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Trekkopje uranium mine, Namibia
Lichen teloschistes capensis
Preserve an endemic species* of lichen teloschistes capensis by protecting its habitat from degradation. This particular lichen is only found in Namibia and South Africa. It thrives in this part of Namibia because of the coastal fogs that are characteristic of the region. Lichens play an important role in the ecosystem because of the support they provide to other vegetation and as a food source for animal species.
* endemic species: a species found in a specific region
Inititial plans for the mine foresaw the need to pipe seawater purified by reverse osmosis across a field of lichen. AREVA took steps to deviate the piping by 10 km to avoid the zone. A grill was installed in the pump of the desalination factory to prevent fish from being sucked into the system. The lichen field was also used by many people and was in poor condition. To limit access, several kilometers of protective fencing were constructed and vehicular traffic was forbidden.
The species was preserved. It even began to show signs of expansion.