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Tanzanian Elections May Result In Destruction Of Serengeti-Ecosystem

Published 02nd November 2010 - 4 comments - 2023 views -


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If you find this topic interesting, go check out the TH!NK3 platform, where Johan Knols - the chief editor of TH!NK4 platform - has a post on this very issue. Check it out here!

The Serengeti National Park is one of the most complex eco-systems on the planet. Now this hangs in the balance, as the results of the October 31st Tanzanian elections are awaited. Before the elections, current President Jakaya Kikwete, swore to uphold his promise to build a highway through the Serengeti National Park, in the attempts to deminish poverty in rural areas of the country.

However his plan may backfire. The Serengeti National Park holds some of the most impressive counts of wild life on this planet, and more than a hundred thousand tourists visit the vast unequalled plains every year. This serves as a primary source of income for a major part of the Tanzanian population, an income that may be considerably deminished if the highway becomes a reality.

Scientists warn Kikwete to go through with the plans, as it is not only a threat to the tourism industry, but more importantly poses a great threat to the wild life on the plains and the balance of this giant of eco-systems.

When asked about the impact of this decision in an interview to the New York Times, Salvator Rweyemamu, spokesperson to President Kikwete, answered thus: 'The decision's been made. If this government comes back into power - and we will - the road will be built. You guys (westerners, red.) always talk about animals, but we need to think about people.' 

And this is the problem of  Environmental and Climate Politics in a nutshell: Politicians run for re-election, and to be re-elected they need to be popular. And to be popular, they need to give the people what they want. And what people want is immediate action and wealth. And climate and environmental progression takes time - too much time to see immediate result within a political term. What to do about this? I hope there are some people out there, smarter than me, who will be able to figure that one out.

To read a comprehensive article on the issue in the New York Times, click here

Category: Animal Kingdom, | Tags:


Johan Knols / Editor-in-Chief on 04th November 2010:

Hello Line,

As a participant in ‘TH!NK3:Development’, I also wrote about the Serengeti highway, just after the plans became known to the world. You can have a look:

If you are interested, there is a very active Facebook group called: Stop the Serengeti Highway. Here is there link:!/pages/STOP-THE-SERENGETI-HIGHWAY/125601617471610

Johan Knols / Editor-in-Chief on 04th November 2010:

No reason to worry.
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