Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
The Committee noted that the state of conservation of this site has not been assessed since its inscription in 1981 and was pleased to note several improvements to the site effected by the Tanzanian National Park Authority (TANAPA); e.g. a management plan has been prepared and is now under implementation; work on a new and creative visitor-education centre is nearing completion; roads and other infrastructure have been upgraded; and long-term wildlife census, research and monitoring projects continue to operate. However, the Committee recognized that several threats to Serengeti's integrity prevail; subsistence poaching has reached commercial levels resulting from a growing demand for meat and leading to significant reductions in wildlife populations. The rapidly growing human population (1.2 million at present) resident near the western boundary of the Park and adjacent buffer zone pose an ever-increasing demand for wildlife resources of Serengeti and expose wildlife to risk of transmission of disease from domestic stock and dogs. Poorly designed ad-hoc tourism development projects, introduced into Serengeti without consultation with the TANAPA, should be discouraged. Coordination with the trans-border Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya needs to be strengthened.
The Committee requested that the Centre write to the Tanzanian National Park Authorities (TANAPA) commending them for the improvements that they have implemented for the management of Serengeti. At the same time the Committee suggested that TANAPA be alerted to threats to the integrity of Serengeti due to growing human population near Serengeti's borders, increased demand and poaching for meat and ad-hoc tourism development projects. The Committee also suggested that the Centre contact the Kenyan authorities and request them to consider nominating the Masai Mara Reserve as an extension of the Serengeti World Heritage site.