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Technical review of the environmental impact assessment for the Rufiji hydropower project in Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania


This rapid technical review assesses the “Updated Environmental Impact Assessment Report for 2100 MW Power Generation from the Rufiji Hydropower Project in Selous Game Reserve, Pwani and Morogoro regions, Tanzania” of 18 October 2018 that relates to a planned hydropower project to be built at Stiegler’s Gorge in the north of Selous Game Reserve. The project will involve construction of a 130m high dam on the Rufiji river, creation of a 100km long, c.914km2 reservoir plus a power plant, a transmission line, workers camps and access roads. The c. 50,000km2 Selous Game Reserve (SGR) is an IUCN category IV protected area. It has been a natural World Heritage Site since 1982 but has been on the List of World Heritage in Danger since 2014 due to intensive poaching. In 2018, the threat from the Project was added to the justification for the continued inclusion of SGR on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The review assesses the degree of alignment of the EIA with 1) IUCN guidance on impact assessment in World Heritage sites, and 2) international good practice, as set out in the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards and associated technical guidance.