Prince Harry has taken up the cause of protecting the Okavango Delta, calling for Reconnaissance Energy Africa to halt its work.
The Duke of Sussex, writing with environmentalist Reinhold Mangundu in the Washington Post, said the northeast Namibian watershed was at risk.
The two join a number of high profile critics of ReconAfrica. Leonardo diCaprio has previously weighed in on the issue, as has Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy.
Oil drilling represents an “imminent threat”, Sussex and Mangundu said, to the Okavango.
ReconAfrica’s work “would pillage the ecosystem for potential profit”, the two wrote.
ReconAfrica may have found 32 billion barrels of oil, or even 120bn, the op-Ed writers continued, “as if this were a good thing”.
Whatever the resource, the two wrote, “it is far more valuable in its native state”.
The world is turning against oil production, they say. The “ecological, moral and economical imperatives” of protecting nature overrule the financial returns of oil production.
Investing in fossil fuels serves to slow the development of natural resources, the prince and the environmentalist wrote.
They went on to call for people to sign a petition calling for a “full moratorium” on drilling in the Okavango Ricer Delta.
The op-Ed concluded with a note on Namibia and Botswana’s joint plan for a major solar development, backed by the US government.
Prince Harry also noted local concerns about a lack of benefits from ReconAfrica’s work. Similar points were raised in recent committee hearings, although Commissioner Maggy Shino defended the company’s work.