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Pierce Brosnan's picture

My life has always been connected to nature -- from the banks of the River Boyne in southern Ireland where I grew up as a child, to the shorelines of California and Hawaii where I reside with my wife Keely and our sons. Between these two worlds and an ocean of time spent traveling the world as a working actor, I have seen the beauty of what man can achieve on this earth and also what can happen when he lets nature slip through his fingers.

 

Last evening I was at the World Bank where we saw excerpts from National Geographic’s soon-to-be aired global programming event, “Great Migrations”, that show just how fragile the lives of some of the great animals of our world are today. The majestic African elephant, or the fleet wildebeest, are confronted with obstacles in their daily existence that threatens their very continuation as a species. As we expand our human footprint across the planet, we have paved over their breeding grounds, plowed under their grazing areas, depleted their sources of water, and disrupted their historic migratory routes.

 

Climate change is adding to the immense dangers facing bio-diversity. In my native Ireland, at least eight species of birds, such as the gray partridge, face extinction, due to the loss of habitat, reduction in food supplies, poisonings from pesticides, and wide scale development. In my adopted home, here in the United States, the Grey Whales that migrate north and south just off our California coast have survived since the ice age. Yet, these whales face more threats today than ever before from ship strikes, loss of habitat, pollution, and other human activities. Climate change is destroying the food chain they need to survive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In its series “Great Migrations”, National Geographic turns its spotlight to two species. Across the great Serengeti Plain and National Park, hundreds of thousands of wildebeest make a long, hazardous trek every year to reach their breeding grounds. The wildebeest migration, the last great migration on Earth, faces one of its biggest challenges ever. Plans to build a road through this “designated wilderness area” would make the journey of the wildebeest even more arduous.

 

Tanzania’s leaders are faced with a difficult choice: road transport is important and necessary for development and poverty reduction, no one can deny that. But a win-win situation can emerge if alternatives to this road can be found – and surely this would be in the best interests of everyone, and in the best interest of the wildlife.

 

In Mali, Gourma elephants, the biggest and tallest in Africa, live on the continent’s northern, dry reaches, roaming hundreds of kilometers annually in search of water. These water resources are now under threat. The government of Mali is making noble efforts to channel water to where the elephants range. But, in the struggle to provide the citizens of Mali with enough water, getting water to elephants may not be the number one priority.

 

We all know that even with all the mitigation efforts, there are impacts of climate change that these animals will need to deal with. We need to bolster rather than clear habitats, manage water supplies more sustainably to assist them to adapt to a climate-changed world.

 

We must ask ourselves: in Tanzania, in Mali, and in countless other places, do we have the “wisdom and the will” to make the right choice, the statesman’s choice? I believe the answer to this question can be “yes!” I believe that people can move from poverty to prosperity, and that we can protect our plant and animal species at the same time. Development and conservation must go hand in hand in a world where climate change is a reality.

 

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on
I was very pleased to read this submission by Pierce Brosnan and found it be insightful, extremely positive and inspiring. He has captured the essence of the world's primary challenges and makes the case for a paradigm shift in our relationship to Earth and it's inhabitants. Alternatives and solutions exist for accelerating the paradigm shift now taking place. I encourage contributors to this blog and readers to visit the website of the Genesis Facility which was established with the sole purpose of planning and financing global sustainability through National Sustainability Plans. Thank you. Respectfully, David Yates, Founder and Chairman, Genesis Facility Foundation www.genesisfacility.org

Submitted by Sangiki on
Mr Brosnan, I want to personally thank you for your support of the Serengeti World Heritage Site. As you may be aware there are tens of thousands of people working hard to stop this highway from bisecting the Wildebeest migration route. People from across the world have joined together in an online network cause site and through facebook to share information, gather e-signatures for petitions, and to continue pressuring the Tanzanian government to reconsider this illogical and damaging decision. While I note that the Ambassador cites the need for development in her response on Friday, it is important to cite the data about this development issue: there are very few people living along the route of the planned road, and the alternative southern route that is being proposed by 300 international scientists and 23,000+ individuals will serve 5x the number of people and save tourism economy and jobs for countless Tanzanians. Your voice is important to continue to shine the spotlight on this travesty in the making, and I encourage you to consider lending your voice to this worldwide effort to save the Serengeti. To find out more about how you can help, you can email us at stopserengetih@gmail.com You can also visit our website: www.savetheserengeti.org You can also join the 23,000 people working to save this precious resource on our facebook page, in the link provided in the subject line of this post. Thank you again for bringing the world's attention to the plight of the Serengeti, and potential death of 1.2 million wildebeest should this road become a reality.

Submitted by Seán on
I've recently read an article on the "global water shortage" and while some of it was not news, the projections for water supplies to even the "developed world" is a cause for great concern. The outlook for African nations especially is very bleak indeed, as I am sure is of no suprise to anyone given the current of the continent in general. So, while the call to the people of developing nations of Africa who's lives are directly affected by these events to take a lead is naturally the first line of defense, it is the people, organisations and governments of the "developed" world that must applaud and support (financially and otherwise) efforts at conserving our delicate and already decimated ecosystem. Unfortunately, if history is anything to go by financial development will always take precedence over environmental conversation, and most if not all governments see conversation as a hinderance and an expenditure rather that the range of long term benefits that comes with it.

The people of Africa are an integral part of the world's Eco-system, delicately balanced on the edge of extinction. Nature, animals and the people are seldom put together in the planning of their mutual future. We have exported technology and our problems into a culture that still needs the basics. They have a deep thirst for knowledge and education. Yet, without the necessary clean water and seed production to increase their basic nutrition, as well as education to handle the technology, they lack the skills to determine their own future. When people’s well being, education, natural resources, conservation management become part of the psyche of international and local corporations and African governments, when the people in government begin to use those words and observe the value and success of sustainable transparent development; when the IMF and the World Bank insist on transparency and accountability; when African governments provide representation with affordable taxation to the people; when African companies and jobs include accountability and transparency; when people elect representatives that truly serve them and not corruption, then and only then will African Leaders develop governments that support the infrastructure and education that will grow their countries and its people to be independent, self-sustaining, successful entrepreneurs. Then others will invest wisely in Africa and its future.

Submitted by Tese Quinn on
A pleasure to read a well-written, well-informed article. Sensitive, yet unemotional. I hope this page gets circulated widely.

Dear Mr. Brosnan, I am extremely happy that this issue caught your attention and concern. I hope your presentation will inspire the world and it's leaders and is going to result in their final move-away from the ongoing destruction of our planet, the Serengeti included! applause! yours, Maya Oosterhoff

Submitted by Nick Parfitt on
Having been privileged enough to have spent many months exploring the Serengeti as a photographer, I am hoping that you will use your fame Pierce to rally other influential individuals to prevent this catastrophe from happening. Please keep in mind that Tanzanians need to develop their country as we have in the West in order to attain a higher living standard. This means that roads on both sides of the Serengeti need to be developed to serve the communities that live around it, and that over the course of this century, no matter how much we fight the idea of such developments, they will happen. What I propose is, that as a world heritage site, the world should pay for the existence of the Serengeti and that Tanzanians should benefit from its presence. If this means the international community pays for sensible infrastructure that leaves the Park untouched by direct development, let's help the Tanzanian government achieve this. It is time to engage the Tanzanian government and work with them, rather than adopt the carrot and stick AID mentality that colonial governments have misused since independence. Pierce, the Serengeti must not die and if you haven't seen this spectacular place first hand, make some time and I am sure their is a long line of individuals who will offer their help with transport, accommodation and personal guidance (including myself) to show you just what is at stake.

Only after the last tree has been cut down,only after the last river has been poisoned,only after the last fish has been caught,only then will we realize that money cannot be eaten

Submitted by Steffi Hiller on
I continue Diwaker Jah's statement. Only when people really realize that they are part of the "nature" chain, they might consider nature as valuable as themselve. In the meantime we have to fight for the last nature isles in the world. Wherever in the world, horrible things are happening and you loose the confidence in humankind. Since I was eight years old I know what the SERENGETI is, thanks to Prof. Dr. Grzimek of Franfurt Zoological Society and his movie SERENGETI SHALL NOT DIE. Unfortunately it might die before me ( I am 53 now). Let's spread the word - even among all celebreties you are able to contact - let's do everything possible to convince the Tanzanian government to re-issue their horrible plans.

Submitted by Anonymous on
Thanks so much for posting this subject on your blog! It certainly helps spread the word, and we all do what we can. Very 007: save the world :) Thanks so much from a fan and Africa lover

Dear Mr. Brosnan, Greetings from Tokyo. Recently I read this article on facebook and want to express my deep appreciation to you about your dedicated efforts to serve as a positive voice for the environment, the ecosystems, and our dear voiceless animal friends. It is imperative that we begin to coexist with the lands and creatures on our planet. We must all take steps to walk hand in hand with biodiversity. As a singer/songwriter I have written songs for the mighty creatures on earth, I was asked to create a song to help save the Serengeti. I am attaching a link of the demo as the final version will be completed in a few weeks. I hope you have a chance to review it. My song "The Great Serengeti": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHVsgTEU6eM The song sung LIVE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly0xk-WV9tk As an educator and edutainer myself, I firmly believe that if we are to save the earth on which we stand, we must educate both children and adults of all ages and cultures about the importance of biodiversity. The future is now. As Dr. Jane Goodall says we all must "Think Globally and Act Globally". Together we can, Together, we MUST. With kindest regards, Mayuka Thais

Submitted by Sangiki on
Update on the Highway: The planned "Task Force" to study this issue has now become a single unknown consultant who will produce an EIA report in less than a month. Kikwete continues to say the highway will not be in the conservation area. It is planned to cut straight across the migration route inside the World Heritage Site. De facto - inside the conservation area. This thing will move forward to finality within the month if someone does not do something now. World Bank, IMF, WWF, Conservation Intl - SOMEONE who has clout must take action - please.

Submitted by Nadina Crisan on
This is a very good example of action-oriented article. It shows, on one hand, how fragile our biodiversity really is and what is the impact of our own acts and lust for development on animals and environment around us. Serengeti is just one of the examples in this matter. That is why everybody must be an actor, must act in his own way, whether they are students, workers, politicians or well known actors. This is the right way!

Submitted by Anonymous on
Mr. Brosnan, I am sure that you are aware that an offer of funding for an alternative route - saving the Serengeti from this highway - has been rejected without consideration by Jakaya Kikwete. There are tens of thousands of people working to stop this project, along with many organizations, WWF, FZS, AWF, to name a few. Every organization and every individual who is greatly concerned about President Kikwete's persistent intent to carve a road across the migratory route of over 1.2 million Wildebeest believes that this cause needs a public face - a high profile person who can bring international attention to this problem before it is too late. I would like to ask you to consider speaking out publicly and loudly about your thoughts on this prospective highway. Serengeti needs protection for both the short and long haul. This highway must not be allowed to move forward. Thank you.

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