Attending the Public Meetings Next Week for Rhino Exploration Right ER346?
Some quick facts to help you.
This application is for extraction of Coal Bed Methane (CBM). Shale Gas is what they are after in the Karoo and Matatiele.
CBM requires dewatering the area before extraction can begin – this means exactly that – taking the water out.
Fracking for CBM takes places at shallower depths than for Shale Gas. This has a greater potential to dry up and pollute our precious water supplies.
CBM coincides with wetlands.
The area under threat is rich in water factories – the ecosystems responsible for continuous flows of clean water.
We cannot live without water and need to protect our life support systems.
We know that Exploration WILL lead to Extraction if viable resources are found.
PASA has never refused to authorise extraction following exploration.
Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations state that EVERY phase of a proposed development should be assessed UP FRONT and not for each phase, due to the cumulative impacts.
So make sure the consultants don’t get away with saying “This application is ONLY for exploration, not actual drilling or extraction.”
If they find ANYTHING they will get a licence to take it out.
This was underlined by the Karoo Shale Gas Strategic Assessment conducted by the CSIR in 2016 which confirmed that exploration is one phase in the process and not a stand-alone activity.
Jobs will not be created on a scale which makes extraction desirable – jobs and livelihoods will be lost and communities will be impoverished.
We have a right to to determine the sort of development that takes place where we live.
Coal Bed Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, driving climate change.
It is NOT a clean energy source.
South Africa is a Climate Change hotspot in the global situation.
South Africa committed to Paris Agreement on Climate Change – to limit greenhouse gas emissions and pursue low carbon development.
We have already exceeded the threshold that the rest of the world is aiming to stay below.
You have to be a registered Interested and Affected Party to participate in the EIA process – it is too late to start shouting at the end after it has been authorised . All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org asking to him to register you. Try to do this BEFORE the meetings so they can send you all the pertinent information and you can get up to speed.
Add your concerns to the email while you are about it. You could even copy and paste parts of this email.
Take Back the Power!
At the Public Meetings
Make sure the process is owned by the participants and not Rhino or SLR.
Hold a demonstration outside the venue before the meeting, put up hand-made posters, wear t-shirts with a message.
You could start a petition and ask for signatures next to their entrance tables (this unsettles them).
You do NOT have to sign the SLR Attendance Register to attend.
Anyone can attend.
The attendance register can be used as their proof that they held a public participation meeting.
Question the Agenda
If you don’t agree with it, ask for changes.
Ensure everyone has their say – in their own language.
Ask for accurate translation for everyone attending, in their own language. We have a right to be informed in our mother tongue.
You have a Right to be Heard
Write down comments you wish to make – keep them short and to the point.
Keep notes of the issues raised and the answers, so you can compare them to the SLR record after the meeting.
This helps provide evidence of procedural flaws in the process – which are very helpful in appeals.
Rhino and SLR are clearly feeling upbeat after all of our appeals were dismissed, so we need to make very sure that they are not granted any more rights to explore.
Remember those feisty meetings? Watch these videos again for inspiration, but this time we have to STOP them.