In a rush to enrich themselves and their shareholders, phosphate mining interests are threatening the Namibian people by flouting procedural regularities and environmental laws in an attempt to brush over environmental assessments required by Namibian legislation. These private interests are gambling with the future health and sustainability of Namibia’s marine environment in order to make a quick buck.
Mining for marine phosphates in this way has never happened anywhere else in the world. The Northern Territory government in Australia recognized the threat of such destructive activities and has declared a moratorium on seabed mining in their coastal waters. Local and international scientists have raised their voices in concern of the destructive threat, yet companies such as Namibia Marine Phosphates Pty (Ltd) have paid little attention and have not bothered to investigate these concerns with appropriate fieldwork.
Namibia is in the enviable position of having one of the lowest population densities in the world and has no need to accept pollutive or exploitative industries at the cost of the environment. Instead we should be an example of a nation that chooses alternative sustainable industries to grow its economy without selling our children's heritage for the sake of GDP. Namibia has one of the least polluted and most productive oceans globally, with pristine beaches, healthy populations of seals, dolphins and magnificent bird life, as well as recovering populations of whales. We can grow our vibrant tourism industry and have massive potential for greater fisheries and aquaculture development to provide sustainable jobs and nourishment to our hard-working people. These sustainable industries CAN NOT coincide with mining projects that destroy the sea floor and surrounding ecosystem! We hereby petition the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, and the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhard Esau, to stand up for your concerned people, listen to your independent scientists and put a moratorium on phosphate mining until in-depth field studies provide conclusive evidence of how such activity will affect our healthy ocean.
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