In April 2016, and further to the deliberations of the Cabinet Committee for Trade and Industrial Development, the Environmental Commissioner convened a meeting at the MFMR offices in Swakopmund to address the remaining issues raised by MFMR in regard to the Sandpiper EIA and Verification Study results. The meeting was jointly chaired by the Permanent Secretary, MFMR and the Environmental Commissioner with the objective of dealing with remaining issues in order to enable both the EC and MFMR to finalise their recommendations to be submitted to the Cabinet Committee. NMP was requested to attend this meeting accompanied by the appointed EAP, the Environmental Assessment Team, UNAM and the Peer Review Panel. The meeting was attended by members of MFMR and NatMIRC along with members of MET.
At this meeting, a further list of issues raised by MFMR was addressed and clarifying statements were provided by members of the Environmental Assessment Team, the co-ordinator of the Peer Review Panel and UNAM. Some amendments to the 2014 EMP were suggested and accepted for incorporation in the final version.
The co-ordinator of the Independent Peer Review Panel noted that
• “the comments/suggestions made in our report published in November 2014 were immediately and adequately addressed by the specialist team so should not be considered further as issues that could have a bearing on the outcome of the formal national deliberation into the granting of a licence to proceed”
• “the specialist team responses to the seemingly outstanding MFMR-raised issues and to the comments in the officially commissioned SAIEA evaluation are fair and support my belief that none of the items raised should be considered further as pre-conditions for the issue of a dredging licence in the proposed target area SP-1 of Marine Licence Area 170”.
Read: The documents noted above: Sandpiper Project