Deb­ma­rine com­mit­ted to en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion of ma­rine min­ing ar­eas

New Era - - INSIDE BUSINESS - Staff Re­porter

WINDHOEK - Chair­per­son of the Deb­ma­rine Namibia board of di­rec­tors Dr Michael Hi­mavindu says the com­pany is com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing the ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment where they mine di­a­monds.

Hu­mavindu made these re­marks in his open­ing re­marks at a re­cent Deb­ma­rine Namibia en­vi­ron­men­tal stake­hold­ers break­fast meet­ing held in Windhoek.

He said Deb­ma­rine aims to be a leader in ma­rine en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship and will strive to main­tain the com­pany’s rep­u­ta­tion as a re­spon­si­ble cit­i­zen.

“To put all this into per­spec­tive, Deb­ma­rine Namibia em­ploys a num­ber of full-time en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tists and con­tracts in­de­pen­dent ma­rine spe­cial­ists.”

“We man­age im­pacts on the en­vi­ron­ment with guid­ance from, among oth­ers, Namib­ian leg­is­la­tions through the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment and Tourism, where we sub­mit our En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Plan for ap­proval, and are certified to the ISO 14001 En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment stan­dards and other in­ter­na­tional best prac­tices,” said Hu­mavindu.

He added that Deb­ma­rine en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact on ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment is mon­i­tored and the nec­es­sary mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures are in place. Deb­ma­rine CEO Otto Shikongo said from the be­gin­ning of the com­pany’s op­er­a­tions, they have been crit­i­cally aware that the fu­ture of the ma­rine di­a­mond min­ing in­dus­try was in­ti­mately linked to ef­fec­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment of the high­est stan­dards pos­si­ble.

For this rea­son, he said, in 1991 their first en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment was com­mis­sioned and was con­ducted by the Univer­sity of Cape Town and many as­pects were con­sid­ered by the study.

“In 1996, af­ter years of en­vi­ron­men­tal sur­veys, the mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary team of in­de­pen­dent sci­en­tists con­cluded that there was not a sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect on the en­vi­ron­ment. This unique se­ries of stud­ies formed the solid ground for our on­go­ing seabed im­pact re­search ini­tia­tives,” said Shikongo.

He added that Deb­ma­rine has also sup­ported so­cial en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives such as the sup­ply of ben­thic sam­ples to the Min­istry of Fish­eries and Ma­rine Re­sources and the Univer­sity of Namibia (val­ued at N$9 mil­lion), par­tic­i­pa­tion in coastal bio­di­ver­sity ac­tiv­i­ties and coastal clean-ups, ma­rine aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion fairs and tours for pri­mary schools (through the Namibia Dol­phin Project), pro­vi­sions of schol­ar­ships for grad­u­ate and post­grad­u­ate stud­ies in en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence.

Deb­ma­rine’s Man­ager for Min­eral Re­sources, God­frey Ngai­siue, who gave the com­pany’s en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment over­view, started his pre­sen­ta­tion with show­ing a video on the neg­a­tive ef­fect of plas­tic in the world. Ac­cord­ing to the video, 91 per cent of plas­tic in the world is not re­cy­cled and plas­tics are a threat to ma­rine an­i­mals.

Ngai­siue high­lighted that Deb­ma­rine is com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and the com­pany’s en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment plan is in com­pli­ance with le­gal and other re­quire­ments.

He said every three years, Deb­ma­rine ob­tains its en­vi­ron­men­tal clear­ance cer­tifi­cate from the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment and Tourism, which is an es­sen­tial com­po­nent of their li­cense to op­er­ate. He ex­plained that in 1994, Deb­ma­rine es­tab­lished the Mon­i­tor­ing Pro­gramme on the Seabed.

The Res­i­dent Di­rec­tor of De Beers in Namibia, Daniel Kali, said en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion is part of De Beers’ com­mer­cial im­per­a­tives.


The de­liv­ery guy… In this file photo taken in 2018, a biker work­ing for the food de­liv­ery ser­vice, Deliveroo, cy­cles off to de­liver an or­der in Saint-Ouen, out­side Paris. The cy­clists whisk­ing meals for the food courier ser­vice Deliveroo in France called on clients to boy­cott the brand yes­ter­day af­ter man­age­ment im­posed new pay rules they say will lower their wages.

Res­i­dent Di­rec­tor of De Beers in Namibia, Daniel Kali

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