“Mad Max” accused of destroying the Namib desert
Namibian environmental groups and tourism companies expressed their anger on Monday over the alleged destruction by a film crew of sensitive areas in the world’s oldest desert during the filming of “Mad Max: Fury Road”.
“They have added tracks in pristine areas,” tour operator Tommy Collard told AFP from Swakopmund.
“What’s worse is that the film crew tried to erase the marks they left by dragging nets over them, pulling up plants,” Collard added.
“Along with other coastal tour operators, we have collected a lot of photographic evidence. You cannot rehabilitate the landscape of the Namib Desert,” Collard said.
Smaller animals like lizards, geckos and chameleons suffered, as well as the rare lithops cacti, he told AFP.
Filming took place in part of the Namib Desert recently proclaimed Dorob National Park.
The Namibian Coast Conservation and Management (NACOMA) coastal monitoring project commissioned conservationist Joh Henschel to write a report on environmental damage.
It was sent to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) last December for response and actions.
“NACOMA hired me as a consultant on the trail left by the Mad Max film crew and yes, parts of the Namib Desert have been destroyed,” Henschel said. “In one area, a plowing device was used.” He declined to give further details citing “contractual obligations”.
A copy of the report seen by AFP on Monday put some responsibility at the door of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
“The MET permit and environmental clearance for the Mad Max Project was not specific enough to guide the management of the Project’s environmental compliance.”
In a furious response to media reports of the alleged devastation, the Namibian Film Commission (NFC) placed a full page ad in the state newspaper New Era to “refute the allegations … in the strongest terms” .
“‘Mad Max (4): Fury Road’ has, to our satisfaction … faced up to their responsibilities in Namibia … NFC said.
The film commission accused local media of reporting so-called “untruths” and of wanting to “tarnish” Namibia’s reputation.
Likewise, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of the Environment, Simeon Negumbo, said that the film company has carried out the rehabilitation of the land to the satisfaction of the ministry.
“From the start, the experienced and dedicated team used proven methods like vehicle and hand pulled fishing nets, tires, brooms, chains, ropes and leaf blowers, which worked perfectly. worked in the area, ”according to Negumbo.
Last year, Namibia asked the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that a part further south of the Namib Desert be declared the “Namib Sand Sea” on the World Heritage List.
According to the nomination document, in this desert area, there are “vast panoramas of majestic dune landscapes, strikingly crystallized in sharply silhouetted forms continually transformed by wind and time”.
The World Heritage Committee will meet in Cambodia in June to decide on the nomination.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” is George Miller’s fourth Max film and stars Charlize Theron.
It was shot between July and December of last year.
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(c) 2013 AFP
Quote: ‘Mad Max’ accused of destroying the Namib Desert (2013, March 4) retrieved November 4, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2013-03-mad-max-accused-namib.html
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