With the endorsement of the world’s first Marine Phosphate Mining (MPM) licence by the Ministry of Mines and Energy in July 2011, The Benguela Commission’s (Commission) mandate to protect and sustain the marine ecosystem is being tested.1 The interest shown by prospectors of Namibia’s continental shelf is confirmation of its potential mineral reserves. In this regard, advances in technology are transforming the way phosphoric sediments are explored and extracted. The advances in MPM are not without consequences. Surbun argues that there is tentative evidence that the use of specialist vessels affects the marine ecosystem. Their use has an impact on the breeding, communication and migration patterns of sea creatures.2 In ‘Challenges facing implementation of the Precautionary Principle in Namibian marine phosphate mining regulation’, a study is conducted relating to the regulation, management and sustainability of the marine ecosystem.
In addition to the above, this dissertation will assess the implementation of the Benguela Current Convention (Benguela Convention) in practice with regard to the Atlantic Large Marine Ecosystem (ALME).3 Included in the study will be an assessment of environmental protection standards, procedural safeguards and decision-making processes by the Secretariat of the Commission, with reference to the Marine Spatial Planning Initiative (MSPI) paper and the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) report. This study is offered as an objective survey of some of the benefits that man can enjoy and some of the hazards that he must face in a responsible approach to the protection of the marine environment.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2019.