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Tanzania : stop the eviction of the Maasai from Ngorongoro !

D 15 septembre 2021     H 05:00     A     C 0 messages

Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater is renowned the world over for its wildlife and as the home of the indigenous Maasai people. To promote tourism, the government wants to enlarge the protected area – and evict more than 80,000 people, mostly indigenous Maasai. We cannot accept gross human rights violations under the guise of conservation.

Call to action

To : Mechtild Rössler, Director, UNESCO World Heritage Center ; Samia Suluhu Hassan, Her Excellency the President of the United Republic of Tanzania

“Stop the eviction of the Maasai people under the guise of conservation.”

For generations, the indigenous Maasai people have lived alongside the rich wildlife of Tanzania’s Ngorongoro and Serengeti. With their way of life – mainly animal husbandry and agriculture for self-sufficiency – the semi-nomadic pastoralists have preserved nature and acted as the guardians of the savannah.

Thanks to its largely intact nature, UNESCO declared the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) a World Heritage Site in 1979. But while environmentalists and travelers celebrate the NCA for its biodiversity, the Maasai face untold hardship : their homeland is about to be taken away from them and their livelihoods destroyed under the guise of conservation.

Following criticism of the state of the World Heritage Site in an inquiry initiated by UNESCO, Tanzania’s government has prepared a land use model and resettlement plan that would trample the rights of the local people : The package would enlarge the territory in which the Maasai are not allowed to graze their cattle, cultivate crops or settle.

More than 80,000 people are to be displaced, writes the Oakland Institute in its study, "The Looming Threat of Eviction". 42,000 are expected to leave the NCA “voluntarily” because of their precarious living conditions – yet the government has contributed to this very poverty.

The Maasai warn that the plans will exacerbate dispossession, malnutrition and hunger.

While the measures are to be realized under the pretext of nature conservation, the Oakland Institute states that the real reason is to generate more revenue from tourism.

The Maasai and other residents are calling on President Samia Suluhu Hassan to drop the plans to evict them. Now they are asking for international support.

The protection of human rights and the conservation of nature are not mutually exclusive. Please sign our petition and speak out for the Maasai.

Source from https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/petitions/1242/tanzania-stop-the-eviction-of-the-maasai-from-ngorongoro