In deference to the sensitivity of the ocean environment and the principles of responsible development of ocean industries, the environmental studies in ML170 have been subjected to several independent external reviews and quality controls intended to ensure a high standard of scientific assessment.
NMP has made it a commitment that all the work conducted during the EIA and the verification programme was subjected to an independent peer review. Thus, at the end of the Verification Study, all the scientific work conducted was required to undergo peer review. A peer review workshop was convened bringing together all the specialists who conducted the work. Their work was reviewed by a panel of established experts on the Benguela Ecosystem. Peer review is an integral part of good scientific practice.
- The Independent Peer Review Panel comprising four internationally accredited marine experts with specialist experience in the Benguela Large Marine Ecosystem was selected by the EAP to review and assess the findings of the EIA Verification Study. The Peer Review Panel comprised:
- Dr Andrew Payne
- Dr Michael O’Toole
- Dr Barry Clark
- Prof. Alankendra Roychoudury
- The Environmental Commissioner also commissioned Independent external review of:
- The 2014 Verification Study
- The Peer Review Report on the 2014 Verification Study
- The independent review report is held at the Office of the Environmental Commissioner.
Findings of the Peer Review Panel
- “Overall, the team finds that the response of the client to issues raised at the earlier review of the EIA through commissioning appropriate verification studies has been appropriate and laudable. The quality of those verification studies is covered elsewhere in this report, but collectively and independently, they have been carried out to the highest scientific and technical standards, using appropriate and up-to-date methodology.”
- “The results have almost without fail raised the level of confidence associated with the results in terms of likely impacts, and the team wholeheartedly confirms those analyses.”
- “To conclude, the review team is impressed by the quality of the information provided to it and believes that all avenues and disciplines of concern relating to the proposed operation in SP-1 have been addressed adequately. The policy decision on whether to proceed is a national one, but we can say that the information provided to us has convinced us that everything points to there being a minimal impact of the proposed operation, should a licence be granted, to the Namibian shelf ecosystem.”
Read: The 2014 Independent Peer Reviews, Verification studies: Sandpiper Project
Read: The UNAM independent observer report: Sandpiper Project
Read: The CSIR compliance statement: Sandpiper Project