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THE TRUTH ABOUT LOLIONDO GAME CONTROLLED AREA

THE TRUTH ABOUT LOLIONDO GAME CONTROLLED AREA

Loliondo Game Controlled Area is one of the wildlife protected areas in Tanzania since 1951 with an area of 4,000 square kilometers. This is a very important strategic area for sustainable conservation and tourism development for the Great Serengeti - Mara ecosystem. The Great Serengeti-Mara ecosystem comprises of Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maswa, Kijereshi, Grumeti and Ikorongo Game Reserves, Loliondo Game Controlled Area plus Ikona and Makao Wildlife Management Areas in the Tanzanian side; and the Mara National Reserve in the Kenyan side.

The Great Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is the only remaining live wildlife migratory system in the world with a population of about 1.5 million wildebeest. The Loliondo Game Controlled area is also a key area for the Great Serengeti - Mara ecosystem as a wildlife corridor and a dispersal area for migratory wildebeest and other wildlife species.  It is also a feeding and calving ground for wildebeest and a major water catchment area for the Serengeti National Park.  This means that if the Loliondo Game Controlled Area is not well protected, the ecological integrity of the entire Great Serengeti - Mara ecosystem including the migratory system will be disrupted and eventually eliminated on the face of the Earth.  This ecosystem is also important for the tourism industry that funds conservation and other development activities for the United Republic of Tanzania and the neighbouring country.

Despite being important for conservation and tourism development, the Loliondo Game Controlled Area is currently under pressure from human social and economical development activities which threatens the survival of the Great Serengeti - Mara ecosystem.  In view of the need for space for human development activities, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania has decided to allocate 2,500 square kilometers of land for community development activities to the people living in Loliondo out of the 4,000 square kilometer of the Loliondo Game Controlled Area thereof setting aside 1,500 square kilometers for protecting the ecological dynamics of the Great Serengeti - Mara ecosystem.

It is important to note that within the 2,500 square kilometers of land spared for the community, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania is investing in improving pasture grounds, markets for livestock and investment products, plus the provision of drinking water for both people and livestock.  The Government also embarks on other social services provisions including Health and Education facilities for the communities living in the area. It is also equally important to understand that the 1,500 square kilometers which has been reserved for conservation and which borders the Serengeti National Park as it is wrongly propagated by some individuals and organizations.

The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania wishes to assure the general public and the international community that the country abides by the rule of law and it is also a party to a number of international conventions and protocols with respect to human rights.  Conservation is for the people and in this regard the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania will continue giving priority to its people above anything else.  The ongoing boundary demarcation of the 2,500 square kilometers and 1,500 square kilometers areas by implanting beacons is intended to demarcate the 1,500 square kilometers piece of land as a reserved area for conservation, for the benefit of the present and future generations not only for the United Republic of Tanzania but also for the rest of the world. 

The exercise of implanting beacons around any protected area is a normal practice for all wildlife and forest protected areas in Tanzania and is not a strange for it to be applied to the Loliondo Game Controlled Area. The fact that the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania has decided to allocate the 2,500 square kilometers out of 4000 square kilometers of protected land to the community,  testifies its commitment to its people plus human rights and community development activities as well. We therefore call upon the general public and the international community to ignore the ongoing claims by some individuals and organizations that there is an eviction exercise and an infringe of human rights taking place in the Loliondo Game Controlled Area.

 

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