A hydroelectric dam threatens the Selous Game Reserve
The Madagascar Pond-heron (Endangered) finds refuge in the reserve - for now © Hanjo Hellman
Inside Tanzania lies a nearly undisturbed tract of land roughly the size of Switzerland. The Selous Game Reserve is one of the last areas of wilderness left on Earth. Due to its importance as a largely untouched habitat, this vast expanse was named a World Heritage Site in 1982. It is also an Important Bird & Biodiversity Area (IBA) and Key Biodiversity Area (KBA), hosting a long list of species typical to the savanna regions of Africa.
That may be about to change. In late April, the Tanzanian government opened up a tender to clear a large swathe of vegetation inside Selous. The government most likely wants to build a hydropower dam called the Stiegler’s Gorge Dam. This decision is in breach of Tanzanian environmental legislation and goes against the World Heritage Committee position against dams with large reservoirs being built in World Heritage sites.
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