Ver Angola

Environment

Environmentalists want to know which reserves are affected by oil exploration

Angolan environmentalists are concerned about the possible exploitation of oil in protected areas, due to the impacts on the environment, and want to know which areas are already identified.

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Eufrasina Paiva, from the environmental association Imbondeiro, stressed that environmental protection associations want to help "find a balance between the interests of the executive and the protection of natural resources".

The environmentalist, who was speaking after a meeting in Luanda, about the proposed amendment to the law on areas of environmental conservation, stressed that Angola signed and ratified several nature protection conventions with a view to increasing natural reserves, and not reducing it. them.

"We want the issue of preserving the areas to be safeguarded, we want them to clearly tell us, on the map, which areas are going to be reserved and which are going to be explored," said Eufrasina Paiva, stressing that often laws are passed without the regulations and should be as detailed as possible.

The activist also admitted that this could be another environmental crime to join those that already happen: "There is already poaching, there are already activities that are carried out within the current reserves and the problem always strikes the same, we have a very close inspection precarious ".

Eufrasina Paiva also considered that there is a growing subordination of the Ministry of the Environment, "which is losing all its strength", and tends to disappear, unlike what happens with the associations of defense of the environment that "are organized" and mobilized to follow the subject.

The environmentalist added that this is a step back on the path that was being taken and pointed out the fear that the areas will be completely degraded after the exploration.

"Our fear - and there is a high probability of this happening - is that exploration is carried out and then everything is abandoned", declared Paiva, stressing that "all the consequences of these decisions must be considered".

At issue is the inclusion of an exceptional regime that allows exploration of mineral resources, oil and gas in protected areas, in particular partial and special reserves and natural parks.

The jurist Aguinaldo Cristóvão stressed that this is not "a situation of openness to the exploitation of oil", but of creating an exception regime to allow this type of activity, and complementary legal measures are also created.
"There will be no reduction in the areas of environmental conservation", he guaranteed, stressing that the public consultation processes will continue.

Regarding the possible violation of international conventions, Aguinaldo Cristóvão considered that it would only be verified if the State "made an amendment to the law that contradicted these conventions".

In the same sense are the statements of the technician from the Ministry of the Environment, Nascimento António, for whom the signing of the conventions "does not mean losing sovereignty", since Angola can make decisions fulfilling its international commitments.

The exploration director of ANPG - National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels, Guilherme Ventura, affirmed "to be aware that the world is in transition to a greener economy", but stressed that "as long as oil has value" must be transformed wealth, respecting good environmental practices.

The official devalued the risks associated with oil exploration in sensitive areas, saying that "industry is not the cause of all ills" and pointing out the positive experiences in Gabon and Peru.