ALERT - Possible Oil Exploration of Liberia's Mangroves
In the news:
Simba Energy Raises Additional Funds As Investors Warm To Its Liberian Exploration Project
May 19, 2010
These may be uncertain times but it seems there is still a market appetite for wildcatting in new energy frontiers. Canada’s Simba Energy, which is hoping to find black gold in the untested mangrove swamps of Liberia in West Africa, recently announced a near doubling of a non-brokered private placement launched in April.
Originally the company, which is listed in Toronto and Frankfurt, planned to raise C$1 million through a private placement of up to 14,285,715 units - comprising one common share and one transferable share purchase warrant to buy another common share within two years at a price of C$0.15 per share - priced at C$0.07 per unit. Now the company has increased the private placement to 28 million units to raise C$1.96 million, with the proceeds used to fund general working capital. This...
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Liberia, Not so fast!
Mangroves are the wetland communities found in the intertidal zone of estuaries.
It is important that we look after these areas and protect them. Not only because they are vital to the continued health of many of our fish stocks but also because we have a moral and social responsibility to look after our environment and to leave it in a healthy condition for future generations.
Oil activity in mangroves causes a series of environmental impacts:
interruption of fresh water flow to the trees;
alteration in the flow of sea water both toward and within the forests, altering the drainage patterns and causing changes in vegetation and soils and a general instability in the area;
deforestation, caused by construction of infrastructure such as: drilling platforms, camps, wells, access roads, heliports, refineries, pipelines etc;
well drilling completely destroys the surrounding area, and alters the natural hydrology of the mangrove;
changes in the soils can provoke alterations in the pH of the soil and water, leading to a chronic deterioration in the quality of the mangroves;
discharging of solid wastes can destroy the mangrove forest by asphyxiation of the pneumatophors or by the formation of a barrier to the ebb and flow of water;
dumping of liquid wastes (formation water) produces negative impacts on the animal life of the mangrove.
The recovery of the mangroves after such impacts can take 10 to 20 years, even if no new spills occur.
Damage the Mangroves and say goodby to recreational and commercial fisheries.
Damage the Mangroves and say goodby to feeding and breeding areas for many species of fish and crustaceans that support an abundance and diversity of birdlife.
Damage the Mangroves and say goodby to important physical protection of the coast from erosion and storms (as if our problems are not big enough already).
Damage the Mangroves and say goodby to biologically productive natural systems contributing organic matter to estuaries.
Damage the Mangroves and say goodby to filter of sediments and other substances that may accumulate from land runoff.
There have been international calls for moratoriums on oil exploration in the mangroves, including the Oilwatch Declaration to the 7th Conference to the Parties (COP) to the Ramsar Convention (San José, Costa Rica, 10-18 May 1999)
The EarlyBird Foundation calls for:
The stoppage of any new oil exploration in mangrove zones.
The avoidance of mangrove zone in the planning of oil and gas pipeline routes.
The integration into the RAMSAR Convention of all mangrove zones which are at risk or under pressure from oil activity, with the objective of preserving their integrity.
An inventory under the Convention, of tropical mangrove zones which have already suffered some intervention, in order to begin their immediate restoration.
A socio-environmental impact study of all oil activities in mangrove zones to be carried out under the auspices of the Convention. The study should cost the impacts of oil activity and their restoration, and establish responsibilities. The results of this study to be made legally binding for RAMSAR member countries.
Efforts to be made by the Secretariat of the RAMSAR Convention to integrate those countries, which while not members are confronting problems with, or threats of, oil extraction activities in their mangrove zones.
Oil and Mangroves do not mix!