WINDHOEK: President Hifikepunye Pohamba has urged investors in the exploration and extraction of natural resources here to see to it that the environment remains protected for the benefit of future generations.
In a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Willem Isaacks on Thursday, Pohamba said as the custodian of the country’s natural resources such as oil and gas, it is Government’s vision to ensure the sustainable utilisation of such resources for the economic and social development of the country.
His speech was read at the first-ever International Oil and Gas Conference to be held in Namibia, which kicked off in Windhoek on Thursday.
Themed ‘The Road to Discovery and Beyond’, the aim of the two-day conference is to explore and debate the effects, opportunities and challenges linked to the discovery of petroleum resources in Namibia.
The Head of State said the discovery and exploration of oil and gas in Namibia will “no doubt play a fundamental role in fast-tracking the attainment of the long-term national development programme, Vision 2030”.
He explained that Namibia’s strategic objectives for the energy resources amongst others include the promotion and attraction of investments so that the country’s energy resources are fully developed.
“It also includes the sustainable utilisation of energy resources to ensure the protection of human life and the environment, as well as the improvement and harmonisation of regulatory frameworks and policies within the energy sector,” he said.
It is important to ensure that during the process of exploring and extracting the natural resources, such as oil and gas, the environment remains protected to benefit future generations, Pohamba reiterated.
The exchange of ideas between stakeholders at this conference will greatly benefit policy-makers and will ensure that Namibia maximises the benefits of its natural resources.
“We have the responsibility to ensure that the resources, including oil and gas, are catalysts for sustainable development,” he said.
The conference ends on Friday.