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NEWS
WWF calls Africa mining plans for World Heritage sites 'short sighted'
POSTED 20 Oct 2016 . BY Tom Anstey
Plans for uranium mining in Tanzania would cause significant damage to the Selous Game Reserve World Heritage site Credit: Christian Council of Tanzania
The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) has responded to reports that African nations may argue for African countries to extract oil, gas and minerals from beneath natural World Heritage sites, calling the approach “short-sighted” and a risk for “the long-term value of some of the planet’s most ecologically-rich places”.

Noting locations including the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga National Park, Botswana’s Okavango Delta, Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools and Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve, Frederick Kwame Kumah, director of the WWF’s Regional Office for Africa, said that more than 60 per cent of Africa’s natural World Heritage sites are threatened by concessions or activity by oil, gas and mining.

“When faced with the imperative of alleviating poverty through economic development, it is understandable that our leaders may feel a strong urge to exploit Africa’s resources, even if they are to be found underneath World Heritage sites or other protected areas,” he said. “But a narrow focus on hydrocarbon and mineral resources overlooks other, more sustainable options for achieving human and economic development in some of the continent’s poorest countries.

“Once pristine places are damaged and changed, sometime irreversibly. And that’s to say nothing of the environmental risks that extractives industries pose to sensitive ecosystems, such as oil spills, toxic tailings from mining, pollution and contamination of water.”

Kumah added that with limited capacity and expertise to limit or respond to such risks, governments must consider if the benefits match the cost for the loss of natural heritage, for “short-term unsustainable gain.”

“For the benefit of governments, but also potential businesses and investors, more work needs to be done to define which economic activities are compatible with protected area status,” added Kumah. “We must try to discover which can be sustainably pursued with minimal degradation of natural value, and in a way that delivers long-term benefits for people and nature.

“Africans are proud of our heritage, and I believe we would rather see it protected and managed sustainably rather than looking to make special exceptions to international rules.”

The issue was raised earlier this year, when leading heritage expert, Pascall Taruvinga, suggested a socio-economic approach needs to be taken to maximise sustainability of Africa’s heritage sites.

Speaking on the first-ever African World Heritage Day on 5 May, Taruvinga, chief heritage officer for the Robben Island Museum and World Heritage site in Cape Town, South Africa, asked what were the acceptable socio-economic initiatives that could be implemented without compromising the authenticity and the integrity of a site.

“Socio-economic development often takes place either within or outside the boundaries of places inscribed as world heritage sites, for example, uranium extraction in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve,” said Taruvinga.

“World Heritage has not been sufficiently harnessed for contributing to socio-economic development, especially in developing nations. Principles of sustainable development should be applied during this process.”
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Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
WWF calls Africa mining plans for World Heritage sites 'short sighted'
POSTED 20 Oct 2016 . BY Tom Anstey
Plans for uranium mining in Tanzania would cause significant damage to the Selous Game Reserve World Heritage site Credit: Christian Council of Tanzania
The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) has responded to reports that African nations may argue for African countries to extract oil, gas and minerals from beneath natural World Heritage sites, calling the approach “short-sighted” and a risk for “the long-term value of some of the planet’s most ecologically-rich places”.

Noting locations including the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga National Park, Botswana’s Okavango Delta, Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools and Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve, Frederick Kwame Kumah, director of the WWF’s Regional Office for Africa, said that more than 60 per cent of Africa’s natural World Heritage sites are threatened by concessions or activity by oil, gas and mining.

“When faced with the imperative of alleviating poverty through economic development, it is understandable that our leaders may feel a strong urge to exploit Africa’s resources, even if they are to be found underneath World Heritage sites or other protected areas,” he said. “But a narrow focus on hydrocarbon and mineral resources overlooks other, more sustainable options for achieving human and economic development in some of the continent’s poorest countries.

“Once pristine places are damaged and changed, sometime irreversibly. And that’s to say nothing of the environmental risks that extractives industries pose to sensitive ecosystems, such as oil spills, toxic tailings from mining, pollution and contamination of water.”

Kumah added that with limited capacity and expertise to limit or respond to such risks, governments must consider if the benefits match the cost for the loss of natural heritage, for “short-term unsustainable gain.”

“For the benefit of governments, but also potential businesses and investors, more work needs to be done to define which economic activities are compatible with protected area status,” added Kumah. “We must try to discover which can be sustainably pursued with minimal degradation of natural value, and in a way that delivers long-term benefits for people and nature.

“Africans are proud of our heritage, and I believe we would rather see it protected and managed sustainably rather than looking to make special exceptions to international rules.”

The issue was raised earlier this year, when leading heritage expert, Pascall Taruvinga, suggested a socio-economic approach needs to be taken to maximise sustainability of Africa’s heritage sites.

Speaking on the first-ever African World Heritage Day on 5 May, Taruvinga, chief heritage officer for the Robben Island Museum and World Heritage site in Cape Town, South Africa, asked what were the acceptable socio-economic initiatives that could be implemented without compromising the authenticity and the integrity of a site.

“Socio-economic development often takes place either within or outside the boundaries of places inscribed as world heritage sites, for example, uranium extraction in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve,” said Taruvinga.

“World Heritage has not been sufficiently harnessed for contributing to socio-economic development, especially in developing nations. Principles of sustainable development should be applied during this process.”
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Alton Towers' iconic Nemesis coaster closes for major revamp
The famous Nemesis ride at UK theme park, Alton Towers, has closed for a major revamp.
Bob Iger's return to Disney sparks major restructuring focused on creativity and storytelling
Disney is set to undergo a "major restructuring" following the shock return of CEO Bob Iger.
Battersea Power Station's chimney experience whisks guests up 109m in a glass elevator
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COMPANY PROFILES
IDEATTACK

IDEATTACK is a full-service planning and design company with headquarters in Los Angeles. [more...]
Clip 'n Climb

Clip ‘n Climb currently offers facility owners and investors more than 40 colourful and unique Cha [more...]
TechnoAlpin

TechnoAlpin is the world leader for snowmaking systems. Our product portfolio includes all different [more...]
instantprint

We’re a Yorkshire-based online printer, founded in 2009 by Adam Carnell and James Kinsella. [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Attractions industry to reunite this September at IAAPA Expo Europe in London
For the first time in more than a decade, industry leaders from across the global attractions industry will once again gather in London as part of the annual IAAPA Expo Europe, the sector’s premier international event. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Proslide Tech Inc - ProSlide's all-in-one waterplay entertainment center
RideHOUSE is an iconic waterplay complex purposefully designed for young kids and families to enjoy. Find out more...
More videos:
Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue! – Red Raion
Red Raion TV - Opening Event: FICO Eataly World – Red Raion
Red Raion Showreel 2021 – Red Raion
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

01-07 Dec 2022

World Leisure Congress 2022

tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
05-07 Dec 2022

East Cape Futures

Hotel Palmas de Cortez, Los Barriles, Mexico
+ More diary  
 


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Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

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