World Wildlife Fund (WWF) calls for protection of ‘no-go’ mining areas

environmental effects of mining

The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF South Africa), together with numerous South African non-governmental organisations and the Centre for Environmental Rights, has handed over a list of areas to the Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu, to be declared ‘no-go mining zones’.

The list is aimed at assisting the minister in exercising her discretion under Section 49 of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002, which seeks to prohibit or restrict granting reconnaissance, prospecting and mining rights permits.

“This proposal will enable the minister to prevent mining and prospecting in certain areas of critical biodiversity, heritage and hydrological importance,” explained Mark Botha, Head of Biodiversity at WWF.

The proposed areas include, among others, national parks or nature reserves, marine protected areas, mountain catchment areas (such as the Amatholes in the Eastern Cape), and Ramsar sites, including Barberspan near Delareyville, the Verloernvlei north of Lamberts Bay, Kosi Bay and Turtle Beaches of Tongoland in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

“These areas are key to our survival.  They nurture one of the most amazing natural heritages in the world and support the bulk of our ecological infrastructure for water provisioning and filtering,” said Botha.  “What people tend not to realise is that such areas are the basis for a growing and sustainable economy.  They provide agriculture with free basic inputs.”

“We are asking that areas of key water catchments, groundwater recharge and ecosystems recognised as threatened or sensitive should be conserved.  Cultural heritage sites identified by national or provincial heritage agencies also need protection.” Noted Botha.

Source: The Water Wheel March/April 2011 Volume 10 No. 2 (via WWF)

Watch this short video, of particular pertinence to South Africa- Karoo fracking, but this environmentally damaging mining technique is also a threat that the global community faces.  Fracking is not an option!

David Kramer is the much-loved son of the Karoo – he has shaped his musical career around the rich stories of the unique Karoo landscapes and characters, and presents for the first time on film his new anti-fracking song. David believes that the cultural fabric of the Karoo is at threat if mining goes ahead.

For more information go to – Treasure the Karoo Action Group http://treasurethekaroo.blogspot.com/

Produced by – www.greenrenaissance.co.za

The Karoo is home to many endemic fauna and flora and its fragile ecosystems and scenic beauty should be protected from water-polluting and water-wasting shale gas fracking.  There are even proposals afoot of mining activities on the boundary of the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve- we need to fight these proposals with the law and expose politicians who benefit financially from these unethical and greedy mining corporations.

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