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Selous Game Reserve

United Republic of Tanzania
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • 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, and the effects thereof on the ecosystem

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

In progress

Corrective Measures for the property

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
In progress
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 3 (from 1984-1999)
Total amount approved : 67,980 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 6 February 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property. An IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property took place between 8 and 15 February 2017. Both reports are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/199/documents/. Progress in addressing previous Committee decisions is provided in the State Party report as follows:

  • The Selous Ecosystem Conservation and Development (SECAD) project is planned to be implemented by the State Party in collaboration with the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the German Development Bank (KfW) to address poaching;
  • The current population of black rhinos in the property is unknown, but long-term monitoring activities will be reinitiated;
  • The Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) has been operational since July 2016;
  • A draft five-year action plan has been developed by the States Parties of Tanzania and Mozambique to protect the Selous-Niassa corridor, but resources to implement it are limited;
  • Feasibility of the In Situ Leaching (ISL) method is being tested at the Mkuju River Project. Monitoring of water quality and radiation tests is on-going, and an emergency plan is in place;
  • The Stiegler’s Gorge Dam project has not yet been approved, but the project proponent, Odebrecht, has been allowed to proceed with an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA);
  • An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Kidunda Dam is being finalized and will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review once completed;
  • Prospecting and mining of oil, gas and uranium inside the property cannot legally be restricted under the Wildlife Conservation Act No. 5 of 2009, but the State Party is taking measures to ensure that no mining permits are granted;
  • Local communities are consulted in developing the General Management Plan (GMP) and receive benefit through retention of hunting fees and partnering with private investors in Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs);
  • The State Party appeals to the World Heritage Centre and the donor community to support the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to assess the cumulative impacts of the various existing and proposed developments impacting on the property.

A draft proposal for a Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and a draft two-year Emergency Action Plan (EAP) were submitted to the World Heritage Centre in preparation for the mission. They have been developed with the aim to significantly reduce poaching and initiate recovery of populations of key wildlife species by July 2018. The DSOCR and EAP are expected to be revised and re-submitted by December 2017.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN were informed of an oil and gas prospecting concession called Kito-1 in the Kilombero Valley Floodplain Ramsar site, upstream of the property. The World Heritage Centre sent a letter to the State Party on 22 March 2017 requesting information on this matter.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

Commendable efforts have continued to be made by the State Party, including through the full operationalization of TAWA, international support to target poaching and collaboration with Mozambique for conservation of the trans-boundary Niassa-Selous ecosystem. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit the SECAD project plan, and the action plan with the State Party of Mozambique to the World Heritage Centre, and report on progress of implementation. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.47, it is also recommended that the Committee request the States Parties of Tanzania and China to report on their activities in the framework of their agreement to prevent wildlife crime.

It is appreciated that a draft DSOCR and the EAP have now been developed, albeit with a significant shortfall in the budget to implement the plan. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit the revised DSOCR to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as soon as it is available to ensure adequate resources for implementation of the Action Plan, and to report on any progress.

Noting the findings and recommendations of the 2017 mission, the project design for Kidunda Dam should firstly attempt to avoid any inundation of the property. If this is not possible, its acceptability would need to be determined. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to include a model for the flooding regime within the ESIA and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN.

The findings of the mission indicate that ISL is only one of many extraction methods being tested at the Mkuju River Project. Depending on the outcomes of these tests, an ESIA is needed to assess the potential impacts of all methods, and it should include details of measures to avoid and mitigate impacts.

The mission was informed that the Stiegler’s Gorge Dam project is still at its conceptual stage, whereas the State Party report indicates that Odebrecht has been already allowed to proceed with an EIA. The project is also included in the updated 2016 national Power System Master Plan. The status of the project remains therefore unclear. In light of the Committee’s concern over the high likelihood of serious and irreversible damage to the OUV, and in line with the Committee’s position that the construction of dams with large reservoirs within World Heritage properties is incompatible with their World Heritage status (Decision 40 COM 7), it is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to permanently abandon this project.

The mission noted with concern the oil and gas prospecting concession of Kito-1 in the Kilombero Valley Floodplain Ramsar site, which also supplies two-thirds of the Rufiji River’s waters and may therefore lead to potential downstream impacts on the property. According to the project operator, Swala Oil and Gas plc, drilling is expected to start in the third quarter of 2017. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to not permit drilling until a specialist study on the hydrological regime of the floodplain has been undertaken, subsequently informing the EIA, which should include a specific assessment of potential downstream impacts on the OUV, and both are submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN.

The mission additionally identified the emerging threat posed by increasing and intensifying livestock grazing, mainly in the northern section of the property. Although the threat is limited at present, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to proactively develop, as part of the overall management framework, a strategic plan and interventions to secure a sustainable solution to mitigate the impacts of livestock grazing on the OUV.

It is further recommended that the Committee request the State Party to implement all of the recommendations of the 2017 mission.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7A.17
Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) (N 199bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 36 COM 7B.5, 36 COM 8B.43, 40 COM 7 and 40 COM 7A.47, adopted at its 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) session respectively,
  3. Commends the State Party and its international partners for their on-going efforts to address poaching, and requests the State Party to submit the Selous Ecosystem Conservation and Development (SECAD) project plan to the World Heritage Centre and to report on progress of its implementation;
  4. Welcoming the development of a draft Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and the Emergency Action Plan, also requests the State Party to submit the revised DSOCR to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as soon as it is available, and to ensure adequate resources are available for the implementation of the Action Plan, and to report on progress made;
  5. Notes with appreciation the development of a draft Action Plan by the States Parties of Tanzania and Mozambique to strengthen their collaboration to protect the Selous-Niassa corridor, and further requests the States Parties of Tanzania and Mozambique to submit the Action Plan to the World Heritage Centre and to report on progress of its implementation;
  6. Reiterates its request to the States Parties of Tanzania and China to report on the activities carried out in the framework of their agreement to prevent wildlife crime;
  7. Considering the high likelihood of serious and irreversible damage to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property resulting from the Stiegler’s Gorge Hydropower project, and noting the inclusion of the project in the updated 2016 national Power System Master Plan, strongly urges the State Party to conduct a comprehensive ESIA/HIA for this project before deciding to proceed with the construction of the project and submit to the World Heritage Centre for review in accordance with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and requests the State Party to consider alternative options to the Stiegler’s Gorge Hydropower project ;
  8. Requests furthermore the State Party to fully implement all of the recommendations of the 2017 mission, in particular:
    1. To consider a project design of the Kidunda Dam that will not inundate any part of the property at full supply level, to include a model for the flooding regime in the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the project, and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN,
    2. To develop an ESIA for the InSitu Leaching (ISL) method and any other method selected at the Mkuju River Project (MRP), should the project proceed to this stage,
    3. To propose an additional valuable wildlife forest area as an extension of the property as requested by the Committee in Decision 36 COM 8B.43;
  9. Notes with concern the Kito-1 oil and gas prospecting concession located in the Kilombero Valley Floodplain Ramsar site, where drilling is expected to start in the third quarter of 2017, which may impact on the OUV of the property, and also urges the State Party to not permit drilling to proceed until a specialist study on the hydrological regime of the floodplain and a comprehensive EIA informed by the specialist study, have been undertaken and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, 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 42nd session in 2018;
  11. Decides to retain Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
41 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/17/41.COM/7A, WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add and WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
    • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 41 COM 7A.54)
    • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 41 COM 7A.55)
    • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 41 COM 7A.2)
    • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 41 COM 7A.23)
    • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.4)
    • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 41 COM 7A.24)
    • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.6)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.7)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.8)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.9)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.10)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.11)
    • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 41 COM 7A.32)
    • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.3)
    • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 41 COM 7A.18)
    • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 41 COM 7A.33)
    • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 41 COM 7A.34)
    • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 41 COM 7A.35)
    • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 41 COM 7A.36)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 41 COM 7A.37)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 41 COM 7A.38)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 41 COM 7A.39)
    • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 41 COM 7A.40)
    • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 41 COM 7A.41)
    • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 41 COM 7A.14)
    • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 41 COM 7A.28)
    • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 41 COM 7A.29)
    • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 41 COM 7A.30)
    • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 41 COM 7A.56)
    • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 41 COM 7A.15)
    • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 41 COM 7A.42)
    • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 41 COM 7A.43)
    • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 41 COM 7A.25)
    • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 41 COM 7A.26)
    • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.16)
    • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 41 COM 7A.21)
    • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 41 COM 7A.19)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 41 COM 7A.44)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 41 COM 7A.45)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 41 COM 7A.46)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 41 COM 7A.47)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 41 COM 7A.48)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 41 COM 7A.49)
    • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 41 COM 7A.31)
    • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 41 COM 7A.22)
    • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.17)
    • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.1)
    • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 41 COM 7A.57)
    • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 41 COM 7A.27)
    • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 41 COM 7A.51)
    • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 41 COM 7A.52)
    • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 41 COM 7A.53)
      Draft Decision: 41 COM 7A.17

      The World Heritage Committee,

      1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
      2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.47, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
      3. Commends the State Party and its international partners for their on-going efforts to address poaching, and requests the State Party to submit the Selous Ecosystem Conservation and Development (SECAD) project plan to the World Heritage Centre and to report on progress of its implementation;
      4. Welcoming the development of a draft Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and the Emergency Action Plan, also requests the State Party to submit the revised DSOCR to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as soon as it is available, and to ensure adequate resources are available for the implementation of the Action Plan, and to report on progress made;
      5. Notes with appreciation the development of a draft Action Plan by the States Parties of Tanzania and Mozambique to strengthen their collaboration to protect the Selous-Niassa corridor, and further requests the States Parties of Tanzania and Mozambique to submit the Action Plan to the World Heritage Centre and to report on progress of its implementation;
      6. Reiterates its request to the States Parties of Tanzania and China to report on the activities carried out in the framework of their agreement to prevent wildlife crime;
      7. Considering the high likelihood of serious and irreversible damage to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property resulting from the Stiegler’s Gorge Hydropower project, and noting the inclusion of the project in the updated 2016 national Power System Master Plan, strongly urges the State Party to permanently abandon the project;
      8. Requests furthermore the State Party to fully implement all of the recommendations of the 2017 mission, in particular:
        1. To consider a project design of the Kidunda Dam that will not inundate any part of the property at full supply level, to include a model for the flooding regime in the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the project, and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN,
        2. To develop an ESIA for the In Situ Leaching (ISL) method and any other method selected at the Mkuju River Project (MRP), should the project proceed to this stage,
        3. To propose an additional valuable wildlife forest area as an extension of the property as requested by the Committee in Decision 36 COM 8B.43;
      9. Notes with concern the Kito-1 oil and gas prospecting concession located in the Kilombero Valley Floodplain Ramsar site, where drilling is expected to start in the third quarter of 2017, which may impact on the OUV of the property, and also urges the State Party to not permit drilling to proceed until a specialist study on the hydrological regime of the floodplain and a comprehensive EIA informed by the specialist study, have been undertaken and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
      10. Notes the emerging threat posed by increasing and intensifying livestock grazing inside the property, and requests moreover the State Party to rapidly develop, as part of the overall management framework, a strategic plan and interventions to secure a sustainable solution to mitigate the impacts of livestock grazing on the OUV of the property;
      11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, 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 42nd session in 2018;
      12. Decides to retain Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
      Report year: 2017
      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 (2017) .pdf
      arrow_circle_right 41COM (2017)
      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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