Mmegi Online :: Khama urges miners to set up environ fund
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Last Updated
Friday 23 June 2017, 09:49 am.
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Khama urges miners to set up environ fund

The minister for Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama has implored the tourism industry to consider establishing a Fund that will contribute towards mitigating effects of mining activities on the environment.
By Pauline Dikuelo Gaone Marumoloa Wed 15 Feb 2017, 16:30 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Khama urges miners to set up environ fund








Speaking at a conference on Mining Investment in Gaborone this week, the minister said government through his ministry advocates for sustainable development and sustainable use of natural resources as the cornerstone of the National Development Plan 11 and Vision 2036. He said Botswana has ensured that sustainable environmental management forms a core part of all mining activities adding that the activities are done through partnership and engagements with the mining industry and importantly through implementation of the Environmental Assessment Act.

The objective of this approach is to ensure that the impacts associated with mining development are managed accordingly and in a manner that is not detrimental to the environment.

“Mining as an extractive industry is by its nature, destructive. Our view is that whilst mining drives the economic development of many nations across the globe, it must not be done at the detriment of the environment and its people,” he said.  According to the minister, it is necessary to have a balance for the sake of sustainability and ecosystem equilibrium

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instead of being driven by profitability, as it seems to be the case in some instances.

He also warned communities that have long relied on river sand for construction purposes as well as entrepreneurs who have found a cash cow in the river sand, that they are now grappling with a policy that will save the rivers. Further the minister said the government has prioritised tourism as an avenue through which the national economy can be diversified. “My ministry is mandated to lead this process by exploring and actualising projects and partnership towards tourism product development and diversification,” he said.

According to Khama, as part of the tourism product development and diversification drive, the ministry is in the process of opening up some of the mines for purposes of tourism. 

He said that plans are already ongoing to open up and strengthen the tourism contribution of Debswana’s Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa mines through expansion of the Orapa Game Park under a project by the name Orapa Today Boteti Tomorrow.

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