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MEP praises cancellation of Serengeti Highway

Environmental campaigner Catherine Bearder MEP has praised the decision of the Tanzanian government to cancel the construction of a controversial highway across the Serengeti National Park.

key_tacklewildlife.pngThe decision comes on the day the East African Court of Justice was meant to examine a legal objection to the highway that stated the proposed route would have contravened the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community.

The highway route, proposed by the Tanzanian President, would have cut across the historic wildebeest migration, threatening the survival of the region's rich biodiversity. The proposals had been widely condemned by ecologists and environmental experts.

Responding to the announcement Catherine commented:

"I am delighted the Tanzanian Government has decided to look at alternative routes for the highway."

"The route proposed for the road would have devastated one of the world's most precious ecosystems. It would have led to an ecological disaster - this cannot be understated."

"But the fight to protect biodiversity is far from over. We must all keep up the pressure to ensure Africa's wildlife is not threatened from economic development and human encroachment."

The international community had put significant pressure on the Tanzanian Government to abandon the proposal and examine alternative routes.

Both the World Bank and the German Government had made offers to fund studies into an alternative route.

Catherine asked a Parliamentary Question to the European Commission about the EU's position on the highway. To see the question please click here.

To see Commissioner Piebalgs answer to Catherine Parliamentary Question please click here.

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