Botswana says no fracking in premier wildlife park

Nov 19, 2013
Young Kalahari Bushmen pose for a photograph outside a traditional hut on February 18 , 2012 in Molapo, in the centre of the Kalahari Game Reserve

Botswana's government Tuesday said environmental protection was key in its search for natural gas, rejecting claims that fracking was already under way in the country's top wildlife park.

"There are currently no fracking operations going on in the country except exploration drilling by various exploration companies," said a statement from the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources.

This week, the Open Society Initiative for Southern African (OSISA) said Botswana had granted concessions "over vast tracts of land" while keeping the public in the dark about the developments.

"There is coal bed methane prospecting in the reserve as well as other areas of Botswana, but no commercial operations now or in the near future," government spokesman Jeff Ramsay said.

"We are guided by environmental regulations that we adhere to," he said, dismissing reports that the Central Kalahari Game Reserve was threatened by mining activity.

Fracking, or , has met with intense resistance from environmental groups in countries such as the United States who say the process damages the environment.

The 52,800 square kilometre (20,400 square mile) Kalahari park is also home to the indigenous San people, who have faced several attempts by the authorities to remove them from the park.

OSISA had voiced concern that fracking would lead to devastating results for the water scarce country, as well as for the San.

The organisation also revealed that the government had granted coal bed methane concessions within Chobe National Park in the north. South Africa's Sasol, Australian-based Tamboran Resources and Anglo American are said to be among companies granted drilling licences.

The rush for has been seen as a growth-boosting alternative by countries seeking investment.

Botswana's diamond-led economy had seen a slump due to slow export earnings.

Neighbouring South Africa recently published regulations for fracturing, earmarked for the arid Karoo region, a year after lifting a moratorium on the process.

Explore further: France upholds fracking ban

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

France upholds fracking ban

Oct 11, 2013

France's Constitutional Council on Friday upheld a law banning fracking, the controversial process used to extract shale oil and gas from the ground.

S.Africa lifts freeze on shale gas exploration

Sep 07, 2012

South Africa on Friday said it was lifting a freeze on shale gas exploration in a move condemned by environmentalists who fear that controversial fracking will pollute scarce water sources.

S.Africa extends freeze on shale gas drilling

Aug 18, 2011

South Africa's mining minister on Thursday said no decision will be made on controversial shale gas prospecting until next year with an existing moratorium extended by six months.

Calif. finds more instances of offshore fracking

Oct 19, 2013

The oil production technique known as fracking has been occurring on offshore platforms and man-made islands off some of Southern California's most populous coastal communities.

Recommended for you

Dead floppy drive: Kenya recycles global e-waste

18 hours ago

In an industrial area outside Kenya's capital city, workers in hard hats and white masks take shiny new power drills to computer parts. This assembly line is not assembling, though. It is dismantling some ...

New paper calls for more carbon capture and storage research

23 hours ago

Federal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must involve increased investment in research and development of carbon capture and storage technologies, according to a new paper published by the University of Wyoming's ...

Coal gas boom in China holds climate change risks

Aug 22, 2014

Deep in the hilly grasslands of remote Inner Mongolia, twin smoke stacks rise more than 200 feet into the sky, their steam and sulfur billowing over herds of sheep and cattle. Both day and night, the rumble ...

User comments : 0