from PEDRO AGOSTO in Luanda, Angola
LUANDA, (CAJ News) – ANGOLA’S oil and gas industry, and ultimately the economy, are anticipated to thrive following the drafting of legislation to permit the mining of these commodities.
This also is a major boost for the Southern African country’s rich biodiversity.
The activities are for the resumption of oil and gas mining in 14 national conservation areas.
However, energy experts encouraged Angola to balance environmental protection with ongoing hydrocarbon exploration, as is foreseen by its constitution.
This encouragement follows protests by local environmentalists that have been leading protests since the emergence of the reports of the drafting of legislation.
“Yes – the proposed law will have implications for protected areas,” said Verner Ayukegba, Senior Vice-President at the African Energy Chamber.
“It is intended to further ensure their protection whilst advancing oil and gas activity in the country in a responsible manner and in accordance with Angola’s constitution.”
Ayukegba said the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out in coordination with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Environment aimed to ensure that Angola’s rich biodiversity is protected.
Recently, Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas, Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, said Angola’s existing stringent environmental legislation would comply and interests of local populations would be safeguarded.
This as the country holds an upcoming public tender for the assessment of several onshore interior basins.
“It was necessary to review the legislation on protected areas, but this does not mean the end of biodiversity,” Azevedo said.
“There is a need to explore these resources – the solution is balance. We are sensitive to environmental issues, but we are also rational.”
As sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest oil producer, Angola is hailed for taking one of the most balanced approaches to global Environmental, Social and
Governance (ESG) standards in the region when it comes to oil and gas exploration.
“It places environmental protection and continued hydrocarbon production on equal footing within its constitution and national agenda,” Ayukegba said.
– CAJ News