1.         Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) (N 199bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1982

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2014-present

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 identified

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet identified

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/199/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1984-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 67,980
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/199/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

June 2007, November 2008 and December 2013: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring missions.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/199/

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:

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

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 Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

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.

Decision Adopted: 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 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.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 8C.2

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: