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Decision 36 COM 8B.43
Natural Properties - Examination of minor boundary modifications - Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Documents WHC-12/36.COM/8B.Add and WHC-12/36.COM/INF.8B2,

2.   Recalling Decisions 33 COM 7B.8, 34 COM 7B.3, 35 COM 7B.6 and 35 COM 8B.46;

3.   Reiterates that the modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties that are related to mining activities have to be dealt with through the procedure for significant modifications of boundaries, in accordance with para. 165 of the Operational Guidelines given the potential impact of such projects on the Outstanding Universal Value;

4.   Takes note and regrets that the State Party did not submit the application as a significant but as a minor boundary modification on 1 February 2011 as stated in Decision 35 COM 8B.46;

5.   Considers that through the referral process a completed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been submitted which demonstrates that the impact of the mining project on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is limited and can be mitigated;

6.   Recalls in particular the commitments made by the State Party at the 35th session of the Committee to secure and enhance the continued effectiveness of the Selous-Niassa corridor as a key feature to maintaining the long-term integrity of the property, as well as to make proposals for the inclusion into the property of additional land to the effect of further maintaining and enhancing the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7.   Considering the reiteration of the commitments of the State Party to the protection and conservation of the property, as stated in the letter of the State Party received on 1 July 2012, requests it to:

a)   Provide additional valuable wildlife forest area to compensate for the excised area of Selous Game Reserve for inclusion into the property to the effect of further maintaining and enhancing the OUV of the property,

b)   Ensure enhanced and effective protection of the Selous-Niassa corridor,

c)   Not to engage in any mining activity within the Selous Game Reserve World Heritage property after exclusion of the Mkuju River Mining site as per the decision of the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee,

d)   Ensure that the investors contribute to the Protection Fund (provided for in the Wildlife Conservation Act N°5 of 2009),

e)   Complete the process of establishing a Tanzanian Wildlife Authority by November 2013 which will ensure 100% retention scheme for the management of the Selous Game Reserve,

f)    Not to undertake any development activities within Selous Game Reserve, and its buffer zone without prior approval of the World Heritage Committee in accordance with the Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention;

8.   Decides in an exceptional and unique manner to approve the proposed boundary modification of the Selous Game Reserve, United Republic of Tanzania;

9.   Urges the State Party to ensure:

a)   That the environmental management and monitoring plan is implemented,

b)   that economic and social needs of the local population and workers are respected and that social conditions in and around the Selous Game Reserve, in particular linked to the Mkuju River Mining site, are subject to monitoring, and

c)   that the mining activity and processing of the uranium is carried out corresponding to state of the art international standards in adherence to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) rules governing the processing of uranium materials,

10.   Further urges the State Party to submit before 1 February 2013 a proposal for the extension of the property to strengthen the integrity in the context of the greater Selous ecosystem;

11.   Further reminds the State Party of its obligations to ensure that all measures to address the impact of the approved boundary modification to the property identified in the environmental impact assessment are timely and properly implemented to assure that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is maintained and effectively protected;

12.   Requests the State Party to submit a progress report by 1 February 2013 on the implementation of this decision for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013.

Decision Code
36 COM 8B.43
Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2012 Selous Game Reserve
Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012)
Context of Decision