Don’t Threaten Vital Elephant Habitat with Oil Drilling

Target: Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy, Namibia

Goal: Withdraw permission for potentially disastrous oil drilling in protected national parks.

One of the largest and most resilient populations of wild African elephants could soon be threatened if exploratory oil drilling results in the exploitation of the Kalahari basin. The region is the source of the Okavango River, an under-studied and essential water source for countless humans and animals, such as the endangered African wild dog. However, if Reconnaissance Energy Africa, a Canadian energy company, finds oil, chemical runoff and pollutants from further drilling could spread throughout five countries, potentially irreparably damaging one of Africa’s most pristine wild areas.

One source of concern is that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, could be used to access stores of oil and natural gas. This process, increasingly known to be harmful to groundwater, could well be put to use by Reconnaissance Energy Africa, given their record of using it in the past and their recent hiring of fracking engineers.

The search for energy is not worth the threat to endangered species and humans alike. As conservationists work feverishly to protect at-risk wildlife and environmentalists strive to develop clean sources of energy, drilling in the region is an unacceptably irresponsible move. Sign the petition below to demand that permission for this project be withdrawn to protect life in the Kalahari.


Dear Minister Alweendo,

The Kalahari basin is of immeasurable importance to countless animal species and human populations in five countries that rely on the waters of the Okavango River to survive and recover from the effects of human activity. Sadly, exploratory drilling could soon endanger the river’s waters and with them the safety of vital African elephants and other species.

Allowing energy producers to pollute protected regions would destroy the inspiring progress made in conserving wildlife as well as the livelihoods of rural communities that depend on scant fresh water. I demand that you rescind permission to drill in Namibia to preserve wild areas for generations to come.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Charles J. Sharp

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