Bishop Tsietsi Seleoane, Bishop of the Diocese of Mzimvubu has written in protest of the Seismic blasting by Shell on the Wild Coast, part of which falls under his Diocese
There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small. (Psalm 104:25)
To whom it may concern,
As people of faith ,we formally object to any form of seismic surveys off the East Coast of South Africa from now or any date in the future, by Shell Exploration or any future companies
Any seismic surveys will have a devastating impact on the local environment and ecosystem and all parties involved have failed to consider the necessary environmental impact this would have on the local society both short term and long term. Furthermore, the impact of migrating mammals in the region will impact the entire South African ecosystem and plays a far greater role in fighting Climate Change through carbon sequestration and to the wider ecosystems across our South African coastline.
The value of the ecosystem and ecotourism far outweighs the value of foreign shareholders profiting off the East Coast of South Africa that doesn’t belong to them. Exactly this exclusion will cause further financial inequality with the rural community already struggling due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and tourism restrictions.
The world is now at ‘code red’ for Climate change. We have to reduce emissions from fossil fuels in order to avoid catastrophic climate change . The International Energy Agency has stated that there are sufficient known fossil fuel resources, so that there should be no new or further exploration.
As people of faith, we know that we are called to treasure and protect the Earth, not squander it for the sake of the wealth of a few. We request that our democratic rights be upheld to object to these environmentally damaging practices.
Bishop Tsietsi Seleoane
Diocese of Mzimvubu
Rev Dr Rachel Mash
Anglican Church of Southern Africa Environmental Network
And steering committee members of the ACSA Environmental Network