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High Court Grants Injunction against Lower Zambezi Mine

Zambezi Protest3The 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.

An Australian mining and exploration company was originally granted a licence for its Kangaluwi copper project by the Zambian government in March 2011 on condition of approval of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This was lodged with the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) in March 2012 but was later rejected in September 2012.

On 17 January this year, a subsequent appeal lodged by Zambezi Resources was confirmed as successful by the Minister of Lands, National Resources and Environmental Protection, the Hon Harry Kalaba. He advised that there are adequate cost effective measures and technologies available to address all potential impacts and that wildlife management in the area would be enhanced and conserved as a result of the mine.

This claim has been refuted by the CBNRM Forum, which is supported by ActionAid Zambia to engage with communities and government on the issue. The forum believes that the Environmental Management Act of 2011 – which should facilitate protection and conservation of the environment – is not being respected, and that the government does not have the capacity to monitor companies involved in extractive industries to ensure that they are abiding by the terms and conditions of their licence.

ActionAid Zambia Country Director Pamela Chisanga said:

“The concerns raised by Zambia Environmental Management Agency as part of its rejection of the Environmental Impact Statement including the proximity to Mana Pools World Heritage Site, the issue of acid rock drainage and the reduction in tourism in the national park are legitimate and cannot be mitigated as outlined by Zambezi Resources in their proposed management scheme.

“It is impossible to see how wildlife conservation will be enhanced by the presence of an open pit mine and the proposed jobs are unlikely to benefit the local people, who will also be affected by the pollution from the mine.

“The communities who live in and around the park are highly dependent on agriculture and will no longer be able to grow their own food to feed their families as the area becomes urbanised. The Lower Zambezi will ultimately become the next Solwezi, with slums mushrooming to house migrant workers.

“This is the first time that a mining licence has been granted for the purpose of large scale open pit mining in a national park in Zambia and sets a dangerous precedent for the opening up of protected spaces.

“We are extremely disappointed that the minister has overridden the earlier decision by ZEMA not to approve the licence. As there are copper and other minerals everywhere in Zambia we are extremely concerned that if project goes ahead, mining will inevitably become a regrettable feature of all our national parks.”

On Friday, six environmental advocates were arrested but later released without charge for staging a protest at Pamodzi Hotel where Vice-President Guy Scott was meeting the Australian investors.

23 Comments

  1. pompwe

    very good move..thank you Zambians..

    • simon

      game over zrl have acheived victory there is nothing you can do to overturn the decision and ipa mannig knows that he is just ripping of the donation of change .ore all acts have been abolished so minnig can be done in zambian national parks .you lose manning ipa manning has been deported from zambia for corrupt behaviour zrl will give a better live to ordanary zambians what does manning offer i will tell you nothing

  2. I.P.A. Manning

    Congratulations to all who labour to save this wonderful and universal asset of mankind – visiting Western Australian Prime Minister Colin Barnett take note. The earning of an injunction is but the first legal step in what will be a long campaign, not only for Lower Zambezi but for all our protected areas, including customary areas where villagers are disempowered and impoverished. The government has opened the door for many mines, bolstered by high commodity prices, poor environmental and revenue safeguards, and the opportunity to fill long trouser pockets. The arrest of some peaceful demonstrators a few days ago is a disgrace. But they must persevere, their ranks swelled by citizens of a democracy determined to stop the plunder and corruption.

    • Kaye Mott

      Congratulations to all involved, I have a personal family interest, and an Australian to boot!
      I love this part of Africa and wish to see it remain pristine and wild.
      A long battle ahead but good luck with the fight.

    • Bootyfull

      Great work for keeping the issue alive

  3. Marthan Theart

    Well done, CBNRM!

  4. musonda

    Good move

  5. Michael Newcomb

    Congratulations I.P.A. Manning and all those who labored against mining plans in the Lower Zambezi National Park. This is a fantastic and unexpected victory in the long battle to safeguard one of the Worlds last great wilderness areas. Keep up the great work!!

    • Sam Chungu

      Who is Ian Manning? This is Zambians taking a stand.

  6. stope1

    When God created earth HE gave man dominian over everything. This, man has abused not only killing for ivory but also displacing them. We talking about crowing animal which can not march up with dozers. PLEASE MONEY MONGERS HAVE MERCY FOR SUCH GOD CREATION. We need them has much as they need us. Tell the australians to GO TO HELL WITH THEIR DIRTY MONEY. Scotty is allien to this country and he doesnt care. I DO.

  7. derek hughes

    GOOD the first step on a long road to stopping this

  8. Ken

    These damn Aussies, they’re a bunch of hypocritical bigots. They have no respect for human rights or the environment. Look how they treat their illegal immigrants but if one wants to emigrate to Australia they make it so onerous that only the wealthy can afford it. They go around messing up everyone’s natural environment but protect theirs with determined aggression. A friend of mine who had been in South Africa bought a painted ostrich egg but had to leave it at customs in Australia while he was there for his 1 week visit and the explanation was that they didn’t want to risk importing any alien insects. Well Australia, your bulldozer are our alien insects so get them out fast!

  9. Johanna Weltin

    I am totally happy and overwhelmed about your action, Mrs. Chisanga and ActionAID as well as CBNRM Forum.
    Well done

  10. benanke

    It is not time to celebrate yet! This issue still has to got through appeal, and Satas auntie Chibesakunda is already waiting for it.

  11. FuManchu

    Harry Kalaba has to be probed!

  12. Horatio Chishimba

    Common sense has prevailed!! Well done!!

  13. Trigo

    Good move-Thanks for this, use the area for tourism in its natural state not mining.

  14. Peta fulton

    Yes look what happened to local villages and the nearby river as a result of the environmental nightmare and disaster which is Panguna Cooper Mine in PNG.

  15. John royal

    Well done Zambians. How can a foreign country presume that it has the right to mess up our continent. John royal Durban, SA

  16. Sibwiidu

    This is great Zedians, I wish people knew that their God given natural resources do not actually sell on the London Stock exchange. These guys doing the mining in the country have cartels. If you decided to mine the minerals by yourselves you will see how prices will drop sharply.
    There is actually nothing the state is getting from these resources, mining companies are just reaping free of charge. What is 20% and miners getting away with the lions share of your resources? Someone somewhere is getting kick backs for refusing to introduce Windfall Tax which the late Mr. Mwanawasa had adequately introduced and moneys from this initiative did a lot for the country…he left the dollar at Kr3.80 (K3800).

    Patriotic citizens normally request 80% of the total export to be left while the beggar goes with 20%. If they do not want, let them live and venture into agriculture…people will always want to eat so you can never go wrong in this field.

    I hope the sooner Zedians realize they are being reaped off the better. It’s better to conserve what you have for future generations…that is what some nations have done..USA has oil reserves for the future Norway has oil reserves for future generations and funds from the sell of its mines are never used but highly invested. Why can’t Zed (Zambia) take a leaf from these great nations? Embassies and consulates are there to provide infor relating to good policies they are exposed to. We don’t see this happening and am left to wonder what Zedian missions are doing other than fatten their pockets by stealing tax payers money.

  17. Edel Cumming

    One comment that really hits home, is this ” how would Australians feel about a mine being developed in one of their National Parks?” Would Australians be outraged? Of course they would. It is an outrage. Australia better be aware that the WHOLE WORLD are watching their antics, and this will do nothing for Australia’s reputation globally.

  18. Been there

    Funny how they send Colin Barnet as if he’s a saint. Piss off mate!!

Comments are closed.