ARUSHA STEPS UP AS PAN AFRICAN ORNITHOLOGICAL MEETING SHIFTED FROM NIGERIA
Organisers of the 13th Pan African Ornithological Congress have reportedly decided to shift the October event from its previous location in Nigeria to Arusha, where cost and other considerations appear to have been met by the host city, stepping up with an attractive events package to make the last minute move possible.
The meeting, last held in South Africa in 2008, will discuss continental issues on bird conservation and in particular the question of more and more birds entering the red zone of being endangered.
Local environmentalists and conservationists have already vowed to use the meeting to draw public attention to the ongoing plans by the Tanzanian government to build a soda ash plant, and related infrastructure like road and rail access, right in the most critical breeding zones of the large numbers of flamingos, which only breed in the mud flats of Lake Natron. Said one regular contributor on condition of anonymity: The decline of some vulture species is already on the agenda and it is important that this man made problem is discussed and ways and means found to restore vulture populations where they have almost disappeared. But with the flamingo issue on Lake Natron we have a chance not to make such mistakes and threaten the birds with extinction but avoid it. If we raise the issue and all experts will tell our government that this will be an irreversible mistake, maybe they can see their errors and desist from building such a plant. Now that this meeting has come to Arusha by almost default, we need to use the presence of African ornithologists and experts to make the most of it.
The information received over the weekend does not give exact dates when the meeting will take place but once available this will be published here, although the venue was confirmed to be the Corridor Springs Hotel in Arusha. Delegates will find special offers for pre- and post conference tours to the Northern circuit national parks of Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti, where they can witness the rich variety of birds found inside and outside the countrys protected areas.