Following on from Flamingo Land’s Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP) and its well documented successes, the company has reached agreement to create a 26 square kilometre nature reserve, with multiple parties, including the Tanzanian Government and Rainforest Trust, four local villages and a sugar company.
This reserve will protect a vitally important forest and a unique species community found nowhere else in the world.
Gordon Gibb, Flamingo Land’s owner, said: “This is the culmination of my life’s work and passion and that of the company, Flamingo Land.”
UFP began life 12 years ago after Mr Gibb expressed an interest to the University of York to begin an environmental and conservation project with world-wide importance.
This led to Mr Gibb being introduced to Dr Marshall and his forest research in Tanzania.
After visiting the field it was decided that Flamingo Land and Dr Marshall, a PhD student at the time, would work to achieve the same goals with the support of the University of York, working through in-country partners, the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group and more recently, Reforest Africa.
Although Flamingo Land and the University of York have been delighted with the success of UFP where, through the course of research, two new species have been identified not previously known to the world, it was never anticipated that forest annexation could be achieved.
The Magombera Forest will now be researched and protected for future generations, working closely with local communities, and will be protected from the devastating deforestation which is blighting our planet.
Flamingo Land, which has contributed more than $700,000 to its work in Africa, and the University of York’s work includes educational programmes for local villagers about saving the forest, planting trees and generating income from tourism.
This collaboration has also led to six awards for its research and conservation work.