22 May 2020

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) is a premier public interest environmental law organisation which seeks to promote environmental justice, sustainable and equitable use of natural resources, democracy and good governance in the natural resources and environment sector. ZELA’s work is mainly anchored on a core group of rights which are reflective of natural resources governance namely; Environmental, Economic, Social and Cultural (EESC) rights. As such a large component of the organisation's work involves influencing implementation and reforms within legal and institutional frameworks governing the environment and natural resources sector through research, civic education and advocacy.

As an organisation we believe that having adequate laws in place and monitoring implementation are the first steps towards good governance of natural resources and the environment. For the past 20 years, we have managed to make notable contributions to the legal, policy and institutional frameworks governing the environment and natural resources sector for broad based sustainable environmental and socio-economic development through our work in Zimbabwe and beyond.

Through this newsletter, we get to share with you relevant updates as we drive our mission of promoting environmental justice through sustainable and equitable utilization of natural resources and environmental protection.

  Emergency action needed for vulnerable artisanal & small scale mining communities 

As COVID-19 sweeps the globe, affecting the health and lives of millions, the pandemic is wreaking further economic havoc on the lives of artisanal, small scale miners and their communities. 83% of the world’s mining workforce relies on these mines for their livelihood. That comes to roughly 40.5 million people. These people were vulnerable before COVID-19 and even more so now.
We the undersigned global civil society organizations and community-based associations work to promote the advancement of human rights and due diligence in minerals supply chains in conflict-affected and high-risk areas as well as the formalization of artisanal and small-scale mining.
We are calling for immediate and concerted action from governments, financing institutions, international organizations, private sector actors and others to support artisanal mining communities and to shore up their resilience in this time of COVID-19 crisis. It is also essential that we protect hard-won gains related to human rights and due diligence in mineral supply chains in alignment with the OECD Due Diligence Minerals Guidance. At a time of heightened risks in global mineral supply chains, the carrying out of due diligence and support for on-the-ground, OECD-aligned initiatives are more important than ever........Click here for more information. 

The politics of wildlife ownership & utilisation in Zimbabwe

Who owns wildlife in Zimbabwe? This question is central and critical to the wildlife management system of any country. 
Hunting remains a preserve for the elite who have the economic means to apply for hunting permits. Local communities who suffer the brunt of human wildlife conflict remain sceptical about the benefits they derive from wildlife conservation. The Act has no single provision on the participation of local communities in wildlife management. There is no obligation on the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority or on the Rural District Councils to consult local communities. Thus, community involvement, participation and consultation remains absent from the Act. Further, CAMPFIRE is just but a project or programme. It is not a legal provision or requirement. As a result, since colonisation to date, the wildlife management system in Zimbabwe has failed to provide for active community involvement in wildlife management.................Click here for more information. 

Lessons learnt from the COVID-19 lockdowns & implications for the future

Amidst a global pandemic COVID-19, it is very difficult not to notice the threat that could be posed by a changing climate especially if economic models continue to be designed in a manner that maintains the status quo which disregards carrying capacities of natural support systems. Severe droughts, intense tropical cyclones are just but a few examples that the developing world is currently struggling with in addition to the recent impacts of COVID-19 also believed to be linked to human and ecosystem interactions. Climate change remains a major public policy problem facing humanity as a whole in the 21st century and the implications are catastrophic for developing countries who still heavily rely on fossilised fuels.........Click here for more information.


PWYP Zim fighting for transparent & accountable mineral resources governance 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zimbabwe introduced a 21-day lockdown which started on the 30th of March. The lockdown has been extended for an indefinite period. Essential services, industries including the mining industry are exempted from the lockdown. Mining is a critical sector for domestic resource mobilization hence the exemption from lockdowns. Missing in action is the monitoring eye by mining communities and civil society organizations (CSOs).The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the traditional space for civil society. Work for many CSOs in Zimbabwe has been affected. Activities of Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Zimbabwe, comprised of CSOs and community-based organizations (CBOs) were not spared. Thus, the lockdown  has brought huge risks of derailing civil society’s watchdog role in the governance of the extractives sector...........Click here for more information.

 Artisanal & small-scale miners need support 

THE Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) has urged the government to focus more on giving back to the artisanal and small-scale mining sector during the coronavirus-induced lockdown by ring-fencing gold royalties to fund personal protective clothing and hand sanitisers.

Government imposed a national lockdown on March 30 to contain the impact of Covid-19. The pandemic has resulted in hundreds of thousands of fatalities globally and has wreaked havoc on economies worldwide. The country had 46 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 13 recoveries and four fatalities as of Tuesday this week...........Click here for more information.


 Our solutions are in nature

'Our solutions are in nature' is this year's International Day for Biodiversity theme. The theme emphasises hope, solidarity and the importance of working together at all levels to build a future where we live in harmony with nature.
 Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public 
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following: Click here for more information.

Conversations that matter 


Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA)
@ZELA_Infor Prof Tumai Murombo: Climate change affects everyone & any development that seeks to use fossil fuels in the orthodox manner is of concern & affects every global citizen. #SengwaProjectwebinar

Upcoming Events  

ZOOM Webinars
                                    1. Africa Institute of Environmental Law Researchers Meeting                                                                                                                                 
When : 23 May 2020
                              Time: 10:00am-11:30am   
                   2. Making extractives work for public environmental, health and sanitary services
When : 27 May 2020
            Time: 10:00am-12:00noon   



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