15 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.

Case alert on the construction of the US$3 billion Sengwa coal plant 

Environmental justice as envisaged by section 73 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe should be at the center of developmental projects in Zimbabwe. As the US$3 billion Sengwa coal power plant project in Northern Zimbabwe takes shape, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association has in terms of section 62 of the Constitution as read with section 4 of the Environmental Management requested information from the responsible authorities. ZELA wrote and served a letter to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA). ZERA in terms of Zimbabwe's laws is mandated to regulate the energy sector. The purpose of the letter to ZERA is to get a status report on the project and enquire if licences have been issued to the companies thus far. Further, ZELA wants to find out if the project itself is consistent with the just transition to clean energy and renewable energy policies in Zimbabwe. Another letter was served to the Ministry of Mines with a view of getting information on what the Ministry is doing with regards to this project and whether the licences have been issued. The Environmental Management Agency's attention has also been sought and the letter seeks clarification on whether an Environmental Impact Assessment has been conducted and whether or not the climate change considerations have been made.
The requested information is important for transparency and accountability. It will also help the general public to understand and be informed about the project that can affect them for generations to come.......Click here for more information. 

ZELA's 3rd series of the COVID-19  Mining sector and Communities report out now

As many countries and people around the world have started to uneasily and cautiously prepare for an uncertain, and possibly abnormal post-COVID-19 situation, at ZELA we have continued to collect data and evidence of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the mining sector and on communities. This is our 3rd series of the COVID-19: Mining Sector and Communities’ Situational Report (SitRep).

Akin to other historical plagues, the corona virus has virulently hit the globe, in its wake affecting all social and economic facets of life. People’s livelihoods have not been spared and everyone is on edge. For seven weeks, Zimbabwe has been on a lockdown which started with a 21-day lockdown effective 30 March 2020 and followed by two consecutive extensions.  The latest and second lockdown extension for 14 days was announced on the 1st of May 2020. All these measures were meant to prevent and contain the spread of the virus.................Click here for more information. 

Zim must reform the Parks and Wildlife Act  to promote transparency and accountability in the wildlife sector

There have been reports of the former First Lady, Grace Mugabe allegedly being involved in ivory smuggling but up to now, we have not heard of anyone who has been prosecuted and held accountable. In 2016, an audit was conducted on Zimbabwe’s ivory stockpile and evidence showed that some ivory was missing. The only action that was taken was the suspension of the culprits which is not good enough. The expectation was that apart from suspension, the culprits should have been prosecuted and this would have sent out a strong deterrence message. The lack of strong measures like prosecution as a way of holding people accountable, is what is promoting wildlife crimes like poaching and illegal wildlife trade in the sector.................Click here for more information. 

Implications of the cancellation of the COP 26 on climate action in Southern Africa 

Climate change is one of the major problems affecting both developing and developed countries in the 21st century. The world is in a climate crisis and the time for action is now. Most notably, the year 2020 was anticipated to earmark the implementation of the Paris Agreement which came into force in 2015 at the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) signed by all the 54 African countries. Consequently, the Agreement required  countries with 2025 none binding  greenhouse reduction targets to communicate their second round of climate pledges by 2020 such as Zimbabwe, while countries with 2050 targets communicate or update their pledges which eventually new climate pledges would have to be submitted after every 5 year.All this could be put on hold for now.World leaders were penciled to meet in Glasgow Scotland for the COP26[1]. However, the fast spreading COVID-19 which is thought to have originated in Wuhan China has thrown the plans into disarray........Click here for more information.




Leverage the 'Zimbabwe is open for business mantra'-Zim urged 

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association and it’s partner the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) have called on the government to adopt the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) as a measure to improve transparency and accountability in the mining sector. ..........Click here for more information.

 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)
Did you know? The Artisanal & Small scale #gold mining sector is the largest contributor to mining generated foreign currency earnings. For the past years, gold deliveries from #ASM to @FPR_ZW eclipsed deliveries by large scale miners.
#Mining sector #exempted from the #COVID-19 lockdown

Upcoming Events  

ZELA on YA FM 91.8
 ZELA radio guest:    Nyaradzo Mutonhori/ Josephine Chiname
       Dates:      19 May 2020 and 21 May 2020
Time:         1800 hours – 1830 hours 
Topic:  Women’s rights/Gender issues in the mining sector
                   1. Women’s rights in the Constitution and mining legislation
                              2. How are women affected by mining/the challenges women face.
                            3.What role can women play in decision making to enhance transparency and accountability
4. Redress mechanisms in case of violation


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