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Decision : 33 COM 7B.8
Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) (N 199)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.3, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Notes the conclusion of the World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property appears to be intact but that pressures on the property are again increasing;

4. Expresses its utmost concern about the on-going mineral exploration within the property, as well as planned oil exploration activities and potential dam projects inside the property;

5. Regrets that the State Party did not follow the procedure outlined in Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and urges the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre of all planned activities within and in the vicinity of the property which could impact its Outstanding Universal Value, including dam and mining projects, and provide an Environmental Impact Assessment before taking a decision on these projects;

6. Reiterates its position that mineral exploration, mining, oil exploration and exploitation are incompatible with the World Heritage status, in line with the international policy statement of the International Council of Minerals and Metals (ICMM) of not undertaking these activities in World Heritage properties; and considers that any decision to go forward with the oil exploration inside the property would constitute a clear case for inscribing Selous Game Reserve on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

7. Recalls that any request of change of boundaries of the property should be submitted to the World Heritage Committee, in accordance with paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines;

8. Also urges the State Party to implement as soon as possible the recommendations of the 2007 and 2008 monitoring missions, in particular:

a) Reinforce the capacity of the management authority, the Wildlife Division, to manage the property, in particular by increasing its human and financial resources and by reinstating the Revenue Retention Scheme,

b) Strengthen the implementation of the General management plan (GMP) and ensure regular and independent evaluations of its implementation,

c) Develop a detailed Tourism Strategy for the property, in line with the recommendations and principles outlined in the GMP, with a clear vision for both consumptive and non-consumptive tourism,

d) Further optimize the wildlife management in and around the property, by:

(i) Developing a transparent system for allocating hunting blocks,

(ii) Establishing hunting quotas in a transparent way based on improved scientific and technical information systems,

(iii) Improving ecological monitoring systems, including the development of integrated databases that capture and analyse existing information from trophy reports provided by hunting companies, ranger patrol reports, anti-poaching reports and aerial surveys. Such systems would fill information gaps and provide a better basis for wildlife management,

(iv) Reinforce efforts to further develop community based wildlife management around the Property and draw upon lessons learned from other African countries who have successfully developed community managed wildlife areas,

(v) Enhance the capacity to carry-out anti-poaching activities;

9. Recommends that the property should be managed within the context of the larger Selous ecosystem and that the State Party considers strategic extensions to the property and designation of a formal buffer zone;

10. Notes with concern the reported significant declines of several species during the 2006 aerial survey of the Selous ecosystem and also recommends that a new survey is undertaken in 2010, involving technical support from the international conservation community and in particular the IUCN Species Survival Commission;

11. Appreciates the State Party's efforts in improving the draft statement of Outstanding Universal Value based on the proposal developed by the 2008 monitoring mission which will be examined by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

12. Invites the State Party to organize a workshop with the participation of the World Heritage Centre, IUCN and other stakeholders, to discuss the implementation of the above mentioned recommendations (8, 9, and 10). The State Party may wish to request international assistance from the World Heritage Fund to organize this meeting;

13. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, including information on the status of the mining exploration, planned oil exploration and the Kidunda and Stiegler's Gorge dams and on progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2007 and 2008 monitoring missions, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010.

Themes: Conservation
States Parties: United Republic of Tanzania
Properties: Selous Game Reserve
Year: 2009
Decision Code: 33 COM 7B.8