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The Strategic Environmental Management Plan for the Namibian Uranium Province

Some 10 years ago, when prices for fuel for civil nuclear reactors were rising fast, resulting in a worldwide boom in uranium exploration and mining, the Namibian uranium industry recommended to the Namibian Government to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Namibian uranium province, where exploration for uranium was also expanding rapidly. Subsequently, such an assessment was carried out by the Geological Survey of Namibia, Ministry of Mines and Energy, and provided vision and generated a culture of cooperation between the uranium mining industry, Government and the public. The Strategic Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) was developed as a result of the SEA. It is an over-arching framework and roadmap addressing the cumulative impacts of existing and potential developments and the extent to which uranium mining is impacting the central Namib. The SEMP has 12 themes, the so-called Environmental Quality Objectives (EQOs), each articulating a specific goal, providing context, setting standards and having a number of key indicators that are monitored. These themes include socio-economic development, employment, infrastructure, water, air quality, health, effect on tourism, ecological integrity, education, governance, heritage and future, and mine closure and future land use.  NUI is actively contributing to the compilation of the Annual SEMP Reports.