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Anglican Church petitions Namibia & Botswana govts. to halt ReconAfrica exploratory project in Kavango Basin

"Stop oil and gas drilling in Namibia’s Kavango Basin immediately — Anglican Church", 8 March 2021

In their petition, the faith leaders decry the “imminent desecration” of the Kavango Basin in Northern Namibia and Botswana by Canadian oil and gas company, ReconAfrica...

“ReconAfrica claims that drilling the Kavango basin is ‘pretty much a no-brainer’,” the petition reads. “We call it a sin. To destroy life and God’s creation is simply wicked.”...

...“This environmentally sensitive, protected area supplies water to the Okavango Delta. It is a world heritage and Ramsar wetland site, a key biodiversity area and one of the seven natural wonders of Africa,” their petition reads.

The petition will be handed over on Monday 8 March to Namibia’s government, the Namibian consulate in Cape Town, the headquarters of ReconAfrica in Vancouver, Canada, and the Canadian ombudsperson for responsible enterprise.

As faith leaders, the signatories state that they are called to speak up for those who have no voice and defend the rights of the needy. 

“Drilling in the Kavango Basin will fracture its geological structure and destroy the water system that supports this unique ecosystem and wildlife sanctuary. In doing so, it will also disrupt the livelihoods of the indigenous people,” the petition reads.

Oil and gas drilling will bring vast wealth to a few but will further impoverish northern Namibia people, exacerbating climate change and destroying their traditional way of life. 

“ReconAfrica is putting financial interests before life. We believe in restorative social and environmental justice, and we call upon the international community to support Namibia and Botswana to develop renewable energy systems and help safeguard the precious Kavango ecosystem,” the petition reads...

...“This exploration violates San rights under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It affects three regional Unesco heritage sites: the Okavango Delta, the Tsodilo Hills and the San Living Cultural Landscape,” reads the petition. 

Unconventional oil and gas exploration and extraction will bring roads, heavy trucks, ribbon development and pollution. 

“These will disrupt the culture and ancestral heritage and ecosystem dependent subsistence livelihoods of the San people. It will also negatively affect low-impact eco-tourism, which provides a sustainable income to guides, crafters and artists,” the petition reads..

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