More than 50 years ago the first President of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, recognized the integral part that wildlife plays in the country. In September 1961, at a symposium on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, he gave a speech that has become known as the Arusha Manifesto:
“The survival of our wildlife is a matter of grave concern to all of us in Africa. These wild creatures amid the wild places they inhabit are not only important as a source of wonder and inspiration, but are an integral part of our natural resources and our future livelihood and wellbeing.
In accepting the trusteeship of our wildlife we solemnly declare that we will do everything in our power to make sure that our grandchildren will be able to enjoy this rich and precious inheritance.
The conservation of wildlife and wild places calls for specialist knowledge, trained manpower, and money, and we look to other nations to cooperate with us in this important task – the success or failure of which not only affects the continent of Africa but the rest of the world as well.”
The situation was crystal clear to local leaders 50 years ago and it’s haunting to read how prophetic Tanzania’s manifesto was in the midst of the regional crisis today. Of course, it’s not just about wildlife. It’s not just about Africa. It’s about biodiversity and sustainability of the human race. Nyerere spoke for the world.
We don’t have time to waste. Momentum is building against the web of life and we have an unprecedented chance to draw a line in the dirt in Africa. Some courageous visionaries in Kenya and Tanzania have stepped up with comprehensive plans that can make a difference. With your help, they are ready to make a difference that can span the globe in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and beyond.
To learn more, please click on the link on the menu bar “East Africa Plan.” If you can, please help us network to find foundations, corporations and NGOs who are ready to fund these projects and others in Africa.
These projects have all been developed by local NGOs in collaboration with government, technical experts and community members. They are determined to make a difference for their own survival and that of future generations. Please take a look. They have done a very impressive job of designing comprehensive, sustainable solutions that can help us tackle some of the planet’s most pressing problems.