Tanzania: Government unrelenting on parceling out Maasai land in Loliondo

The government of Tanzania, through the Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Hon Ramadhan Mwinyi, during the Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues in New York, delivered a firm stand on their action to parcel out huge chunks of pastoral land for wildlife conservancy.

"The government took this decision with the understanding that environment conservation is as important for eco-system protection as it is for community livelihood and development," Mwinyi said.

In April this year, the Tourism Minister announced plans to restrict access to 1,500 square kilometres of green land that borders the Serengeti national park from pastoralists.

Minority Rights Group International warned that if the government went ahead with the plan it risked harming the lives of thousands of Maasai living in Loliondo.

In the new arrangement, the Dubai–based hunting company called Otterlo Business Corporation (OBC). which has been operating in the area for over two decades, will be allocated 1,500 square kilometres, of the newly designated area, while the community, through a government-led programme, would divide among themselves 2,500 square kilometres. The giveaway effectively reduces community land by about 40 per cent.

Click on the link below to download the Government of Tanzania's statement at the UN.

Photo: Maasai community village meeting in Loliondo

Credit: MRG

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Date: 28/05/2013

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Tanzania

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