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To try and justify the destruction of 35,000 hectares of a pristine, heavily forested and formally protected reserve is bordering on criminal when Africa has less than 7% of its land surface formally protected. Then to try and "spin" their way out of the issue on the basis of a once off $800,000 donation is arrogance. The Spin Award of the year (so far) goes to Mantra Mining and the Tanzanian government. US$800,000 going to do little to curb poaching when the problem is systemic. If that had been $800,000 per annum, maybe that could have started to make a difference. The mining company and a few high ranking Tz officials are taking home the bacon while leaving a few sweeties on the table and they expect the public to sit back and applaud.
Here we go - Africa's wilderness areas up for sale to the highest mining bidder. First the mine in Mapungubwe. Then the Kangaluwi copper project inside the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia, now this... Poaching will go through the roof (not that it already isn't a HUGE factor in the Selous). I disagree with John, with all due respect, that this will be a positive factor. It will be the death knell for an area already hammered by the illegal wildlife trade. This should not be allowed. None of these mines should be allowed. But what the hell, this is Africa and no-one really cares, so it will most likely go ahead. One day, when we wake up and find no more wildlife and no more pristine bush, we will wonder what the hell happened, as we clear our eyes of the smog from an industrial wasteland that used to be Africa.
And by the way - the ONLY people to benefit from mining are the mine owners and the government officials they bribed to get the permits. Just look at what Glencore has done to the people on the Copper Belt if you need any convincing of that.
Its the same old story all over again - monetary gain for humans and trying to pull the wool over our eyes with numbers and ideas which they think we are stupid enough to fall for
I understand and share Sharon's anger, technicalities come to the fore "Selous is a Game Reserve, not a National Park" as if nature and all its' components really care when they will be negative affected.350 square kilometers in size is huge even in a wildlife area such as Selous, this is they each eat an Elephant or a Whale - bit by bit. ,