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African nations’ natural and cultural stakeholders have signed – The Ngorongoro Declaration on Safeguarding African World Heritage as Driver of Sustainable Development 2016 - to preserve and promote African cultures and uplift identity and dignity for present and future generations in an increasingly globalised world.

The Ngorongoro Declaration which was signed last Saturday at the headquarters of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) in Ngorongoro Tanzania. It recognizes that heritage, including World Heritage Properties is a driver of sustainable development and critical for achieving regional, socio-economic benefits, environmental protection, sustainable urbanization and social cohesion and peace.

The African experts, including States, Civic Society and Private actors and International Partners shared experiences from different parts across Africa during the Conference on Safeguarding African World Heritage as a Driver of Sustainable Development held at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) in Arusha from May 31 to 3, June 2016.

The conference was organized by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the support of the Government of the People’s Republic of China and other donors. 

The signing ceremony was preceded by a tour in Ngorongoro Crater, in which delegates enjoyed stunning wildlife viewing that rivals the best on Earth. A tour in Ngorongoro Crater is one of the quintessential travel destinations to an African safari that hosts more than half of the tourists who visits Tanzania every year. Tanzania attracted nearly 1.1 million foreign visitors in 2015 with revenue pegged at USD 1.93 bn overtaking gold as Tanzania’s leading foreign exchange earner.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Major General Gaudence Milanzi, Permanent Secretary in the Tanzanian ministry of natural resources and tourism, who chaired the conference, announced that over 150 delegates from 33 African countries signed the Ngorongoro Declaration.

The Ngorongoro Declaration called for the empowerment of communities and improvement of their participation in decision making and benefit sharing, and promoting them as ambassadors of World Heritage and Inclusive Sustainable Development Initiatives, among many others.

Other calls include the promotion of the role of women and youth by African states parties in the conservation and management of natural and cultural heritage. And the strengthening of the regulatory environment for addressing heritage concerns in the development process. This is aimed to be achieved by ensuring mechanisms for coordination and strong linkages with established impacts assessment processes, urban and rural landscapes policies and planning national development policies and investment plans.

The Ngorongoro Declaration also call for the International Community, the African Union, African States parties to cooperate and collaborate in global dialogue to realize the aspiration towards Sustainable Development Goals’ and challenges. 

The challenges, according to the Ngorongoro Declaration, include: Environmental degradation, Climate Change, Terrorism, Illegal arms trade, Illicit trafficking of flora and fauna and intentional destruction, trafficking of cultural heritage and looting of cultural artefacts, properties, poverty and other issues which critically impact African natural and cultural heritage. 

 

Ngorongoro is a UNESCO appointed “A Mixed World Heritage Site, "A World Heritage Site" and "One among the Eight Wonders of the World"; the Ngorongoro – also voted as one of the Seven African Natural Wonders. Ngorongoro, also known as Africa’s Garden of Eden.

Other UNESCO World Heritage Listed in Tanzania include: Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Selous Game Reserve, the Stone Town of Zanzibar, the Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara as well as the Kolo Rock Arts of Kondoa.

The Conservator of the Ngorongoro, Dr. Freddy Manongi, speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the signing of the Ngorongoro Declaration, said that he is optimistic and confident that the signing and eventual implementation of the joint Ngorongoro Declaration will have numerous benefits to Tanzania tourism.

“World Heritage Site status remains the driving factor in Tanzania’s tourism industry, in which it employs close to one million people directly and millions others indirectly. In all this, evidently UNESCO listed Sites are the best-selling points to sell the country’s destinations,” said Dr Manongi.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area was established in 1959 by the NCA Ordinance No 413 of 1959 as a multiple land use area, designated to promote the conservation of natural resources which include wildlife, safeguard the interests of the Maasai indigenous residents and promote tourism. Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a unique protected area in the whole of Africa where conservation of natural resources is integrated with human development.

 

 

 

 

 

THE television crew from American Broadcasting Company (ABC) that has been filming and airing live footages from Ngorongoro Crater to the US may have captured almost all types of wildlife found in the caldera, except one strange species – the white buffalo

Last Tuesday’s historical live airing from Arusha to New York City, according to Ms Farhoun Sanoon of ABC News, was watched by nearly 60 million people worldwide, including the six million in NYC who viewed directly through ABC News’ ‘Good Morning America’ programme last Wednesday.

More than 50 million others across the United States through affiliate television stations and tens of thousands others viewed the programme through online channels.

Viewers had a field day, seeing such breathtaking sceneries as the astounding large caldera, its big five residents (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino), part of the wildebeest migration, Crater Lake species like hippos and reptiles as well as a variety of birds.

The TV crew also took time to film a traditional Maasai wedding for maximum effect and impact. But Ngorongoro has one strange animal, which was recently discovered on the crater rim, a buffalo spotting milk-white fur, the first ever to be seen in the country.

Apparently, the strange animal somehow eluded camera lenses as well as eyeballs of the American TV crew and their global viewers. When asked about the elusive white buffalo, the Conservator of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), Dr Freddy Manongi, said indeed it was a strange thing to have a white buffalo, but described it to be the result of mutation of genes.

The possibility of having a new breed of white ‘mbogo’ in the area was, therefore, minimal. “It is actually a weakness, not something that we will be promoting in a hurry, though indeed it may attract a different kind of visitors in future once the news about this strange buffalo start circulating,” he pointed out.

Already the Ngorongoro Conservation receives more than 600,000 tourists in a year. While the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is also home to abundant large giraffes, those who watched the live crater coverage may not have seen the tall, proud mammals because these hardly ever venture into the caldera, where the TV crew was concentrating but stay high above the rim

 

The minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Hon. Professor Jumanne Maghembe (second right) when he officially launched Ngorongoro Half Marathon at Loduare Entrance Gate in Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Right is the Karatu District Commissioner Omary Qwang.

 

THE 9th annual Ngorongoro Marathon took place on April 16, 2016. The standard half marathon (21km) started at Loduare Entrance gate in Ngorongoro Conservation Area to finish at Mazingira Bora grounds in Karatu District town.

The race was held to raise money and awareness for the fight against malaria, and to support the Maasai pre-school children. The event was graced by the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Professor Jumanne Maghembe, as the guest of honor.

There were 3 categories of races; children took part in the short race of 2.5 km while other participants completed the 5 km race and were awarded with medals for their outstanding efforts.

The minister, encouraged Tanzanians to visit Ngorongoro Conservation Area and reminded them that the entry fees for the locals is just 1,500/= Tanzanian shillings while the vehicle fee is 10,000/= Tanzanian shillings only for them to see all types of wildlife found in Ngorongoro

 

 

Former US President Bill Clinton, making that historical call to the former President Jakaya Kikwete from Loduare Gate at NCAA praising the head of state for Tanzania's wildlife conservation efforts 

Former American President Bill Clinton shaking hands with the clinical officer Bakari Semajembe at Nainokanoka Dispensary in Ngorongoro as the Dr Dafrosa Lyimo from the Ministry of Health (Center) looks on.

The ​former ​Ngorongoro Conservation Public Relations Officer, Mr Adam Akyoo (second left) being greeted by the Mr Bill Clinton during the latter's visit to the NCAA.

Former US President Mr Bill Clinton helping to inoculate a Maasai child among those who turned up for vaccination exercise at Nainokanoka Village in Ngorongoro.

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