September 2013 
Serengeti Highway Court Case


Legal Case Photo

The court case against the Serengeti highway being heard in the East African Court of Justice took another step toward resolution. 


On August 20, 2013, EACJ resumed its 3rd Quarter session hearing testimony from witnesses for and against the highway.


The government of Tanzania had three witnesses. The African Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW), which brought the case, presented one, from Kenya. 


Serengeti Watch contacted dozens of organizations and more than three hundred experts in an attempt to find expert witnesses. No one came forward. Clearly it would have meant serious repercussions in their ability to enter, work or remain in Tanzania in the future. No one was prepared to take this risk.  Read more on witnesses and the case.


Yet ANAW remains optimistic. Read their report here.  The court directed that ANAW file their written submissions by October 10th, and the Tanzania government by November 15. We'll keep you posted.


Road Construction To Begin Around Serengeti


Paved roads on both sides of the Serengeti, connecting Arusha with the Lake Victoria region, are in final stages of planning. Contractors have been selected and the government of Tanzania has funds in its  2013-2014 Budget.


The roads will not be built within the Serengeti National Park itself, but they will border it and cross areas where large numbers of wildebeest and zebras migrate. Wildlife will be forced to cross tarmac roads with commercial traffic, including the Wildlife Management Area in Loliondo.


The government says it will not tarmac the 53 kilometer section crossing the Serengeti National Park to connect the new paved roads. But whether this section will be upgraded for more traffic or eventually paved remains to be seen.  The road currently crossing the park is a seasonal dirt track.


More reading;






Wildlife Poaching in Tanzania


Poaching in Africa has reached unprecedented levels, especially in Tanzania. 


The United Nations has just released an extensive report 

Transnational Organized Crime in Eastern Africa: A Threat Assessment 

It shows Tanzania as the leading source of blood ivory.

Ivory Trade in Africa


The Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators  (TATO) recently presented these shocking figures:
  • Over the last 10 years 1/3rd of Tanzania's elephants have been slaughtered
  • 20 elephants were killed in the last 2nd quarter of 2013 in Tanzania's protected Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
  • One prominent Tanzanian Game Reserve and a National Park have lost 42% of its elephant population over the last 10 years, amounting to a staggering count of 31,348 carcasses.
  • 10,000 elephants are killed annually.




Obama Issues Executive Order on Wildlife Trafficking


During his visit to Tanzania in July, President Obama brought up the issue of poaching, saying "The entire world has a stake in making sure that we preserve Africa's beauty for future generations." 


More importantly, he issued an Executive Order that represents a major new initiative against wildlife trafficking.


Calling it an escalating international crisis, the Executive Order states that "it is in the national interest of the United States to combat wildlife trafficking,"  It directs a...


National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking and a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking to be co-chaired by the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Interior, and the Attorney General (Co-Chairs), or their designees, who shall report to the President through the National Security Advisor.


"It's decimating the populations of some of Africa's iconic animals, including rhinoceros and elephants as well," said Grant Harris, the senior director for Africa on the National Security Council. "One thing we have been doing so far is raising the global profile of how bad this issue is," Mr. Harris said.


The State Department will provide $10 million for training and technical assistance to aide South Africa, Kenya and other nations, while the Interior Department will "enhance" regulations that address illegal trafficking, the White House said.


Read more


Washington Post



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