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Photography in the Serengeti

13 Aug

Dear friends,

The following email was sent to me regarding the planned eviction of the Maasai tribe from the Serengeti. For those who have been lucky and privileged enough to have been to the Serengeti to take wildlife photos in future it may no longer be possible and your photos will just become a record of what used to be.

It is sad what money can do.

Middle Eastern kings and princes are about to force up to 48,000 people in Tanzania from their land to make way for corporate-sponsored big game hunting. But Tanzanian President Kikwete has shown before that he will stop deals like this when they generate negative press coverage. Click to deliver a media blitz that will push President Kikwete to stop the landgrab and save these Maasai.

At any moment, a big-game hunting corporation could sign a deal which would force up to 48,000 members of Africa’s famous Maasai tribe from their land to make way for wealthy Middle Eastern kings and princes to hunt lions and leopards. Experts say the Tanzanian President’s approval of the deal may be imminent, but if we act now, we can stop this sell-off of the Serengeti.

The last time this same corporation pushed the Maasai off their land to make way for rich hunters, people were beaten by the police, their homes were burnt to a cinder and their livestock died of starvation. But when a press controversy followed, Tanzanian President Kikwete reversed course and returned the Maasai to their land. This time, there hasn’t been a big press controversy yet, but we can change that and force Kikwete to stop the deal if we join our voices now.

If 150,000 of us sign, media outlets in Tanzania and around the world will be blitzed so President Kikwete gets the message to rethink this deadly deal. Sign the petition now and send to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_maasai_a/?bcjsnbb&v=17057

The Maasai are semi-nomadic herders who have lived in Tanzania and Kenya for centuries, playing a critical role in preserving the delicate ecosystem. But to royal families from the United Arab Emirates, they’re an obstacle to luxurious animal shooting sprees. A deal to evict the Maasai to make way for rich foreign hunters is as bad for wildlife as it is for the communities it would destroy. While President Kikwete is talking to favoured local elites to sell them on the deal as good for development, the vast majority of people just want to keep the land that they know the President can take by decree.

President Kikwete knows that this deal would be controversial with Tanzania’s tourists — a critical source of national income — and is therefore trying to keep it from the public eye. In 2009, a similar royal landgrab in the area executed by the same corporation that is swooping in this time generated global media coverage that helped to roll it back. If we can generate the same level of attention, we know the pressure can work.

A petition signed by thousands can force all the major global media bureaus in East Africa and Tanzania to blow up this controversial deal. Sign now to call on Kikwete to kill the deal:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_maasai_a/?bcjsnbb&v=17057

Representatives from the Maasai community today urgently appealed to Avaaz to raise the global alarm call and save their land. Time and again, the incredible response from this amazing community turns seemingly lost causes into legacies that last a lifetime. Lets protect the Maasai and save the animals for tourists that want to shoot them with camera lenses, rather than lethal weapons!

With hope and determination,

Sam, Meredith, Luis, Aldine, Diego, Ricken and the rest of the Avaaz team

For More Information:

The Guardian: “Tourism is a curse to us”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/06/masai-tribesman-tanzania-tourism

News Internationalist Magazine: “Hunted down”
http://www.newint.org/columns/currents/2009/12/01/tanzania/

Society for Threatened People: Briefing on the eviction of the Loliondo Maasai
http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/session12/TZ/STP-SocietyThreatenedPeople-eng.pdf

FEMACT: Report by 16 human rights investigators & media on violence in Loliondo
http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/58956/print

Voices of Loliondo: Short film from Loliondo on impact of eviction on Maasai
http://vimeo.com/35311385

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6 Comments

Posted by on 13/08/2012 in Envioronment, Photo, World happenings

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

6 responses to “Photography in the Serengeti

  1. Ruth2Day

    14/08/2012 at 05:13

    once again the innocent “man” is ousted for money. Despicable and outrageous.

     
    • paul

      14/08/2012 at 06:50

      And all the UAE wants is a place to hunt. Why do they need their own exclusive place to kill animals? No thought is given to those who will suffer due to this because in their own country they ignore anybody who isn’t born on the same level.

       
  2. tanzaniasafarigoodwill

    14/08/2012 at 16:03

    Reblogged this on tanzaniasafarigoodwill.

     
    • paul

      14/08/2012 at 18:45

      Let’s all keep praying that good sense will prevail and that the Masai people will be left alone and that the property will remain open to all to view the game and nature.

       
  3. travelerreport

    17/10/2012 at 13:47

    Arabian countries are preparing their own future. That’s all ! They don’t bother about Masaï people, cultural diversity, anthropology,…One day ( this day is not so far), there will be no more oil and gas in these countries. So they have to diversify, to find other incomes. Tourism is one possibility as well as buying agricultural lands in poor countries,…or a french football team.

     
    • paul

      26/10/2012 at 18:39

      Hopefully I wont be around when they do run out of oil.
      I prefer looking after the local tribes and their cultural diversity before considering that money can destroy everything,

       

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