Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


TATA to pristine flamingo lake

The world’s most important breeding site for the endangered lesser flamingo could soon be destroyed by industrial pollution.

Developers want to build a huge soda ash plant on the internationally protected Lake Natron in Tanzania pumping salty water from the lake for the production and export of sodium carbonate or washing soda. They also plan to house more than 1,000 construction staff on site.

Lake Natron hosts more than 500,000 lesser flamingos in summer – 75 per cent of the world’s breeding population - and has been the bird’s only nesting site in East Africa for 45 years.

It is listed by the international Ramsar Wetland Convention and designated an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. Dr Chris Magin, the RSPB’s International Officer for Africa, said: “Putting Lake Natron at risk is bonkers. It is a pristine site like no other in the world.

“The chances of lesser flamingos continuing to breed at Lake Natron in the face of such mayhem are next to zero. This development will leave lesser flamingos in East Africa facing extinction and should be stopped in its tracks and sunk in water so deep it can never be revived.”

Consultants for Lake Natron Resources Limited, which is part of the Indian company TATA Chemicals, will today (July 12) host a workshop to make public only part of its report on the environmental impact of the salt ash proposals.

Lake Natron Resources wants to install heavy machinery to pump water from the lake and build a coal-run power station and housing for workers on site. It could also introduce a hybrid shrimp to the lake to increase the salinity of the water.

Conservationists in Africa and the UK are determined to influence the environmental report before it goes to the Tanzanian government but many have been barred from the workshop including the Lake Natron Consultative Group, which represents a number of environmental organisations.

Lota Melamari, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania, is attending the workshop. He said: “Whatever the decision, the survival of the lesser flamingo must not be jeopardised. The opportunity to see so many of these colourful birds together on one site is one of Africa’s most popular tourist attractions.”

Lake Natron is in the Great Rift Valley in northern Tanzania, close to the Kenyan border. It is known as a soda lake because of its high concentration of sodium carbonate.

It is one of only five breeding sites for lesser flamingos in the world but if it is damaged, there is no evidence that the birds will breed successfully elsewhere.

Dr Magin said: “This could be the beginning of the end for the lesser flamingo. Millions of people have enjoyed the spectacle of flocks of flamingos in Tanzania and Kenya and all of that is now in jeopardy.

“Bringing an alien species to the lake could cause damage that no-one can foresee and the world is already reeling from the consequences of both deliberate and accidental introductions of alien species including mink in the UK, rabbits in Australia and Nile perch in Lake Victoria in Africa.

“Today’s report could considerably underestimate the harm the soda ash development will do. If it does, it must be changed to reflect the serious and irreversible harm soda extraction will cause.”

Cath Harris | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>