A Documentary about the Serengeti National Park, the proposed Serengeti Highway, and Tanzanian's Right to Deal With Conservation and Environmental Issues Based On Their Own Needs.
A New Path for the Serengeti came about as the result of an email from a cousin in Norway. In the email the cousin mentioned that he would be spending the next year in the Serengeti. This might have seemed strange except the cousin was Dr. Eivin Roskaft, head of the biology department at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway and a specialist in Conservation Biology and Biodiversity in carnivores and other species. It was then that I first learned of the proposed Serengeti Highway that would bisect the Serengeti National Park, cutting across the path of one of the greatest migrations in the world, the annual migration of more than one million wildebeests and more than a quarter million zebras, impala, and other animals.
As I researched what was happening in the Serengeti National Park I discovered there was a much deeper story to be told. While scientists, conservationists, and environmentalists around the world are concerned that such a road would have devastating affects on the ecosystem of the Serengeti National Park there are numerous other threats, including population growth, widespread poverty, climate change, and deforestation. There are even those who feel the road that cuts through the wildebeest calving area is a much greater threat than the proposed highway in the north. The more I read, the more convinced I became that the threats to the Serengeti National Park and its entire ecosystem was a story that needed to be told.
A New Path for the Serengeti covers the road controversy and the other threats facing the Serengeti National Park from the point-of-view of Tanzanian scientists and environmentalists. But more importantly it tells how the Tanzanian people themselves are taking control of their own conservation and environmental destiny.
For years international scientists and environmentalists have voiced their opinions on how third-world countries such as Tanzania should maintain and conserve their natural resources. But these solutions put forth by international scientists are often times based on their own culture and rational and do not take into account the needs and culture of the indigenous people of the various regions.
A New Path for the Serengeti takes a close look at how the people of Tanzania, especially the Tanzanian-trained scientists and conservationists, are taking the lead in the effort to ensure the vitality of the Serengeti’s ecosystem and biodiversity as well as the other national parks and protected areas. The entire story is told from the Tanzanian point-of-view. You’ll hear from people like those who work for the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) who are leading the charge for self-determination. They tell the story behind their research and efforts to save and reintroduce the African Wild Dogs within the Serengeti National Park. You’ll hear from some Tanzanian scientists who believe there are outside researchers who still come to Tanzania with a “colonial attitude.” They believe such international researchers come to increase their prestige in the eyes of peers without any thought of training Tanzanians so they can oversee their own research and conservation issues. But at the same time the documentary covers the successful collaboration with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) who has contributed too much of the capacity building within Tanzania. They have worked to help many Tanzanians acquire the degrees and education necessary for the Tanzanians to develop solutions for biodiversity conservation based on the needs of their people and provide the information required to allow the powers that be to make informed decisions on how to conserve natural resources while improving the socio-economic prospects for their people. It’s a true success story!
After watching this documentary it’s our hope that it will inspire people like you to consider ways to get involved and help Tanzania to succeed in their efforts to manage and conserve their natural resources while improving the economic well-being of their people. By helping to ensure this park’s precious and irreplaceable ecosystem and helping improve the lives of the Tanzanian people, you’ll be playing an important part in building a New Path for the Serengeti.