The Nylsvley floodplain is an officially declared RAMSAR site. RAMSAR Reference No: 952 and Wetlands International Site Reference No. 1Z016.
RAMSAR is the Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. There are presently 155 Contracting Parties to the Convention, of which the South African government is one, with 1674 wetland sites, totalling 150 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
Escience Associates (Pty) Ltd was appointed to conduct an environmental impact study for an opencast platinum mine in the area of Nylsvley. Although there will be some distance between the proposed mine and the Nylsvley wetland, Friends of Nylsvley are very concerned about the impact of a mine on the sensitive ecosystem of Nylsvley. The open cast mine will affect a large area around it, and the area of most concern is the impact on the underground water-table of Nylsvley. The slightest change (drop) in the ground water level can totally destroy the ecosystem of complete floodplain.
Escience Associates (Pty) Ltd conducted a preliminary impact study and presented to public interest groups. That presentation was scheduled and took place during the December holiday period when very few people were aware of the study, the intended mining initiative and the presentation. The preliminary study is now available for public comment. Many conservationists are very concerned that all environmental aspects were not taken into full consideration and that the impact on the Nylsvley floodplain and nature reserve were not fully investigated and reflected in the preliminary environmental impact assessment report.
Bradley Thorpe, Senior Environmental Manager at Escience Associates (Pty) Ltd can be contacted for more detailed regarding the preliminary environment impact assessment documentation. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Afriforum's GreenForum also studied the preliminary report and published the issues that are not addressed in the EIA. For detail about the environmental issues that were highlighted by Green forum, please read the following document online: http://www.afriforum.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Volspruit-Mine-Final-Comments-For-5-Sep-2011-Draft-Scoping-Report-Compiled-by-AfriForum1.pdf
Many red listed species are indigenous to the Nylsvley area, and will most probably not survive the impact of an open cast mine in the vicinity of the Nyl River floodplain.
South Africa and world as a whole, cannot afford that this unique and valuable wetland be affected or destroyed by mining or any other development. We MUST object to the establishment of any further development that can have a negative effect on the Nylsvley ecosystem. This will not only be a loss to South Africa , as it will be a global loss if this floodplain is affected and destroyed.
Please sign this petition and get as many of your friends to do the same.
On 14 January 2013, I submitted the petition with all signatures to Bradley Thorpe of Escience Associates (Pty) Ltd, and stated that every person that signed the petition has officially objected to the establishment of the proposed opencast platinum mine.
This is not the end of the petition and public involvement. We will continue to put pressure on any and every person and organisation, including government to honor the RAMSAR commitment and respect this very important and sensitive flood plain.
Thank you for your cooperation and support, every one who signed the petition certainly made a difference.
Ben van den Berg
P.S. Please visit the Friends of Nylsvley website to get a better understanding of the critical importance of the Nylsvley floodplain and the nature reserve. http://www.nylsvley.co.za