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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7A.14
Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) (N 199bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7A.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decisions 31 COM 7B.3, 32 COM 7B.3, 33 COM 7B.8, 34 COM 7B.3, 35 COM 7B.6, 36 COM 8B.43, 37 COM 7B 7, 38 COM 7B.95, 39 COM 7A.14, 40 COM 7A.47, 41 COM 7A.17, 42 COM 7A.56, 43 COM 7A.16 and 44 COM 7A.51 adopted at its 31st (Christchurch, 2007), 32nd (Quebec City, 2008), 33rd (Seville, 2009), 34th (Brasilia, 2010), 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012), 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 38th (Doha, 2014), 39th (Bonn, 2015), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), 41st (Krakow, 2017), 42nd (Manama, 2018), 43rd (Baku, 2019) and extended 44th (Fuzhou/online, 2021) sessions respectively,
  3. Also recalling the Committee’s clear position adopted in its Decision 40 COM 7, that the construction of dams with large reservoirs within the boundaries of World Heritage properties is incompatible with their World Heritage status,
  4. Further recalling the commitment made by the State Party that led to the adoption of Decision 36 COM 8B.43, to not undertake any development activities in the property without the Committee’s approval,
  5. Notes with utmost concern the irreversible impact of the continued construction of the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHPP) on the values and integrity which underpin the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property as it was inscribed on the World Heritage List;
  6. Reiterates its concerns regarding the potential impacts of the proposed Kidunda dam project which may inundate part of the property, and requests the State Party not to proceed with any decision that would be difficult to reverse before the revised 2021 Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) has been submitted to the World Heritage Centre and reviewed by IUCN;
  7. Takes note of the State Party’s commitment that the dormant Mkuju uranium mine, Kito-1 oil and gas exploration, and oil exploration blocks outside the property, would be subject to a new ESIA process should they be considered in future, and also requests the State Party to ensure that any development that may impact on the OUV of the property is assessed in line with the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context;
  8. Expresses its utmost concern that the State Party has still not invited the World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission, as requested by the Committee since 2018, and urges the State Party to invite this mission as a matter of utmost priority in order to re-establish dialogue on the various challenges, including but not limited to:
    1. The status and implications of the ongoing construction of the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project and associated infrastructure for the World Heritage status,
    2. The status and reported recovery of the elephant population,
    3. The renewed interest in the Kidunda dam and 2021 revised ESIA for this project,
    4. The implications of the creation of Nyerere National Park in terms of legal status, governance and funding mechanisms,
    5. The current status of the OUV of the property and to confirm whether the property continues to demonstrate the integrity and values which underpin the OUV as it was inscribed on the World Heritage List,
    6. The future scenarios for the property including options to conserve the wider Selous-Niassa ecosystem;
  9. Expresses its sincere condolences to the colleagues and families of individuals, including from the Tanzania National Parks Authority and Frankfurt Zoological Society, who were tragically killed and injured in a plane crash in the property;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2024, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 46th session;
  11. Decides to retain Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Context of Decision