the Serengeti is in Danger!

Serengeti Highway Map

Highway Map through the Serengeti

Thanks to the Adventure Blog for calling attention to this important issue.   The Tanzanian government has approved a project to create a highway that will cut through the Serengeti National Park and potentially disrupt the ecosystem there.  Aside from bisecting the great migration of over 1.5 million zebra and wildebeest every year it would also defile one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Needless to say it breaks my heart to even think of semis gushing diesel fuel all over the flat-topped acacia trees and the noise of ongoing traffic drowning out a lions roar.  But I must confess I'm not sure exactly what to do about it.   An initiative has already been set up to save the Serengeti.  But I wonder if an online petition is the best solution. Think of this from the perspective of the local Tanzania.  While they're not likely begging for more trucks through their backyard, they do want economic development.  Over 1/3 of Tanzanians live below the poverty level and the average per-capita GDP is $1200.  Today agriculture and manufacturing make up almost 50% of Tanzania's economy and unfortunately, these products need roads to get them to market.  At the same time, tourism accounts for less than 20% of economy. To be transparent, I'm a huge proponent of social capitalism, aligning social and economic benefits for the better of all.  If we want to help Tanzania protect their natural resources for generations we need to help them build a a sustainable economy that rewards that protection.   So if you've been thinking about a visit to the Serengeti, now would be a great time!  As tourism revenues rise the government will have no choice but to protect the natural resources that attract tourists.  Other options might include sponsorships for the parks or alternate transportation proposals that don't hurt this amazing place. So please sign the petition to help save the Serengeti.  But if it's really important to you, think about how you can "vote with your dollar" to help Tanzania's economy grow in a socially responsible manner. "In accepting the trusteeship of our wildlife we solemnly declare that we will do everything in our power to make sure that our children's grand-children will be able to enjoy this rich and precious inheritance." - Dr. Julius K. Nyerere
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One Comment

  1. Bassam Imam
    May 22, 2015 | Permalink

    The Serengeti National Park and the wildlife therein, are very beautiful and important ceations of GOD.
    If the highway is built it will be catastrophic to many animals in the affected areas. Furthermore, tourism in the affected areas will likely plummet.
    This beautiful park is known throughout the entire world. Please DO NOT upset the wildlife and the countless people who love this beautiful park.

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