Thursday, 19 September 2013

Namibian Cabinet Decision on Moratorium for Marine Phosphate Mining

Swakopmund Matters: 18 September 2013

Large scale phosphate mining in the sea off the Namibian coastline is a concern to many. "The decision taken by the Namibian Cabinet to

· impose a moratorium for 18 months on marine phosphate mining;

· demand a scoping study to be finalised for the Environmental Assessment of phosphate mining in Namibian coastal waters; and

· call for a Strategic Environmental Assessment

is a victory for reason. Realism has prevailed. The turning point all have been waiting for has now been reached.

In announcing the decision, as reported by NAMPA, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, the Hon. Bernhard Esau, stressed that

“… such mining cannot happen if there is no certainty on what impact these phosphate mining activities could have on the environment”

and

“… there must be solid proof that these mining activities will not impact the environment negatively”.

To lay down such markers is in itself a step that will forever be a highlight in the annals of Namibia’s environmental journey to better secure for all future generations that which the Constitution demands of all Namibians.

The decision will have a monumental impact. Its consequences will be vast and significant. In the end the marine environment of Namibia will reap the benefits of the foresight displayed by the Cabinet.

Furthermore, the livelihoods supported by Namibia’s fishing industries are assured for years to come. And, equally important, the maintenance and rebuilding of Namibia’s fish stocks can now proceed unhindered and without the constant fear that irreparable harm will be caused by a disruptive activity such as marine phosphate mining.

This is a resounding triumph for all those who backed this moratorium and ensured this decision. They must be congratulated for their perseverance. They had confidence in their cause throughout. They never wavered. They stood resolute. It is an achievement that has not come without sacrifice. "

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Swakopmund Matters

18 September 2013

(For Swakopmund Matters the environment of the Namibian coastline and its ocean matters)

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Encourage your family, friends and contacts to send their e-mail addresses to the following e-mail address so that a comprehensive mailing list can be maintained and all those can be reached and kept informed about the environment of the Namibian coastline and its ocean:

swakopmundmatters@swakop.com