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Will Tanzania really build road of mass destruction?
Media and people around the world are taking part in the heated discussion about a possible and extremely controversial new road through the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The road would in reality cut off vital migration routes (see some migration maps on this site) within the Serengeti Mara ecosystem, and will as such be a disaster both from an environmental perspective and for the tourism revenue both Tanzania and Kenya are so dependent upon. It will also affect the situation for elephants, and obviously have a major impact on Kenyas Maasai Mara National Reserve.
It is hard to imagine that the Tanzanian government, despite recent statements, will continue to move forward on this with open eyes, especially when there is an attractive, alternative route for a new and much needed highway link between Lake Victoria and Arusha. While not ideal, this road does not pass through world famous and World Heritage Site Serengeti. It does not help the government that the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (1,8mb) prepared for Tanzania National Roads Agency seem to be a very superficial document.
If the Tanzanian government continue to move forward with this road of mass destruction, we believe they strongly will regret it. We know that a huge number of institutions, organizations and individuals are trying to help the authorities to see and understand what is at stake - and we keep hoping that facts and respect for one of Tanzanias most important assetts will prevail. ElephantVoices obviously support all efforts trying to get the authorities to change their initial decision, and urge others with influence to contribute.
Numerous media articles and other sources of information about the proposed road can be found through a Google search, and many also through the Facebook page Stop the Serengei Highway. Here are a few direct links well worth checking out:
- Press release by Frankfurt Zoological Society (15th June 2010) - The proposed Serengei commercial road
- Opinionator Blog New York Times (15th June 2010) - Road Kill in the Serengeti?
- Editor David Brauns NatGeo News Watch (18th June 2010) - The Serengeti road to disaster
Tony Sinclair and Kristine Metzger from University of British Columbia, Canada, Biodiversity Research Centre, have put together this short and educational presentation regarding the consequences of constructing a major highway through the northern part of the Serengeti National Park.
You will on YouTube find an amazing number of films, video clips and slide shows from Serengeti - one of the wonders of the world. The above is made and posted by Bill Cowger - "Serengeti Mega Herd Migration Scenes". The one below is posted by timsmithdv.