Conservation International Statement on Reports of Violence Against Indigenous Peoples in Tanzania
June 23, 2022
Nairobi, Kenya (June 23, 2022) – Conservation International released the following statement from Daudi Sumba, a director of Conservation International’s Africa field division, in response to recent reports of security forces in Tanzania using violence against Maasai Indigenous peoples:
“Conservation International is concerned about reports of security forces using violence against Maasai Indigenous peoples in northern Tanzania. These reports blame security forces for as many as 30 injuries to community members as Maasai protested government plans to demarcate 1,500 square kilometers of land to use as a game reserve.
“Tanzania is Africa’s most biodiverse country, and its government and people have long been conservation leaders, with nearly 40 percent of the country’s land protected – safeguarding the habitats of some of the world’s most iconic wildlife and providing critical wildlife corridors throughout the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
“It is critical, however, that ongoing achievements do not come at the expense of people. Conservation should never be planned or implemented without full consideration for human rights, and without including local communities in all facets of decision-making.
“Conservation International urges the government to immediately end any violence against the Maasai and to seek collaborative solutions. Conservation International's mission is grounded on the principles of human rights, including full and effective participation, and in a fundamental belief that values and prioritizes the diversity of voices, perspectives and approaches to protect nature for people. This means full respect for the rights, cultural practices of and contributions from those communities that are most directly connected to nature.
“Conservation International has been a pioneer in the field of rights-based approaches to conservation and has long worked in partnership with local communities and governments to achieve positive outcomes for nature and people. We stand ready to offer our support alongside all parties working toward a peaceful outcome.”
About Conservation International: Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help people and nature thrive together. Go to Conservation.org for more, and follow our work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.