@ATREE auditorium at 3.45 pm on 9th August 2016

In this talk, I will discuss the challenges of biodiversity loss in Africa using the Serengeti Ecosystem in northern Tanzania as a good example of the African challenges. Human population increase rate in Africa is presently between 2% - 3% per annum. Particularly we experience increasing human population sizes outside protected areas. Between 65% and 85% of African people, live in rural areas. Most of these people are very poor (a huge amount of people live under 1 US$ per day). Because of this, there is increasing encroachment of biodiversity resources (bushmeat, fodder, firewood, charcoal, medicine plants, house and cover for livestock) both near and inside protected areas. Global warming enforce the problems. Another problem in most African countries is corruption and bad governance. The big challenge is therefore how to allow the local people to receive a higher share of the revenues from a growing tourism to protected areas.

In this talk, I will discuss these challenges in the context of the history of biodiversity conservation in Africa, Tanzania and Serengeti. The present management regime in Tanzania has a history based and a colonial culture. I will discuss the services this ecosystem provides to both local people as well as the international community. I particularly discuss the threats, and impacts from foreigners as well as tourism. Different ethnic groups utilize different services from this cultural heritage ecosystem. The big question is therefore; under the present regime is there any hope? A question I will try to answer during this presentation.

About the speaker:
Eivin Røskaft (PhD) is a professor in Evolutionary Biology at the Department of Biology, NTNU. His scientific interest is to use evolutionary biology in conservation. He is leading projects in Africa and Asia related to human-wildlife conflict, population dynamics of animals, and animal behaviour in relation to human activities. Additionally Røskaft is involved in a co-evolutionary project between avian brood parasites and their hosts, as well as how environment affects human fitness in Norway.

Capacity building in Africa/Asia is one of Røskaft’s main interests; he has trained around 130 MSc students and 45 PhD students from most continents to their final degrees. Røskaft has published more than 250 papers of which more than 170 in per reviewed scientific journals. Røskaft has been the Dean at the Faculty of life sciences, director of the centre for development and environment and head of department at NTNU, as well as director of NINA.