Tarangire National Park attracts thousands of visitors annually who are seeking a quintessential East African ecosystem experience—grasslands, elephants, baobob and leopard. The Park not only serves as a tourist hot-spot, but more importantly it functions as a haven for wildlife during the dry season and a conservation area protecting biodiversity and a unique and spectacular ecosystem. During the rainy season wildlife disperses to the land surrounding the Park, allowing the land to recover and flourish. Without this broader ecosystem the Park would be unsustainable, isolated and would not survive.
In 2004 a coalition of NGO’s, and tour operators developed a ‘conservation easement’ with Terrat Village, a village located 50 kilometers east of Tarangire National Park. The easement took shape with the help of the Maasai community who expressed deep concerns over the loss of their grazing lands to farming and agriculture. Tour operators, understanding the importance of this land for the vitality of the Tarangire National Park ecosystem, agreed to contribute $4500 a year to the community with the expectation that the land will not be used for farming or settlement.
The result of this agreement is that currently over 23,000 acres of key grassland habitat has been preserved for the Maasai livestock as well as the wildlife, and the wave of destructive farming pressure has been stopped.
To learn more about the Simanjiro Conservation Easement download this brochure.
Also, read this article, “Making Wildlife Pay in Northern Tanzania” by Fred Nelson in EcoSystem MarketPlace.