Earth Island Institute is proud to welcome one of our newest projects, Serengeti Watch, a grassroots effort to stop the construction of a devastating highway that would cut through unique Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
The Serengeti grasslands, a UNESCO World Heritage site, host the largest animal migration in the world. Every spring, nearly two million wildebeests, antelope, and zebras travel several hundred miles south across the Serengeti in search of greener pastures. In October, they return to the north. This spectacular “Great Migration” is considered one of the natural wonders of the world. But now the Tanzanian government plans to build a national highway through the Serengeti that would bisect the migration route and cause incalculable damage to an ecosystem that has been largely undisturbed so far.
The highway proposal isn’t the first lethal threat against the Serengeti, and it won’t be the last. In fact, a highway has been proposed twice before. Serengeti Watch’s mission is to head off this current threat as well as other perils, such as organized poaching, a large international airport, unchecked tourism development, and growing population pressures. It plans to do this by building a strong coalition of world supporters, travelers, tour guides, and local communities that would collaborate on conservation advocacy.
Serengeti Watch will also focus on building a model of sustainable tourism. One of its programs involves organizing the international travel industry and travelers themselves into a permanent source of advocacy and conservation funding. Another important goal is to nurture a spirit of conservation in Tanzania by building local capacity to produce conservation media. Learn about how you can get involved at: savetheserengeti.org.
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