Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Concern over Serengeti road plans

A group of scientists writing in the journal Nature has appealed against a road planned in the Serengeti National Park, saying it would cause an environmental disaster and curtail wildebeest migration. The migration of the wildebeest was the "largest remaining migratory system on Earth", they said.

Instead, the scientists have proposed an alternative road running to the south of the park. However, there has been pressure to start building the 50km stretch of road through the north of the Serengeti due to increasing economic interest in central African mineral wealth. The planned road would form part of a link between Tanzania's coast and Lake Victoria, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"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.

Buying pieces of rainforest through organisations such as the World Land Trust is one way of helping to protect rainforests and wildlife habitats threatened by so-called ‘economic development’.

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