KfW comments on its support to the Serengeti Ecosystem Development and Conservation Project, Tanzania

In November 2018, Conservation Watch wrote about the violence that has once again erupted against Maasai indigenous people in Loliondo, northern Tanzania. As a follow up to that post, I sent some questions to the German government-owned development bank KfW about its Serengeti Ecosystem Development and Conservation Project.

I also sent some questions to Johannes Schoeneberger, at the German aid agency GIZ about the GIZ project Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in Tanzania. You can read Schoeneberger’s response here.

15 March 2017, Wasso: The banners read: « Conservation is our tradition, OBC leave us our land » and «  »District Council, don’t receive money from the Germans, since it’s death to us »

On 7 January 2019, Conservation Watch received a response from Dr Klaus Müller, Director, and Dr Matthias Grüninger, Senior Project Manager (Principal) at KfW. Their responses are posted here in full and unedited.

Conservation Watch: Susanna Nordlund has been writing about Loliondo since 2010, monitoring in detail the violence against the Maasai. In a recent post, she wrote that,

« Those implementing the criminal orders, starting with burning bomas in Oloosek on 13th August 2017 were rangers from Serengeti National Park, assisted by Ngorongoro rangers, local police, KDU (anti-poaching) rangers, OBC rangers, and others. »

« On 27th November it was reported to me that Serengeti rangers had got into the abuse and criminality. Maybe the soldiers are tired. On Monday 26th November, rangers detained 14 herds of cattle – maybe up to 1,000 cows –  at Mambarashani where OBC have their camp, and took them to Lobo inside the national park to claim that they were found there. Now the rangers demand 100,000 Tanzanian shilling per head of cattle to release them.
By the 29th I was told that the « fines » had been paid, and that the cows probably weren’t as many as 1000. »

Could you please confirm whether rangers from the Serengeti National Park have been involved in the evictions of Maasai people, taking the Maasai’s cattle and charging fines in 2017 and 2018.

KfW: This question should be directed to the responsible authorities. KfW is not in the position to comment on this.

Conservation Watch: Nordlund also writes that, « last year Mwakilema, Serengeti Chief Park Warden, announced that German development funds were subject to the approval of the land use plan proposing the alienation of the 1,500 km2. »

An article in the Daily News dated 9 March 2017 reports on German aid to the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The article states that,

[T]he funds are subject to the confirmation of the proposed land use plan in Loliondo Game Controlled Area, where 1500 square kilometres in Loliondo need to be annexed from the 4000 square Kilometres of the Game Controlled Area.“This section of the land is important on that it is where all water sources feeding Serengeti and Ngorongoro are located, the 1500 square kilometres of the land strip must be conserved if we are to protect the two National Parks,” stated the Minister for Natural resources and Tourism, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, who accompanied the Parliamentary delegation.

This 1,500 square kilometres is an area of land that Otterlo Business Corporation, a United Arab Emirates hunting and safari company, has been trying to get classified as a « protected area ». This would involve the eviction of about 30,000 Maasai people and the loss of important dry season grazing land for the Maasai.

Could you please confirm whether German development funds are subject to the alienation of this 1,500 km2?

KfW: German Development Funds implemented through KfW are not subject to such a requirement.

Conservation Watch: The KfW website about the Serengeti ecosystem notes that the local population is neither sufficiently involved in the management of the protected area, nor does it benefit adequately from the proceeds from biodiversity conservation. The website also states that the « priority target group of the project is the population living next to the Serengenti National Park in the districts of Serengeti and Ngorongoro ». Could you please describe how KfW’s project is working with the Maasai living in these districts, and what actions KfW’s project is supporting in Serengeti und Ngorongoro districts in order to help to address the land rights conflicts faced by the Maasai.

KfW: Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management » is a priority area of Tanzanian-German development cooperation and is supported through technical and financial assistance by the German Government. Being part of Government – to – Government development cooperation, this assistance has been requested by the Tanzanian Government and agreed upon between the German and Tanzanian Governments. The current financial cooperation in biodiversity conservation support through KfW includes the « Serengeti Ecosystem Development and Conservation Project (SEDCP) », implemented by Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) as project executing agency. In this function, TANAPA is responsible for the planning and execution of the project. The German financial contribution amounts to EUR 20.5 million. Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) supports TANAPA with the implementation of the project and co-finances the project with EUR 1.0 million.

The project includes the following components to support the population of two Districts (Serengeti and Ngorongoro District):

  • Sustainable natural resource management in Serengeti and Ngorongoro Districts strengthened (e.g. support to District land-use planning)
  • Rehabilitation of feeder roads in the two Districts (approximately 120 km in total)
  • Support to income-generating activities through so-called COCOBA (community conservation banks).
  • Community initiated rural social and economic infrastructure projects in the two Districts according to village/District priorities (schools, dispensaries, access to water etc.)

All project activities foreseen within the districts are discussed and reviewed in the project technical committee, in which the District representatives, including the Chairman of each District Council, and representatives from TANAPA participate. The investments in feeder roads rehabilitation as well as in social and economic infrastructure in Serengeti and Ngorongoro Districts are currently under preparation. The feeder road sections to be rehabilitated as well as first social and economic infrastructure measures have been identified jointly by the Districts, villages and the TANAPA Outreach Department.

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Un Commentaire

  1. Dr. I.P.A. Manning

    Schoeneberger’s (GIZ) lying tight-lipped response is simply not good enough. GIZ, if they had any principles, should pack their bags for home. And once there they should consider their position regarding the Sheikh Maktoum landgrab – and that of Thomson Safaris – and the disgraceful treatment of the Maasai, as well as the massive human rights violations being perpetrated daily by Maktoum on slave labourers in Dubai.

    And the same applies to KfW.

    With the gathering climate catastrophe, Maasailand will suffer blowtorch treatment. Here is where the Maasai need real help. They require secure title to the Maasai commons, which should include the Serengeti – based on an agreed cattle stocking management plan. Neoliberal aid must depart for it simply stirs up the landgrab passions of government and the Maktoums of this world. The Maasai are great wildlife conservationists because of their religious beliefs and communal life.

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