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Selous Game Reserve

United Republic of Tanzania
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Financial resources
  • Illegal activities
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
  • Oil and gas
  • Water infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    Significant decline of wildlife populations due to poaching

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Significant decline of wildlife populations due to poaching
  • Insufficient funding and management
  • Mineral and hydrocarbon prospecting and mining
  • Tourism management and development
  • Proposed dam development
  • Operationalizing the uranium mining project
  • Lack of disaster preparedness
  • Need for buffer zone
  • Need for increased involvement of local communities
  • Alien invasive species
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Poaching and the ensuing dramatic declines in elephant populations

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Not yet drafted

Corrective Measures for the property

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Not yet identified
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 3 (from 1984-1999)
Total amount approved : 67,980 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 1 February 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, a summary of which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/199/documents. The State Party also submitted a separate letter informing the World Heritage Centre of conservation measures taken. The State Party highlights the following:

  • The Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA) is expected to become operational by mid 2015;
  • Implementation of the national anti-poaching strategy, which started in October 2014, is underway jointly with partners;
  • Two national and one regional conference on poaching were conducted during which 14 priority actions were developed to address poaching at national level and discussions were held to improve cooperation at regional level;
  • The retention scheme and external support granted by the Selous Elephant Emergency Project (SEEP), embassies and the private sector made it possible to dedicate additional staff, infrastructure and equipment to anti-poaching activities;
  • A major project is under development with support of the German development bank (KfW) for the conservation of wildlife in the Serengeti and Selous ecosystems;
  • A new elephant census was conducted with no results available at the time of reporting.

Responding to the World Heritage Committee request to implement the recommendations of the 2013 mission, the State Party reports as follows:

  • The uranium mining project at Mkuju River is not yet operational. Measures to minimize the impacts of the Project are to be implemented upon starting of active mining;
  • Pledged KfW support will be used to accommodate a landscape level “Larger Selous Ecosystem” management approach, including carrying out the related Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), as well as revising and updating the General Management Plan (GMP), which will also address Wildlife Management Areas, the involvement of and benefits for local communities, and the emerging issue of alien invasive species;
  • A meeting was convened by the Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism, to which several governmental institutions were invited to discuss the status of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Stiegler’s Gorge dam project;
  • An ESIA for the Kidunda dam project dated December 2014 is provided for review.

The State Party commits to take the required urgent actions to remove the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger. Furthermore, the State Party re-affirms its commitment to refrain from any development without Committee approval and subscribes to the Committee’s established position that mining and oil and gas exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

The on-going work to address the poaching crisis in the property is noted. However, recent poaching incidents suggest that while poaching has declined, it is not yet under control. It is recommended that enhanced law enforcement responses to poaching and trafficking are needed, and that within the framework of the national anti-poaching strategy, a site-specific anti-poaching strategy and a comprehensive emergency action plan is developed to halt poaching within the Larger Selous Ecosystem in 12 months, as originally recommended by the 2013 mission and Decision 38 COM 7B.95. Measures at site level have to be accompanied by decisive actions at national level to address criminal networks involved in ivory trafficking and to improve controls in the ports used by the traffickers. CITES is also the appropriate framework to address the demand for ivory, rhino horn and other wildlife products in destination countries, which is driving the current poaching crisis.

The information that the Mkuju mining project is not yet operational is noted. However, the stated intention to engage in monitoring only upon the start of active mining is technically not tenable. It is recommended that the Committee reiterate the need for the State Party to put in place both disaster preparedness and water monitoring prior to active mining. There is still concern on the lack of clarity of the extraction method which is planned to be used.

The information provided does not clarify the status of planning and decision-making of the Stiegler's Gorge Dam project as was requested in Decision 38 COM 7B.95, and thereby does not permit any conclusive observations on its current status.

No progress was made on the establishment of a buffer zone and potentially strategic additions to the property, although this was a key commitment made by the State Party at the time of the approval of the boundary modification.

The submitted ESIA for the Kidunda dam project contains three separate ESIA volumes (dam, transmission line, upgraded road access) and one cumulative impact assessment. The ESIA for the Kidunda dam (“Volume II”) is almost identical to the 2012 draft report submitted earlier. The ESIA does not address the comments provided in neither the 2013 Reactive Monitoring mission report nor the relevant Committee decisions, and does not elaborate on the potential impacts from the project on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). It can therefore not be considered adequate.

A proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) was not submitted. In order to develop and adopt the programme of Corrective Measures and monitor the progress for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, it is recommended that the Committee urges the State Party to submit the proposal for DSOCR. This work should be aligned with the development of a site-specific anti-poaching strategy and a comprehensive emergency action plan.

The planned cooperation project with KfW amounts to a major opportunity for the State Party to address the multiple challenges. The updating of the current GMP could significantly contribute to guiding both management and steps towards the eventual removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger. Beyond further strengthening of the anti-poaching efforts, attention should be given to: the “Larger Selous Ecosystem” and the many communities inhabiting it; Wildlife Management Areas; conservation corridors, including but not limited to the Selous-Niassa Corridor; buffer zones; possible strategic additions to the property; and the emerging issue of alien invasive species in the lake systems and along watercourses. Consistency between the GMP and the DSOCR, which is to be completed, should be ensured. Finally, it should be recalled that the State Party expressed its willingness to conduct an SEA in this context.

It is recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.14
Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) (N 199bis)
The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.95, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the clear commitment of the State Party to refrain from any form of mining within the property, and not to undertake any activities that may impact the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and its surrounding areas without prior approval of the World Heritage Committee;
  4. Notes with appreciation the on-going efforts by the State Party to address the poaching crisis in the property, and the various forms of support granted to Tanzania on the part of bi-lateral cooperation in particular Germany, the U.S., NGOs and the private sector;
  5. Reiterates its concern about the continued pressure from poaching in the property and its impact on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), and urges the State Party to strengthen law enforcement, and to implement a site specific anti-poaching strategy and a comprehensive emergency action plan with the objective of halting poaching within the “Larger Selous Ecosystem” in 12 months, as originally recommended by the 2013 Reactive Monitoring mission and Decision 38 COM 7B.95;
  6. Requests the State Party to continue to take decisive actions at national level to address criminal networks involved in ivory trafficking and to improve controls in the ports used by the traffickers, and calls upon the States Parties which are transit and destination countries for ivory and rhino horn, to support the State Party to halt the illegal trade in ivory and other illegal wildlife products, in particular through the implementation of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
  7. Regrets the slow progress by the State Party in the establishment of a buffer zone and potentially strategic additions to the property, although this was a key commitment made by the State Party at the time of the approval of the boundary modification;
  8. Notes that the Mkuju River mining project has not yet started production, however also urges the State Party to ensure disaster preparedness and independent water monitoring prior to active mining, to provide a detailed description on the planned mining project, including details on the mining design, the extraction and processing methods and the measures foreseen to minimize contamination risks as well as an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in the case of consideration of in-situ Leaching (ISL);
  9. Reiterates its request to clarify the status of planning and decision-making of the Stiegler's Gorge Dam project as was requested in Decision 38 COM 7B.95;
  10. Also notes that the submitted Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Kidunda dam project does not address the comments provided in neither the report of the 2013 Reactive Monitoring mission nor the relevant Committee decisions, and does not elaborate on the impacts on the property’s OUV, therefore also reiterates its request to complete the ESIA including a chapter on the impact of the proposed activity on the OUV of the property in accordance with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  11. Further urges the State Party to implement all other recommendations of the 2013 Reactive Monitoring mission and to submit a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  12. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above recommendations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  13. Decides to retain the Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
39 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of the World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 39 COM 7A.38)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 39 COM 7A.39)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 39 COM 7A.18)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosi (Decision 39 COM 7A.44)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 39 COM 7A.45)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 39 COM 7A.24)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.10)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 39 COM 7A.40)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 39 COM 7A.41)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.20)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 39 COM 7A.15)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 39 COM 7A.25)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 39 COM 7A.26)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 39 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 39 COM 7A.11)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 39 COM 7A.21)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 39 COM 7A.22)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 39 COM 7A.12)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 39 COM 7A.28)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 39 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 39 COM 7A.46)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 39 COM 7A.47)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.13)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 39 COM 7A.42)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 39 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 39 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 39 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 39 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 39 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 39 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 39 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 39 COM 7A.23)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 39 COM 7A.43)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.14)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.17)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 39 COM 7A.48)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 39 COM 7A.37)
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7A.14

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.95, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the clear commitment of the State Party to refrain from any form of mining within the property, and not to undertake any development activities within the property and its surrounding areas without prior approval of the World Heritage Committee;
  4. Acknowledges the on-going efforts by the State Party to address the poaching crisis in the property, and notes with appreciation the various forms of support granted to Tanzania on the part of bi-lateral cooperation in particular Germany, the U.S., NGOs and the private sector;
  5. Reiterates its concern about the continued pressure from poaching in the property and its impact on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), and urges the State Party to strengthen law enforcement, and to develop and implement a specific anti-poaching strategy and a comprehensive emergency action plan with the objective of halting poaching within the “Larger Selous Ecosystem” in 12 months, as originally recommended by the 2013 Reactive Monitoring mission and Decision 38 COM 7B.95;
  6. Requests the State Party to take decisive actions at national level to address criminal networks involved in ivory trafficking and to improve controls in the ports used by the traffickers, and calls upon the States Parties which are transit and destination countries for ivory and rhino horn, to support the State Party to halt the illegal trade in ivory and other illegal wildlife products, in particular through the implementation of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
  7. Regrets the lack of progress by the State Party in the establishment of a buffer zone and potentially strategic additions to the property, although this was a key commitment made by the State Party at the time of the approval of the boundary modification;
  8. Notes that the Mkuju River mining project has not yet started production, however also urges the State Party to ensure disaster preparedness and independent water monitoring prior to active mining, to provide a detailed description on the planned mining project, including details on the mining design, the extraction and processing methods and the measures foreseen to minimize contamination risks as well as an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in the case of consideration of in-situ Leaching (ISL);
  9. Reiterates its request to clarify the status of planning and decision-making of the Stiegler's Gorge Dam project as was requested in Decision 38 COM 7B.95;
  10. Also notes that the submitted Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Kidunda dam project does not address the comments provided in neither the report of the 2013 Reactive Monitoring mission nor the relevant Committee decisions, and does not elaborate on the impacts on the property’s OUV, therefore also reiterates its request to complete the ESIA including a chapter on the impact of the proposed activity on the OUV of the property in accordance with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  11. Further urges the State Party to implement all other recommendations of the 2013 Reactive Monitoring mission and to submit a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  12. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above recommendations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  13. Decides to retain the Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2015
United Republic of Tanzania
Date of Inscription: 1982
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2014-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 39COM (2015)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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