Tanzania is in the verge of getting its second Global Geopark site, geological heritage feature to be located at the foot of the country’s second highest peak, the Mount Meru.
To operate within the Arusha National Park, it will also be the third Geopark on the Continent.
“We are finalizing processes to have the new Geopark established inside the Arusha National Park,” the Assistant Commissioner of Conservation, Yustina Kiwango, who commands the Arusha National Park stated.
Conservator Kiwango said negotiations between the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, regarding the proposed site were on advanced stages of acceptance.
The first Global Geopark to be designated by UNESCO in Africa was the M’Goun of Morocco.
Tanzania established the first Geopark in Sub-Saharan Region back in 2014, through the Ngorongoro-Lengai Global Geopark is so far one of the only two such sites on the continent.
If all goes as planned therefore, the Meru Geopark is going to become the third on the continent and the second in East Africa.
Should it be endorsed, then Tanzania will set the record of being the only country in Africa which so far has two Global Geoparks.
Some of the outstanding geological features driving the proposed Geopark in the Arusha National Park, include Tanzania’s second highest peak, the Mount Meru, with its dormant stratovolcano.
There is also the Ngurdoto Crater and a series of Momella Lakes not to mention ancient trees.
But already also waiting in line is the proposed Baringo Great Rift Valley Geopark, Kenya’s maiden entry but which is yet to be approved.
But how many Geoparks are there in the World? So far there are 177 UNESCO Global Geoparks that are found in 46 countries on the sphere.
Meanwhile the new WWF International Director General, Dr Kirsten Schuijt has just paid a visit to the Arusha National Park during her itinerary in Tanzania.
The WWF top official assured that her organization will continue to support Tanzania’s conservation efforts that also entail community development.
Dr Schuijt who toured the Arusha National Park said she was clearly impressed by the ANAPA management of the conservancy despite that fact that the reserve happens to be an island in the middle of a vast sea of human settlements and activities.
“The Arusha National Park is the highlight of our visit in Tanzania,” the WWF International Director stated, shortly after her game drive in ANAPA.
“Just as we support conservation efforts, the WWF also work closely with local community to ensure participatory approach in environment protection,” she added.