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1 Mar 2021

Namibia & Botswana: Environmentalists oppose ReconAfrica exploratory drilling project, allege local communities were not consulted properly; incl. responses

Zairon via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Okavango, Region Kavango, Namibia

Environmentalists have raised concerns over the potential adverse impacts of a new exploratory drilling project in northern Namibia and Botswana, spearheaded by Canadian company ReconAfrica, on communities, wildlife and the environment in the Kavango Basin. Local groups and indigenous communities have also expressed concerns that they were not consulted prior to the start of this project.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited ReconAfrica to respond. The company's comments on the specific points of concern raised are available below.

Environmental activists have also raised concerns that the drilling project borders the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) in Namibia, which German development bank KfW finances. KfW released a statement on exploration drilling for oil in the KAZA area in Namibia, however this was criticised on Twitter for not adequately recognising the risk of potential adverse impacts, and KfW was urged to do more to safeguard the environment and reduce risks to people and wildlife.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited KfW, as an implementing partner of the KAZA program, to respond to these concerns. KfW's statement is available below.

On 7 April 2021, Environmental Action Germany (Deutsche Umwelthilfe) launched a petition calling on the German government to initiate an independent transnational environmental impact assessment. More information is available in German below.

Company Responses

ReconAfrica View Response