Stop Harmful Phosphate Mining in Namibia

Target: Namibian Director for Environmental Affairs, T. Nghitila

Goal: Prevent contamination of Namibia’s marine ecosystem

Due to its nature as potentially a highly lucrative industry, interest in Namibian marine phosphate mining by prospective companies is booming. Unfortunately, the rise of this industry is coming at the expense of the Namibian people as procedural regularities and environmental laws are eschewed in an attempt to brush over environmental assessments that are required by Namibian legislation.

The entirety of Namibia’s marine ecosystem could be at stake because private interests are in too much of a hurry to cash in. Australia’s Northern Territory took action upon recognizing the threat this destructive process can have, subsequently putting a moratorium on seabed mining along their coastal waters. Namibia’s government needs to follow suit and likewise shut down the dangerous phosphate mining process.

As a heavily rural nation with one of the lowest population densities in the world, there is no need to exploit the environment in an attempt to provide industry for its citizens. It could even harm one of the nation’s current economic pillars, its fishing industry. This makes the actions of companies like Namibia Marine Phosphates Pty (Ltd) extremely reckless and unwarranted. These companies continually ignore concerns being raised by local and international scientists regarding the destructive threat, continuing to put fiscal profit ahead of environmental safety.

The harm extends far beyond the damage caused by the actual process of destroying the oceanic seabed during the extraction process. Marine life is also put at risk by various metals and radioactive elements found within phosphate rock. These include cadmium, lead, arsenic, mercury, thorium, and uranium. While all phosphate rock contains traces of these, levels of radioactive materials have been found to be generally much higher within marine phosphate.

The risk posed to the environment and Namibia’s longstanding fishing industry is simply too great. Marine phosphate mining must be banned in Namibia before its offshore ecosystem is irreparably damaged.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Nghitila,

Marine phosphate mining is a dangerous and potentially deadly process that poses a great risk to any ecosystem it is introduced into. Beyond the damage caused by the extraction process, the phosphate rock itself contains an array of various heavy metals and radioactive elements that can be incredibly harmful. These include cadmium, lead, arsenic, mercury, thorium, and uranium. These dangerous elements are found in all phosphate rock but notably marine phosphate has been found to contain, on average, significantly higher overall levels of radioactive materials.

Such an environmentally destructive project should make for an extremely poor platform with which to launch an industrial boom. Unfortunately, right now companies like Namibia Marine Phosphates Pty (Ltd) are seeking to ignore the threat posed by mining process, instead focusing simply upon the potential return on investment. In order to expedite this process procedural regularities and environmental laws are eschewed as corporations attempt to brush over environmental assessments that are required by Namibian legislation; legislation  which that accounted for environmental protection directly within its constitution.

There is absolutely no need to exploit the environment this way as a way to provide industrial equity for Namibia’s citizens. The country’s extremely low population density negates any need for rampant industrial growth. It could even harm one of the nation’s current economic pillars, its highly important fishing industry. To allow phosphate mining in light of these concerns would be extremely reckless and unwarranted.

It is simply not worth the potential harm that could permanently befall Namibia’s ecosystem. For the sake of both the nation’s fishing industry and its ecosystem as a whole, protect Namibian waters by banning marine phosphate mining now before it is too late.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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