Swakopmund Lobby Supports Phosphate Ban

Swakopmund Matters, an environmental lobby based at the coast has supported the recent moratorium on marine phosphate mining imposed by Cabinet saying the moratorium was not a law and said the constitution allows cabinet to ensure that laws of Namibia are carried out.

The lobby was responding to recent remarks by Windhoek based lawyer, Peter Koep, who said in an interview that the moratorium has ‘no legal’ standing.

“Each ministry has its own laws to apply. In some cases more than one ministry is involved in a particular matter. The Ministry of the Environment and Tourism administers the Act in terms of which environmental clearances are issued for example, to any company wanting to mine phosphates in the sea. The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources does have a vital interest in that it has to protect Namibian fishing resources,” the lobby said.

The lobby said the Cabinet in imposing the moratorium decided that all matters regarding phosphate mining must be cleared before any environmental certificate may be issued. The moratorium thus allows reflection on the pros and cons of such mining, it said. “Thereafter, the Cabinet may decide to lift the Moratorium or extend it, or even make it permanent.”

Source : The Namibian