ZELA News/Zvirimunhau/Okusendabeni 15/11/2019

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) is a 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 Rights (EESCR).
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.
The recent Kimberley Process (KP) Civil Society Coalition report titled “Real Care is Rare: An On-The-Ground Perspective on Blood Diamonds and the Fifth ‘C’-”   highlights the systemic failure by Governments and the diamond industry in the KP to curb human rights violations, ethical concerns, environmental harm, and forced displacements of communities.
From the 18th-22nd of November 2019, the Kimberley Process participating states will meet in New Delhi to incisively discuss why the scheme is failing to stop diamonds affected by various forms of conflict from flowing onto international markets. One would call the upcoming meeting a “Make-or-break moment for KP to restore faith and stop the flow of blood diamonds”.
ZELA’s Deputy Director and KP Civil Society Coalition Coordinator, Shamiso Mtisi argues that, the global diamond industry should embrace and religiously apply responsible mining and investment practices underpinned by due diligence approaches across their supply chain through the System of Warrantees, including making efforts to apply it to the operations of smaller industry players operating in many African countries. This means assessing, detecting and addressing potential negative impacts and risks associated with direct or indirect diamond mining and trading activities.
The diamond industry has been negatively affected by new forms of conflicts. The risks in the sector are many, but so are the opportunities for reform.

My take from the All Stakeholders Diamond Indaba

Despite years of working on diamonds, this is my very first blog profiling my observations and points of reflection in monitoring a highly sensitive diamond industry. This is a sector where one meets the rich, the famous and the dishonest from global diamond producing, transit, and trading countries. My observations are further informed by numerous visits to rough diamonds producing and trading countries, including stories of despair and hopelessness from impoverished communities in diamond mining areas. This is the first in a series of articles reflecting on my experiences. I will start with my beloved country-Zimbabwe with the 4th All Stakeholders Diamond Indaba held on the 6th of November 2019 in Mutare. Click here for more information.

Knowing who owns extractive companies will help Myanmar thrive

The Myanmar President’s Office, on October 2, issued a notification providing a strong legal framework that requires the disclosure of beneficial owners of companies involved in the extractive sector. Click here for more information.

Chinese gold mining brings killings,land grabs and corruption to the surface in Cameroon

Tensions and violence are rising in eastern Cameroon as Chinese firms take advantage of a regulatory twilight zone to mine gold, amid killings, land grabs and corruption. Click here for more information.

Zimbabwe-EU dialogue an opportunity for a fresh start

THE resumption of formal political dialogue between Zimbabwe and the European Union, which resumes next week at ministerial level, is a milestone development and will accelerate President Mnangagwa’s re-engagement drive while going a long way towards normalising relations.Click here for more information.

Upcoming Events

1.  Kimberley Process Plenary Meeting -India

2.  Training of Government Officials and Parliamentarians on Environmental Child Rights

Click here for more information


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