Prohibit mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park
  • Petitioning Michael Sata

This petition will be delivered to:

President of Zambia
Michael Sata
Vice-President of Zambia
Guy Scott
Minister of Justice
Wynter Kabimba

Prohibit mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park

    1. I.P.A. Manning
    2. Petition by

      I.P.A. Manning

      Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Tanzania, United Republic of

The Lower Zambezi National Park was due to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as a result of the MMD government's agreement not to allow mining there. However, the PF party in government have since allowed an environmental impact statement to be tendered by the Austrailian company, Zambezi Resources for a massive open-pit mining operation in the park.  The Zambia Environmental Advisory Agency (ZEMA)ZEMA refused the application but Zambezi Resources appealed to the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, and on 17 January 2014 your new Minister of Lands Harry Kalaba - on your instruction - allowed it.

Background

In mid-October 2011, UNESCO issued Decision:35 COM 7B.8: The World Heritage Committee:

 Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B. And, Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.7, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010), Welcomes the decision of the State Party of Zambia not to approve the proposed mining operations in Chiawa Game Management Area and Lower Zambezi National Park nor the original proposal for a tourist and conference facility in the Chiawa Game Management Area across the river from the property, which could have impacted the property’s Outstanding Universal Value; Notes that mining exploration is on-going in other parts of the Lower Zambezi Catchment, and considers that mining exploration and exploitation in the catchment could adversely affect the property if not strictly regulated; Encourages the State Party of Zambia to consider nominating the adjacent Lower Zambezi National Park in order to eventually constitute a joint trans-boundary inscription on the World Heritage List, in line with the World Heritage Committee’s recommendation at the time of inscription; Requests the State Party of Zambia to: Ensure that any redesigned tourist and conference facility in the Chiawa Game Management Area across the river from the property be subject to a new Environmental Impact Assessment which should include an assessment of the impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, in accordance with Article 6 of the Convention; Submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on progress in implementing the mission recommendations concerning mineral exploration and mining and tourism development and on the status of the mining activities and tourism developments which could affect the property.

 In addition to the park being under consideration as a World Heritage Site, it is a category II protected area - as are all national parks, managed mainly for ecosystem protection and recreation, defined by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas as a ’Natural area of land and/or sea, designated to (a) protect the ecological integrity of one or more ecosystems for present and future generations, (b) exclude exploitation or occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area and (c) provide a foundation for spiritual,scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities, all of which must be environmentally and culturally compatible.’ Any mining or large scale hotel development is therefore exploitation and occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area. This is recognised in the proposed amendment to the Wildlife Act of 1998, which would prohibit mining in the LZ National Park and in the adjoining Chiawa Community Partnership Park where Zambezi Resources are in partnership with Glencore Xstrata in the Cheowa mine.

On 18 October 2008, Chieftainess Chiawa (Chiawa/Kafue) Chiefs Chipepo, Simamba, Sinadambwe – all of Siavonga district, and Chiefs Mupuka and Mburuma of Luangwa had met and issued an historic statement against mining for 17 chiefdoms of the whole Zambezi system. The Zambia Wildlife Authority is already on record as saying no mining would be allowed in national parks ( on 5 November 2008 the DG of ZAWA, Lewis Saiwana, wrote to Andy Fleming of Zambezi Resources stating that “National Parks and Game Management Areas should not be subjected to mining activities…”) .

In addition the PF government, under its own PF Manifesto, avows the Christian stewardship of nature, and are therefore solemnly bound to protect the integrity of the national parks of Zambia, powers which the Minister responsible has within his remit.

 

 

 

 

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. News update 1 October 2014

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      I have just received this notification: ‘the High Court hearing scheduled for the 29th September 2014 did not occur, and has been rescheduled for the 17th November 2014. The Judge had been out of Lusaka and therefore was unable to proceed with the hearing as planned’. Yet another delay.

      I am reminded that in June 2014 Judge Kondolo was transferred to some far-flung Provincial post, with a forthcoming High Court hearing looming where only affidavit material could be presented, and certainly no inconvenient witnesses and new facts. The Lower Zambezi appellants had lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court, to allow for the calling of key witnesses. Concurrently an appeal to Stay the High Court case was made, requesting that the case not proceed until the Supreme Court appeal has been determined. The High Court hearing is now set for 17 November. ‘Big Man’ had obviously told the judge to go fishing, with the free use of the PF dugout.

      The news in Zambia never gets better it seems. Two Auditor-General reports of July 2014 have just surfaced in my pond: 1)‘Management of Wildlife’ and 2) ‘The Management of Environmental degradation caused by mining activities in Zambia’ http://www.ago.gov.zm/reports/Special/2014/ covering the years 2008-2011. They are a shocking further revelation and confirmation of Government ineptitude and political corruption, a problem without end. What the wildlife report reveals is that there is an ongoing mining operation in the Kafue National Park already and seven in the Lukusuzi National Park. The latter is of course a part of the Peace Parks managed Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area.

    2. Zambian Highcourt on 23 July 2014 to hear matters re the appeal

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      From Zambezi Resources Limited:
      ‘Zambezi Resources Ltd announces that the appeal hearing on 16 July
      2014 in the High Court of Lusaka did not proceed as scheduled. The appeal hearing related to the appeal lodged by certain conservation groups against the decision of the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection to allow the Company to develop its 100% owned Kangaluwi Copper Project in the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia. In the appeal the Zambian Government is the first respondent and Mwembeshi Resources Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Zambezi, is the second respondent.(Refer ASX announcement dated 20 January 2014). The High Court ruled the appeal hearing to proceed on the 16 July 2014 on affidavit material only a position accepted by all parties (refer ASX announcement dated 9 June 2014). Shortly before the appeal hearing the conservation groups lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision of the High Court to proceed on 16 July 2014 as ordered even though they had previously accepted the ruling. The joint position of the Zambian Government and the Company is that the decision to proceed on 16 July 2014 is not one that can be appealed against in any event, and together with the Zambian Government the Company is now making an application to set aside the notice of appeal as well as to discharge the stay of execution which is in place pending the outcome of the appeal. As a result of these interlocutory matters the High Court adjourned the matter to 23 July 2014 on which date there will be further arguments as between the parties to the appeal’.

    3. Death of Eric Walter Balson on 22 February 2014 in Canada

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      Eric Joined Wildlife Conservation International in 1972 to help develop the International Game Park, formalised under the International Game Park and Wildlife Act No. 27 of 1971. In 1983 it was taken over by the Zambian Government and gazetted as the Lower Zambezi National Park. Eric served in the Tanganyika Game Department from 1962-1972, ending up as Chief Game Warden.

    4. Latest news on the Lower Zambezi National Park mining battle

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      On 4 April, the High Court in Lusaka upheld the stay of execution previously granted; ‘Until the final determination of the appeal to the court’. Judge Kondolo said if he had lifted the stay of execution granted on 18 February 2014 to the Zambia CBNRM Forum, the Zambia Institute of Environment Management, Zambia Climate Change Network, Chalimbana River Head Waters Conservation Trust, Green Living Movement and David Ngwenyama - the six organisations and individuals who had appealed against the Ministry of Mines plea to allow large-scale open-pit mining in the National Park, it would become ‘Nugatory and rendered academic” because of the likely serious damage to the environment and human health.


    5. Results of the High Court hearing on 5 March 2014

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      The second inter- parte hearing took place on 5 March for the Judge to hear arguments for the stay of execution which was granted ex-parte as well as preliminary issues raised by the 2nd respondent. Note that Mwembeshi Resources (2nd Respondent) filed summons to set aside the appeal on procedural grounds stating that appellants 1-5 were not corporate bodies and as such cannot sue and be sued. This was the preliminary issue that needed to be decided today in addition to considering whether or not the stay should be up-held. However, the court was informed that the Attorney General (1st Respondent) only managed to submit an affidavit in opposition yesterday (4th) and as such the Appellants had no time to file an affidavit in response. Based on this, the lawyers for the second respondent (Mwembeshi Resources) suggested that all concern parties should make submissions before the court and the court would then make a decision. Ruling on 14 March.

    6. Zambia Environmental Management Agency permission to mine

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      On 3 February 2014, ZEMA, on unheaded paper, wrote a seven page letter to ZRL’s Zambian subsidiary announcing that the Minister of Lands gave permission for the mining, subject to a number of conditions and on changes to the EIS proposed by ZEMA (there were none included of any technical significance whatsoever), and based on any prescribed conditions which ZAWA might impose. The conditions are all palliatives to what is clearly a political decision, none of them of a technical nature such that they would stop or hinder the mining:

      They must submit an integrated management and utilization natural resources plan for the mining site within 12 months; ; must undertake an environmental audit not less than 12 months and not more than 36 months after commencement of the mining operation; must submit a decommissioning plan and closure report outlining implementation of all the environmental ...

      Original letter on savethelowerzambezi.blogspot.com.au

    7. Results of the High Court hearing on 18 February 2014

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      The case was adjourned to 5 March 2014. The Lawyer requested an adjournment to provide a reply to the affidavit submitted by the respondent.

    8. Minister in charge of park finally declares opposition to mining

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      The Minister of Arts and Tourism allegedly told a parliamentary committee in camera that: “The Ministry’s considered view is that the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection reconsiders its decision to allow mining activities in the Lower Zambezi National Park,” she said.

    9. Reached 2,500 signatures
    10. High Court on 6 February 2014 issues stay against mining

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      A stay has been issued until a hearing on 18 February with the High Court Judge

    11. Injunction not yet granted

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      It turns out that the online Zambia Reports had mistaken the word filed, with granted; no injunction having been granted so far by the High Court to stop the mining. The MD of Zambezi Resoources, a company by the way that is an Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listed company who by their membership accept the Equator Principles (a credit risk management framework for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in project finance transactions), issued a statement on the company website promising a green copper mine in the Lower Zambezi National Park. The battle is only beginning.

    12. A friend from Oz puts me right...

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      A small technical correction for your update on ZambiaReports - Colin Barnett is the West Australian State Premier, not prime minister. He is not a popular man as he has just authorised a cull of a threatened species, the Great White Shark, as a political stunt in reaction to a single shark attack. There are country-wide protests as that decision undermines the Federal EPBC Act here (Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act).

    13. High Court issues injunction against mininng

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      On Friday 31 January the Lusaka High Court issued the CBNRM Forum of Zambia an injunction against mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park.
      A wonderful victory on what is likely to be a long campaign - given that so much money and profit and loss is at stake

      http://zambiareports.com/2014/02/03/high-court-grants-injunction-lower-zambezi-mining/#comment-52403

      High Court Grants Injunction against Lower Zambezi Mine

      The Lusaka High Court has granted the Lusaka-based Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) an injunction halting mining prospects in the Lower Zambezi National Park. According to Action Aid, the injunction was successfully lodged on Friday following the government's overturning of an earlier decision to reject a Large Scale Mining Licence for Zambezi Resources' copper project in the Lower Zambezi National Park.

    14. Interview by Safaritalk a couple of years ago: misplaced 'optomism'

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      With a new government, one based on a manifesto avowing an ethical structure based on the christian stewardship of nature, we have a chance for an African country to grasp the moment. The PF party coming in , many of whose senior people have been grappling with conservation and development issues for a decade or more, will have to tackle the area of community empowerment and the controlled access and use of natural resources. They will have to deal with neoliberalism, free trade and the pervasive influence of the World Bank and the IMF. They will have to free themselves and the poor from these shackles. Michael Sata promised me he would do away with the Zambia Wildlife Authority - a corrupt and horribly dysfunctional parastatal, and re-instate our old Game Department. And a new government has to empower local communities and protect them from the plunderer invaders who bring with them the Dutch curse of an excess of non-renewable natural resources. Time here for an alternative way.

    15. The curse

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      Politicians are the curse of the nation state. In Zambia, once an ecological multi-totem territory, but now a corrupt unitary political state run by a succession of dictators empowered by a constitution without safeguards against excessive executive power handed them by us British, its institutions and laws ignored by the executive, we have ongoing plunder - aided by politician and donor alike, the latter supporting land being alienated from customary people and, in the case of national parks, Zambian citizens. Australian politicians now visiting Zambian should take note of the greed and conniving of the Perth-based Zambezi Resources Limited, of which ASX has asked some testing questions. There is grand corruption here: an area of outstanding Universal International Value about to be trashed. And what can one say about the threats to the Great Barrier Reef - place of our dreams!

    16. LETTER SENT TO CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS IN ZAMBIA

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      Minister Kalaba's decision on 17 January must be challenged under the Environmental Management Act No. 12 of 2011, 116 (2):

      A person aggrieved with the decision of the Minister may appeal to the High Court within 30 days of the decision

      Some reasons to appeal:

      1. The Minister's failure to apply the precautionary principle
      2. His failure to make public the Mwembeshi environmental report submitted to the Minister
      3. The illegal mining licenses issued
      4. The Minister's failure to justify the reasons he gave for upholding the appeal
      5. The parliamentary committee's objections to mining
      6. The Zambezi Basin chiefs opposition
      7. The failure to obtain and publish the approval of UNESCO and the Zimbabwe government apropos Mana Pools and Zambezi River impacts
      8. The failure to project the impacts of the mines on the eco-tourism industry
      9. The failure of ZAWA to protect the park and the GMA
      10. The failure to provide a strategic EIA

    17. ‘The rulers of the darkness of this world’

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      On 17 January 2012, Harry Kalaba, Zambia’s Minister of Environmental Protection, one of 68 or so Ministers in the rubber- stamp President Sata cabinet, patronage appointments all of a National Assembly of MPs and toothless parliamentary commissions who are looked upon with executive contempt, has, with a great deal of collusion with a rapacious Bermuda registered Australian mining company, upheld their appeal of 19 September 2012 against the decision on 31 August 2012 of the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) refusing them permission to mine the Lower Zambezi National Park. ZEMA’s decision was based on the absolute certainty that the proposed mining would destroy the park and have major negative effects on Mana Pools in Zimbabwe and the Zambezi River.

    18. Reached 2,000 signatures
    19. My comment on Minister Masebo's Facebook page

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      It is ironic that you should laud a musical held in Livingstone based on the work of T.S. Elliot, when in his greatest poem he wrote:

      Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
      Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit
      There is not even silence in the mountains
      But dry sterile thunder without rain
      There is not even solitude in the mountains
      But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
      From doors of mudcracked houses

      …the sort of world which ZAWA’s failure to protect the Lower Zambezi National Park and the surrounding GMAs by allowing the issue of mining licences there - and without the necessary environmental reports - will bring about. But then you have appointed some people to the ZAWA board who should have had criminal charges brought against them for illegally obtaining land in Mosi oa Tunya National Park (your DG Xen Vlahakis) and selling off part of a national forest (Chieftainess Mwape). And what of the road being built from Leopard’s Hill to Chiawa and Feira?

    20. Mugabe and ZANU-PF Election Theft

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      It is time that members and affiliates of the UNWTO withdraw from the general assembly to be held later this month (Aug) at Victoria Falls. Failure to do so will mark them down as having endorsed a fraudulent and violent election, ensuring a continuing human rights disaster in Zimbabwe. To honour Mugabe at Victoria Falls would be a deeply shameful thing.

      Sokwanele, an organization of human rights activists in Zimbabwe had this to say about the recent election:
      'We need every international body there is to listen to us and hear our plea. We need them to demand that the will of the people is upheld and that these elections are looked at critically in the full context of the months leading up to the polls as well as the full details of injustices all around Zimbabwe'.
      info@sokwanele.com; http://www.sokwanele.com/join.html

    21. Lower Zambezi Mining Rejected by Parliamentary Committee

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      The Parliamentary Committee on Lands, Environment and Tourism for the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly of Zambia (September 2012 - July 2013), after taking submissions from the Zambian CBNRM Forum (who had incorporated information contained in my two petitions), as well as from various government stakeholders, has just declared the following:

      ‘Your Committee recommends that the proposed mining project at Kangaluwi in the Lower Zambezi be rejected for the following reasons:

      (i) the mining licence that Mwembeshi Resources holds was issued without following the requirements of the law and procedure and is invalid and should be revoked;

      (ii) there should be no mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park which should be reserved and preserved as a conservation area and heritage for purposes of tourism development;

      (iii) the Government should ensure that the issuance of mining licences follows the legal and laid down procedures...

    22. Govt cautious on sanctioning mining projects in gmas

      I.P.A. Manning
      Petition Organizer

      By Kabanda Chulu
      The Post Mon 15 July 2013,

      ENVIRONMNTAL protection minister Wylbur Simuusa says the government is taking a cautious approach to sanction mining projects that are located within protected game management areas…

      "The PF will not make a decision until after UNWTO. Clearly they intend to mine in protected areas no matter what." IM

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Anouk Rutter LUSAKA, ZAMBIA
      • about 23 hours ago

      I care about Zambia, its nature @ wildlife & believe we can use those protected parks to bring in more animals for tourism development which will contribute to the nations & the villages nearby. Zambia save your wildlife!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Desmond Barnwell SEDGEFIELD, SOUTH AFRICA
      • 1 day ago

      Mining will destroy a prestine area,and will benefit the greedy not the needy.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • claude vallier WHITEHORSE, CANADA
      • 1 day ago

      Wildland are the most valuable ressources that remains.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • John Gair HARARE, ZIMBABWE
      • about 1 month ago

      destruction of the national park

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ian Sinclair GROENLO, NETHERLANDS
      • about 1 month ago

      mines cannot be un-made

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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