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Protest organised against uranium mining in Selous Game Reserve

UNESCO sacrifices wildlife preserve for uranium mine New World Heritage sites are always announced with an especially effective publicity. However, the decision for the boundary change in the Selous Game Reserve was not communicated to the public. Now that the UNESCO has accepted the boundary change, they have made way for a major uranium mine called  Mkuju River Uranium Project . It will be owned by  Russian ARMZ, a  subsidiary of ROSATOM, together with the Canadian company Uranium One.

“Uranium mining is incompatible with World Heritage”

In 2011, the UNESCO announced that „mining activities and dam projects would be incompatible with the status of World Heritage sites“. At the same time, the government of Tanzania announced that they had agreed to a declaration of intent for the construction of a dam in the Rufiji river with a Brasilian Company. The river runs through the centre of the Selous Reserve and is supposed to secure the electricity for the planned uranium mining project.

The „Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage“ of UNESCO has been ratified by 189 states. The UN runs a list of 962 World Heritage sites, this includes 188 World Natural Heritages, as well as the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania.

In the areas where uranium mines are active, there have been severe damages to the environment and the health of the local communities. With their decision, the UNESCO is co-responsible for the future destruction of the environment and human life in the Selous Game Reserve.

Environmental groups accuse the UNESCO of failure and irresponsibility. Their decision appears to be influenced by corporate and lobby interests. Now there is a risk that this case has set a precedent that endangers the protection of other World Heritage sites for similiar interests.

We must not let a World Heritage site be sacrificed. Please support this letter of protest to the UNESCO.


August 13, 2012 - Posted by | AFRICA, environment

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