Tanzania, one of the seven countries forming the East African Community already has seven World Heritage Sites.
However, the new Director General for the ‘World-Wide Fund for Nature,’ Dr Kirsten Schuijt, even the vast landscapes dotting much of the Tanzania’s one million square kilometers of land also need to be treated and protected as World Heritage Sites.
Comprising of vast savannahs, bushy territories and forested areas, many of Tanzania’s landscape are still virgin lands.
According to the WWF top official, the entire world needs to start pooling in more resources for maintaining and protecting the vast landscapes of Tanzania that must be now treated as global heritage sites.
“During my visit to Tanzania I have witnessed how these landscapes not only nurture some of important indigenous plant species and wildlife but also sustain livelihoods of local communities,” pointed out the World Wide Fund for Nature’s Global Director General Dr Kirsten Schuijt.
She has promised to be the goodwill ambassador to champion for Tanzania landscapes around the world.
During her itinerary in the country, the WWF Global Director General, Schuijt, held talks with government officials on matters of environemt, among others.
She then visited the Enduimet Wildlife Management Area, in Longido District of Arusha in the Northern parts of the country, to see how local communities participate in conservation activities.
The top WWF official was impressed by how the Maasai Women were actively involved in environment protection, wildlife conservation and hatching traditional ways of averting effects of climate change in their villages.
Longido is one of the driest precincts in Tanzania yet residents of the district have managed to make it a hospitable area, which sustains life to people, their livestock as well as the abundance wildlife species found within.
Enduimet is a wildlife Managed Area (WMA) which lies in the Olmolog and Tinga Tinga wards in the West Kilimanjaro Basin of Longido District, bordering the Amboseli National Park located a stone throw away but on the Kenyan side.
“The one thing I have learned in Tanzania is how women take leading roles in conservation sectors,” she stated.
Dr Schuijt had previously also visited the Arusha National Park where she was surprised to realize that all the top management of the conservancy entity was made up of women.
“Just as we support conservation efforts, the WWF also works closely with the local community to ensure a participatory approach in environment protection,” she added.
Averting Human and Wildlife Conflicts, addressing effects of Global Warming and Climate Change are some of the issues that the WWF addresses in many of the organization’s projects being executed in Tanzania.
On his part the Manager of the Enduimet Wildlife Management Area, Igno Isaack Laitayok said the WMA is shared between eleven villages that pooled in land to form the community-based conservancy.
The villages with a population of 48,000 residents, run the WMA in association with some state entities such as the Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA) and the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA).
The Enduimet Wildlife Management Area measures 751 square kilometers.
It manages an important wildlife corridor linking Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Arusha National Park, Lake Natron Game Controlled Area and the Amboseli National Park of Kenya.