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Tanzania environmentalists concerned about impact on tourism
22/Oct/2014
Environmentalists concerned over the destructive impact on the core tourism area of the Selous Game Reserve by plans to build a dam and hydroelectric power plant by the Rufiji (River) Basin Development Authority have taken issue with the latest attempts by RUBADA mouthpieces to whitewash and greenwash the project by peddling untruths, clearly misleading the Tanzanian public similar to other cases where UNESCO World Heritage sites have in the past come under threat by reckless development plans.

While RUBADA’s Aloyce Masanja claimed that UNESCO had sanctioned plans for the powerplant, UNESCO categorically denied such approvals were given, with one Paris-based source in fact saying that the Selous is now considered a World Heritage site in danger.

UNESCO’s last official mention of the project is contained in a published report, and is not dissimilar to schemes to build a highway across the Serengeti, attempts to tamper with the Old Stone Town on Unguja/Zanzibar, as well as the Lake Natron mud flats, which do not have UNESCO WHS status.

Start quote:

Appreciates the State Party’s concurrence with the recommendation of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to include the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

Decides to inscribe Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

Clarify the status of planning and decision-making of the Stiegler's Gorge Dam project and ensure a comprehensive understanding of the impacts, risks, costs, benefits, and alternatives as a basis for any decision-making regarding the project both in the form of an in-depth EIA and the comprehensive Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) noted below, taking into account the OUV of the property;

Take advantage of the upcoming updating of the General Management Plan to fully consider the World Heritage status of the property;

Reiterates its request to the State Party not to undertake any development activities within Selous Game Reserve and its surrounding areas without prior approval of the World Heritage Committee in accordance with the Operational Guidelines;

Also reiterates its request to the State Party not to engage in any mining activity within the property after exclusion of the Mkuju River Mining site as per Decision 36 COM 8B.43, in line with its established position that mining and oil and gas exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status;
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