Serengeti Preservation Foundation

Mission and Objectives

The mission of Serengeti Preservation Foundation is to build public awareness, education and support for the Serengeti ecosystem for the benefit of local communities and the nation.

Objectives: In all of its program initiatives, SPF builds local capacity to monitor and act on threats to conservation, particularly those that relate to local communities.

  • Monitor the changing status of conservation in Tanzania
  • Media training and outreach programs
  • Coordinate and monitor conservation initiatives in local communities
  • Educate stakeholders, media professionals, and opinion leaders
  • Bring conservation education to all Tanzanian public schools
  • Lead online social media communications
  • Develop local networks and partnerships for conservation action
  • Build internal capacity and funding for administering and growing programs

Accomplished so far

Though a few years old and with modest funding, SPF has made much progress. It currently has several interrelated programs that have been piloted and field tested in multiple locations. Together they form the core for a comprehensive package of conservation advocacy, awareness, education and action across several demographics. SPF has created:

  • Journalist training workshops for 80 participants, with field trips to national parks
  • A national organization: Tanzanian Journalists for Conservation
  • School programs, with materials and field trips for teachers and students
  • Wildlife Ambassadors, a program for university students
  • Radio programming for communities around the Serengeti
  • Partnerships with other conservation and education programs


I. Community Conservation

SPF focuses on local communities around the Serengeti. Its strategy is guided by these key questions:

  • How are communities affected by, and how do they impact, the Serengeti?
  • What issues do local people face?
  • How can communities benefit from education and information?
  • How does one build a culture of conservation?
  • How can those outside be advocates for local communities?
  • How can people benefit from conservation and tourism?

II. Advocacy, Awareness, Education, Action

This strategy applies multiple project-based approaches across four key areas: Advocacy, Awareness, Education, and Action.  And this is applied in two ways:

  • Community Saturation, focusing on a single high-risk Tipping Point Community, applying many program approaches. One example of this is the saturation program currently underway in Loliondo, a high-risk urgent need community. Three such programs are planned for Serengeti communities: Loliondo, Musoma, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. These will be developed consecutively over a 5-year period, and each will be evaluated so that the next regional program will learn from the previous. See below.
  • Cross-Community, focusing on a single program initiative across closely related communities. One example of this is the simultaneous implementation of the Serengeti Teachers Education Program (STEP) in 10 regional secondary schools. Others are Wildlife Ambassadors for universities, and Journalism workshops. Cross-community programs may also be implemented with partner organizations.

III. Interlocking Programs

Of primary importance in SPF’s work is engagement of multiple stakeholders in authentic education and action initiatives. Programs work together to focus on local communities, but also bring community and conservation issues to a national audience, especially opinion leaders and government policy makers.

Programs address both short- and long-term objectives by involving different demographic segments: students, teachers, community leaders, elders, media producers.  Each demographic group has its own time horizon for affecting change.

1. Radio Programming brings direct messaging to communities, which receive nearly all their information from this medium. Programs feature phone call-ins from listeners. There is feedback on radio social media sites.

2. Educational programs (STEP and Youth Empowerment Programs) go directly to local schools, giving teachers and students new curricula, materials and field experience.

3. Community Seminars foster open discussion and give us feedback on community needs.

4. Print Journalism brings community issues to a national audience. Journalists are educated on local issues and, with our support, bring stories where opinion makers and government officials can see them.

5. Social Media links listeners to radio programs and gives us a measure of their effectiveness. Readers likewise comment on articles and online blogs by journalists.

6. Wildlife Ambassadors engages university students, identifies leaders, and trains them to become active in their own communities.

IV. Community Saturation

At the core of our strategy are Community Saturation Programs that focus on key areas around the Serengeti. They bring individual programs together to provide a sustained, multi-pronged approach to communities. Bringing programs together provides a synergy that is more than the sum of the parts. Once introduced into an area, they continue.

Programs used in community saturation are: Radio, Education programs (STEP), Community seminars, Youth empowerment activities. There are three areas in which these take place: Loliondo, Musoma, and Ngorongoro. They will be introduced consecutively in that order.

These programs will be administered by an SPF Regional Staff Member, who will live in and work with the local community. Prospective staff members will first be introduced to field ongoing field work. Staff are chosen carefully for their ability to network, administer programs, and provide ongoing feedback for effectiveness. In the field, they will be in constant contact with SPF through meetings and social media.

V. Cross Program Messaging

Program themes and messaging focus our strategy on key issues, all woven together through a combination of channels – information programs, interviews, radio dramas, phone-in programs, community seminars, media training, and school programs.

In addition to direct community outreach, SPF print journalism workshops and radio training focus on advocacy for local communities. Journalists are given incentives and grants to report on issues affecting local communities to bring these to a wider audience.

Messages relate to both community welfare and to Serengeti threats:

Climate Change

  • Information on what is happening
  • Likely impacts on communities
  • How to adapt – share knowledge from other NGO’s
  • Best practices for farming and livestock management.

Cattle and Rangeland Management

  • Impact of cattle and goats on land
  • Ways to reduce cattle herds
  • Tradition role of cattle and new ways of thinking
  • New breeds of cattle and how they help
  • Milk and meat production markets

Human-Wildlife Conflict

  • Ways of preventing wildlife damage
  • Information on programs like Lion Guardians and bee hives for elephants
  • Bush meat poaching

Tradition & Change

  • How and why traditional life is changing
  • How to keep key values and ideas and update them
  • Views of elders

A Heritage of Conservation

  • National heritage and identity in Tanzania
  • Ways to bring traditional values to a modern setting
  • Source of pride for the nation

Conservation, Tourism, and Development

  • Tourism as a source of jobs and national income
  • Benefits and problems of tourism
  • How can conservation and tourism benefit local people?

Economic Opportunity

  • Programs offered by other NGOs such as Community Conservation Banks
  • Advice on best practices in farming. Use of new technologies
  • Land use strategies

Community & Women’s Welfare

  • Ways to empower and include women in education and the economy
  • Women’s health and family issues