Poaching puts Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve on List of World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee meeting in Doha (Qatar) today inscribed the Selous Game Reserve (United Republic of Tanzania) on the List of World Heritage in Danger because widespread poaching is decimating wildlife populations on the property. The Committee called on the international community, including ivory transit and destination countries, to support Tanzania in the fight against this criminal activity.

Covering 50,000 square kilometres, the Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. The property is renowned for its populations of elephant, black rhinoceros, cheetah, giraffe, hippopotamus and crocodile, amongst many other species. It also has an exceptionally high variety of habitats including Miombo woodlands, open grasslands, riverine forests and swamps, making it a valuable laboratory for on-going ecological and biological processes.

However, rampant poaching has caused a dramatic decline in the wildlife populations, especially elephants and rhino, whose numbers have dropped by almost 90 percent since 1982, when the property was inscribed on the World Heritage List.

The 38th session of the World Heritage Committee began on 15 June and will continue through to 25 June, under the Chair of Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani.

                                                           ****

The work of the session can be followed daily via webcast.

UNESCO Media Contact in Doha
Sue Williams, +33(0)6 15 92 93 62 or +974 503 16609
s.williams(at)unesco.org 

  • Follow @UNESCO on Twitter using the hashtag #WorldHeritage for breaking information on important World Heritage Committee decisions during the session. Soon after tweeting, UNESCO will issue press releases about these decisions in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
  • Daily recaps and discussions will be available on our Facebook page.
  • B-rolls of new World Heritage sites will be available as soon as they are inscribed here.
  • Photo galleries of new World Heritage sites will also be available here.