Legal action against the Serengeti highway in the East African Court of Justice

The case was filed last year by the Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) challenging the government’s decision on the grounds that if constructed, the road would have far-reaching consequences on the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem which is shared between Kenya and Tanzania. ANAW wants the Tanzanian government compelled to stop the construction of the road through a permanent injunction

The  case is significant. It seeks to permanently restrain the government of Tanzania from the following:

  • “constructing, creating, commissioning or maintaining a trunk road or highway across any part of the Serengeti National Park.”
  • “degazetting (removing) any part of the Serengeti National Park for the purpose of upgrading, tarmacking, paving, realigning, constructing, creating or commissioning” the highway.
  • removing itself from UNESCO obligations with respect to the Serengeti National Park.

The East Africa Court of Justice (EACJ) Appellate Division will make a ruling on March 15th 2012 on whether the Tanzanian government has grounds to oppose the jurisdiction of the court to determine whether it should go ahead to construct a road through the world famous Serengeti National Park

If the higher regional court decides against the appeal made by the Tanzanian Attorney General, then it means that the court case against Dar es Salaam’s wish to construct the road will go to full trial.

The EACJ is the instrument for settling disputes among members of the East African Community, which are Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. Serengeti Watch is supporting this legal action and is asking for your help as well.

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