UNESCO encourages Tanzania to apply for World Heritage status

Information was received from Arusha that UNESCO has apparently suggested that the area around Ol Doinyo Lengai, one of Tanzania’s active volcanos and the country’s third highest mountain, be turned into a World Heritage Site (geographical). Adjoining the Ngorongoro Crater area, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the mountain and its slopes is a destination of growing importance for adventure tourists who come to hike with guides to explore areas outside the national parks of exceptional scenic and natural beauty, all of which Ol Doinyo Lengai represents.

Tanzania is home to several UNESCO WHS sites but has of late had a checkered relationship with the Paris based organization and some years ago in an almost unprecedented way withdrew at the very last moment an application for the recognition of the Eastern Arc Mountains to ostensibly pave the way for logging and mining in the ecologically sensitive water tower area of the sprawling East African country.

Also did issues arise over plans to construct a highway across the main migration routes of the great herds in the Serengeti while plans to mine for uranium mining in the Selous Game Reserve, another prized World Heritage Site and the intended construction of a hydroelectric dam at Stiegler’s Gorge have further put the relationship of the country with UNESCO under the spotlight.