World Heritage sites

Exploration and Exploitation of hydrocarbon resources within designated World Heritage areas


The World Heritage Committee and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) view oil, gas and mineral exploration and exploitation as incompatible with World Heritage status and deem certain locations too valuable to operate within.

Tullow agrees with this position, and in 2015 we formalised the Board’s decision not to explore for or exploit hydrocarbon resources within designated World Heritage areas in a letter to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.  The commitment is captured in the Company’s new Safe and Sustainable Operations Policy, and is operationalised through a mandatory Non-Technical Risk Standard.

In addition to World Heritage sites, “Protected Areas” are also recognised by IUCN as an area that is “clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values.” As a number of Protected Areas are either existing or potential areas of Tullow operations, the Group has established a mandatory Protected Areas Assessment Procedure. 

The procedure commits Tullow to assessing the potential impact of operations within protected areas of natural and cultural value by identifying risks to the local biodiversity, culture and ecosystems, prior to undertaking any new activity. The results of these assessments are carefully considered and final approval in certain protected areas is required by the Tullow Board before any operations can take place. This procedure, and Tullow’s support of World Heritage ‘no go’ zones, reflects the Group’s ongoing commitment to Responsible Operations and mitigating social and environmental risk in operational planning and delivery.

Summary of Tullow's East Africa operations in Protected Areas:

Location  Protected Areas
 Ethiopia Omo and Mago National Parks (IUCN Cat. II)
Tama Wildlife Reserve (IUCN Cat. IV)
Chelbi Wildlife Reserve (IUCN Cat. IV)
 Kenya Turkana National Parks - Sibiloi, Central Island and South Island (IUCN Cat. II)
Lake Bogoria (Ramsar Wetland)
South Turkana National Reserve (IUCN Cat. II)
 Uganda Murchison Falls National Park (IUCN Cat. II)
Murchison Falls (Ramsar Wetland)
Bugungu Wildlife Reserves (IUCN Cat. III)
Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve (IUCN Cat. III)