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Despite failing to conduct bona fide public consultations, the Canadian company ReconAfrica received environmental clearance permits to drill 3 exploration wells and conduct seismic tests in the Kavango regions. Oil and gas production holds great dangers to Namibia and runs contrary to worldwide attempts to move away from fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, which are major drivers of global warming.
Namibia is a signatory to the Paris Accord on Climate Change and has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 92% by 2030. This stands in complete contradiction with giving permission to ReconAfrica’s oil and gas exploration. Experts predict that as the world shifts towards alternative renewable energy sources, investments made now into fossil fuel production will soon become “stranded assets”, where promised oil and gas revenues never materialise and bankrupt oil and gas companies leave taxpayers to pay for the big clean-up.
We, Civil Society Organisations in Namibia, together with regional and international organisations (including UNESCO and IUCN), technical and legal experts, are deeply concerned about oil and gas exploratory drilling activities of ReconAfrica in Namibia. We worry in particular about the foreseeable cumulative impacts of the envisaged production phase of at least 25 years within the world’s largest trans-boundary conservation area (the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, KAZA).
We therefore call for the introduction of a nationwide fracking ban in Namibia!