

The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is a unique wilderness harbouring perhaps the most

spectacular terrestrial wildlife migration on earth. Its great significance has been recognized

through its designation both as a national park in Tanzania and as a UNESCO World Heritage

site. Tanzania has previously had an outstanding record of commitment to biodiversity

conservation, and the Serengeti is one of four UNESCO world heritage nature reserves in the

country. However this internationally significant and unique wildlife heritage is currently

threatened by a proposal to construct a new public road through the park. This road would

bisect the north of the park, and carry commercial traffic directly through the annual

migration of nearly two million wildebeest and zebra.

ZSL fully recognizes that Tanzania’s people have a right to improvements in infrastructure,

which would provide people and industries with greater access to markets and productive

resources, thereby promoting economic growth and development. We also agree that

infrastructure development between the East African coast and Lake Victoria is much

needed. We are, however, extremely concerned by the location of the proposed road, which

we believe will adversely impact the wilderness values for which the Serengeti is globally

renowned. Public roads through protected areas can have catastrophic effects on wildlife

and seriously degrade the environment. The proposed Serengeti road will pass through the

dry season migration route of nearly two million animals, and will inevitably result in large

numbers of wildlife and human casualties. The Serengeti is critically important for attracting

wildlife tourism to Tanzania which generates a substantial proportion of the country’s

foreign revenue, and hence degradation of the Serengeti could also result in potentially

serious economic costs to Tanzania. ZSL believes that alternative routes passing south of the

Serengeti protected area system, such as those recommended by FZS and AWF, would allow

Tanzania to improve its infrastructure without compromising the unique biodiversity values

of the Serengeti.

The proposed road through the

Serengeti national park will be

routed through mostly arid and

undeveloped areas close to the

Kenyan border, as well as

through the Park (Map A). This

route would connect relatively

few agricultural areas and

industries and would not only

disrupt the park, but also other

important and ecologically

sensitive habitats, such as Lake

Natron (a RAMSAR site).

However, a new road passing

south of the Serengeti would not

only provide the same regional

linkages between the coast and

the lake, but would pass

through some of Tanzania’s

most productive agricultural

land, enabling access for many

more people. It would therefore

provide greater development

benefits as well as have less

impact on wildlife (Map B).

We therefore respectfully ask

the Tanzanian government to

reconsider the proposed public

road through the Serengeti on the following grounds:

1. The inherent value of the Serengeti as an intact wilderness

A commercial public road through one of the world’s most spectacular ecosystems will

degrade the value of the Serengeti as an intact wilderness. The Serengeti is a World Heritage

site – the proposed public road would clearly not satisfy operational guideline 119 ‘The State

Party and partners must ensure that … sustainable use does not adversely impact the

outstanding universal value, integrity and/or authenticity of the property.’

2. Impact of the road on the spectacular Serengeti migration and associated biodiversity

The Serengeti harbours one of the world’s last remaining large mammal migrations, in which

nearly two million animals move from the south and east of the park north into Kenya.

When the migration passes through an area there is a constant stream of wildebeest and

zebra, and it can take days for the animals to pass. It is easy to imagine the carnage of

animals if this migration intersects with a trans‐Africa highway. The Serengeti is also home to

some of the world’s most significant large carnivore populations, including one of the

world’s largest cheetah populations in a protected area. Roads have been identified as a

threat to cheetah in the regional conservation strategy for this species, whilst any loss or

reduction in the migration would have impacts on the populations of all large carnivores.

3. Impact of the road on road accidents and human fatalities

Tanzania already has one of the highest rates of human fatalities from road accidents in

Africa, and this road will only serve to make this regrettable statistic worse. A road crossing

an ecosystem harbouring some of the highest large mammal densities in the world will result

in collisions between vehicles and animals, and will inevitably lead to considerable and

unacceptable levels of human fatalities. Fencing will be the only way to reduce human

fatalities. However, fencing would cut off access for the migratory animals to the critically

important dry season water resources supplied by the Mara River. Fencing is known to have

led to the collapse of another spectacular migration of wildebeest in the Kalahari, and

would, in all likelihood, also lead to the demise of the Serengeti migration.

Impact of the road on illegal resource extraction

All across the world, increased access provided by roads has been demonstrated to result in

increases in illegal resource extraction. This is particularly significant in areas of high

biodiversity, and can have catastrophic results. The Serengeti already suffers from increasing

impacts of illegal bushmeat extraction on its boundaries, and a public road through it will

further exacerbate these impacts.

4. Overall impact of the road on Tanzania’s economy

Any loss of the migration or reduction in large carnivore biodiversity caused by the road will

threaten the tourism income of both Tanzania and Kenya, with consequent impacts on

economic growth of both countries. Tourism makes a significant contribution to the

Tanzanian economy, comprising 25% of Tanzania’s total foreign revenue in 2005. The

Serengeti ecosystem is Tanzania’s number one attraction because of its famous migration,

and hence any degradation of this ecosystem would have significant impacts on Tanzania’s

economy as well as its biodiversity.

5. Impact of the road on Tanzania’s neighbour, Kenya

Any development affecting the Serengeti ecosystem will have impacts on its neighbour,

Kenya, which harbours the Mara River which provides the water source that drives the

migration. A reduction in the migration in the Serengeti would lead to impacts on the Maasai

Mara and bordering wildlife areas, with consequent impacts on tourism and the Kenyan

economy.

6. The existence of a viable alternative southern route which could provide more benefits

to people

There is a viable alternative route to the south, and this option needs to be explored fully.

The southern route passes through an area which is much more densely populated and

harbours many more important agricultural areas, than the proposed Serengeti route (Map

B). A road through this region would provide farmers with better access to markets, where

they can sell and access agricultural goods at competitive prices. A road that can provide this

access to more people, in addition to providing the much needed linkages between the coast

and Lake Victoria, will have a greater overall impact on Tanzania’s economic development.

Any road between the East African coast and Lake Victoria will provide an important

alternative route between the coast and Africa’s hinterland. It will therefore attract heavy

commercial vehicles, and traffic is likely to be substantial. ZSL fully supports Tanzania’s

endeavours to improve its infrastructure and develop linkages between the coast and its

interior and with its neighbours. However, the Serengeti ecosystem is one of Tanzania’s

most valuable and spectacular natural assets, and therefore ZSL opposes a public road

through the Serengeti, and supports the development of alternative routes passing to the

south of the Serengeti ecosystem. ZSL believes that Tanzania can improve its infrastructure

while continuing to safeguard its biodiversity, thereby deriving greater economic benefit

overall.


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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Doogs on Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:38 pm

Let's hope common sense prevails and an 'alternative' route can be agreed.

It actually makes me quite squeemish (not sure if that's spelt right) to think of a road like this going through the Serengeti and the amount of human and animal fatalities there will be. It's bad enough on our roads seeing 'road kill' at the side, rabbits, birds etc but the sight of zebra, wildebeest or worse still our beloved big cats would just be heartbreaking Crying or Very sad Sad
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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Laikipia on Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:11 pm

So true - the campaign is going full pace now, lots of media coverage all over the world so let's hope it isn't too late.

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  littlewid on Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:55 pm

This is so worrying isn't it and it is running at full speed now. I found this little bit as well today about it, it also has a gorgeous picture of two beautiful Zebra.

Thanks for posting all that Lai.

http://news.aol.co.uk/world-news/story/call-over-serengeti-road-plans/1234676

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Doogs on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:53 pm

That is a lovely picture LW I love you I love how their manes are also striped !
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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Laikipia on Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:41 am

Lovely photo Littlewid - let's hope everyone gets involved and realises what will happen if we don't stop it.

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  littlewid on Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:44 pm

I think they are and will gather lots of support Lai, I just hope that they are listened too, otherwise it is going to have a massive devastating effect that could potentially never be turned around once they realise their big mistake.
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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  whitestarling on Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:41 pm

Just got this from Wildlife Extra its a petition that has been started that we can sign, but I'm not sure if its one we have already done ?


The Link is
http://www.change.org/petitions/view/stop_the_serengeti_highway

If we havent I'll start a new thread and put a Button on the home page what do you think Guys
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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Laikipia on Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:22 pm

Just had a look WS and i've already signed this so am supposing others may have too, as Anne-Marie put it on originally.

Might be better if it stays under this thread otherwise we will get very confused scratch

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Laikipia on Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:23 pm

WS - see page 1 of this thread

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  whitestarling on Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:17 pm

confused confused scratch scratch Cant count that high
WS lol!
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BBC News Africa

Post  Laikipia on Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:45 pm

Scientists urge rethink of Serengeti road plans

The scientists say the Serengeti's ecosystem is driven by migration
A group of scientists has appealed against a road planned in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, saying it would cause an environmental disaster.

Writing in the journal Nature, the 27 scientists said the road would curtail wildebeest migration, with knock-on effects on the area's ecosystem.

The migration of the wildebeest was the "largest remaining migratory system on Earth", they said.

The scientists proposed an alternative road running to the south of the park.

Pressure to start building the 50km (31-mile) stretch of road through the north of the Serengeti has increased ahead of elections in Tanzania next month, said the appeal, which was published in Thursday's edition of Nature.

It attributed this in part to growing economic interest in central African mineral wealth.

The road would be part of a long-planned link between Tanzania's coast and Lake Victoria, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The scientists said that according to a simulation, the road would cause the wildebeest population to fall from 1.3 million to fewer than 300,000.

"The proposed road could lead to the collapse of the largest remaining migratory system on Earth - a system that drives Tanzania's tourism trade and supports thousands of people," the appeal said.

"Such a collapse would be exceedingly regrettable for a country that has consistently been a world leader in conservation."

The Serengeti National Park is listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11328944

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  whitestarling on Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:50 pm

The question is will all this pressure have any effect on Election Candidates. You can see the problem a mile away. Does the candidate promise economical wealth, or a wealthier Animal, and habitat country.
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Now the Telegraph has woken up

Post  Guest on Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:05 pm

Tanzania's Serengeti National Park facing 'collapse' due to highway plans

One of world's last great wildlife sanctuaries, the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, would be destroyed by plans to build a highway through it, experts have warned...


Read full article here...

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Safari Maiden on Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:33 pm

The thing is if nothing can be done from external forces and persuasion then anything Biologists or UNESCO say has no sway and the governments plans will not change.

How do you deal with a force that you can not deal with?

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

Post  Laikipia on Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:35 pm

You have to keep trying and never give up

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Re: Stop the Serengetti Highway

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