Wednesday, January 18, 2012

UNESCO nod on altering Selous boundaries not before June

Proposed alteration of Selous Game Reserve boundaries to pave way for a tricky uranium mining project in Namtumbo district, Ruvuma region faces uncertainty as no international clearance could be granted until June this year at the earliest.

The clearance on the boundaries change is supposed to be acquired from the World Heritage Centre, a body under the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Selous is listed on Unesco’s world heritage sites.

Ezekiel Maige, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, told The Guardian on Sunday this week that the government would be waiting for a decision from WHC after its June meeting, in which case no conclusion can be made before mid-year.

“World heritage centre meets once a year and during the 2011 meeting we submitted the proposals which the body has to look into before reaching a decision,” noted the minister.
He stated: “Through its advisory body the committee sent its team last October which looked into various matters including the Environment Impact Assessment. They visited the site and met the national Atomic Energy Commission, therefore the findings and report by this team would be key in reaching decisions.”

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