In June, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, meeting in Russia, will decide whether to change the boundaries of the precious World Heritage site Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania to allow a uranium mine. The Reserve is one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in Africa, harbouring the largest elephant population on the continent.
The planned Mkuju River uranium mine, if allowed, would deal a major blow to the ecology of the region and have a devastating impact on economic and social fronts.
Radioactive contamination will last for a very long time, in human terms forever.
Changing the boundary of the World Heritage site Selous Game Reserve in order to have the planned Mkuju River Uranium mine located outside the Reserve and thus make it acceptable for licensing, will not prevent radioactive contamination and toxic materials from entering the Park via surface waters, aquifers, and air etc., and will still endanger wildlife.
The longevity of the radioactive elements poses a danger far beyond the time of operation of the mine, and will endanger the World Heritage site for many generations to come who will have to deal with the problems - or leave the site to serious environmental degradation.
We must urge the UNESCO World Heritage committee to keep the boundaries unchanged and discourage the Government of Tanzania from licensing the Mkuju River Uranium mine.