“For someone who has been doing activism work my whole life, communities have always looked after our natural resources by practicing sustainable fishing methods to avoid overfishing. However, if oil and gas exploration happens in our oceans, our livelihoods will be disrupted and the risks it comes with it would be unbearable for those people whose lives depend on fishing,” says Solene Smith, a small-scale fisher with Coastal Links Langebaan.
According to Andy Pienaar, a local eco-justice activist from Kommagas in Northern Cape, “The mining of natural resources will only degrade the land and oceans. Our communities cannot afford to live through oil and gas spills or blowouts, nor can they continue to fight off the ongoing violation of their environmental rights, due to them not being consulted about decisions regarding their environment.”
Protection of oceans, against offshore oil and gas exploration should not be compromised as half of earth’s oxygen comes from oceans. Also, as a country that is one of the world’s largest
greenhouse gas emitters, we should begin the transition to renewable energy to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
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