Save Tanzania's World Heritage Selous Reserve!

22,487 signatures toward our 40,000 Goal

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

The Tanzanian government wants to log over 500 square miles of pristine protected forest to make way for a dam.

A tremendous protected reserve in Tanzania is being threatened with logging and destruction. Stand with us to save it!

Tanzania's Selous Reserve was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982[1] as an undisturbed, species-rich habitat for wildlife. It's one of the largest protected wild spaces in the world, covering 19,000 square miles. Incredible populations of iconic African species live there, including elephants, lions, Cape buffaloes, Masai giraffes, zebras, and many more. The reserve is also a source of income, attracting tourists, professional photographers, and game hunters from around the world.

But the Tanzanian government is endangering both the reserve itself and its status as a World Heritage Site.[2] In an effort to make money and generate hydropower, it is trying to sell off the trees that cover more than 500 square miles of untouched forest. Then it will build a dam[3] that will drastically change the landscape, negatively affect tourism and conservation activities, and harm or destroy the livelihoods of over 200,000 people whose farming or fishing depend on the free-flowing river.

It's telling that this government project could cause the Selous Reserve's status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to be revoked[4].

The Tanzanian government must not let this happen. Ask the Tanzania Forest Services Agency to take the sale of these living trees off the table, and stop the dam project. We must not wantonly destroy this precious protected habitat.

Sign the petition. Save the Selous Reserve.

[1] UNESCO World Heritage List: Selous Game Reserve
[2] The East African: Tanzania opens bids linked to Selous park dam project
[3] Business Daily Africa: Fresh concerns as Tanzania makes mineral discoveries in Selous reserve
[4] The East African: World Heritage status of Tanzania's Selous park at risk

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The Petition:

To the Tanzania Forest Services Agency:

There are some sites that are so valuable, so irreplaceable, that they belong to the world. The Selous Game Reserve is such a place, designated in 1982 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But the reserve is now considered an endangered site because of the Tanzanian government's desire to log 500 miles of forest to make way for a hydropower project.

This project will not only irrevocably change this precious wild space, negatively impacting photo tourism and hunting activities, but it will also negatively impact Tanzanian citizens who rely on the life-giving waters that flow through the Stieglers Gorge. The livelihoods of up to 200,000 farmers and fishermen will be destroyed forever, and one of the world's greatest wildlife habitats will be permanently diminished.

The loss of the World Heritage Site designation and the damage to such a rich and diverse protect space would be deeply felt by Tanzania and around the world. Please stop the bidding process, stop the preparations for the dam, and conduct an official environmental assessment that takes into account the losses from the damage this project would wreak.

The world is watching, with hope in our hearts that the Selous Game Reserve will be preserved, untouched, for future generations.


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