[Conservation opinion leadership requested here...Mana Pools within the UNESCO World Heritage Site and larger UNESCO Biosphere Reserve could be directly affected by mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park]
- In 2012, Zimbabweans said “a line was been drawn in the sand – NO MINING IN MANA POOLS“
- In 2014, Zambians on the Lower Zambezi reiterate “NO MINING IN LOWER ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK“
Minister gives green light for Kangaluwi Copper Project in Lower Zambezi National Park
Zambezi Resources Ltd announced recently that Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Larry Kalaba has overturned the Zambia Environmental Management Agency’s rejection of its Environmental Impact Study and given the green light for Zambezi Resources Ltd to proceed with the Kangaluwi Copper Project in Zambia. The Park was being considered as a potential World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
In a letter dated January 17, 2014, addressed to Mwembeshi Resources Managing Director, Kalaba stated that he had carefully considered the submitted grounds of appeal against ZEMA’s rejection.
“I have also carefully considered each and every ground of rejection given by the ZEMA board. In exercise of powers conferred on me by section 115 subsections 1, 2 and 3 of the environmental management Act, I have decided to approve the project on the following grounds,” Kalaba stated. “Firstly, the project should go ahead because it will eventually create employment for ordinary people in the area. Secondly, there are currently available cost-effective technologies and methods to adequately address all the identified negative impacts that may arise from this project and lastly, wildlife management in the area will be enhanced and conserved by the proposed managed scheme contained in your submissions. By copy of this letter…liaise with ZEMA for them to issue a decision letter with all the appropriate conditions under which the project will operate.”
Zambezi Resources Chairman, Mr David Vilensky welcomed the Zambian Government’s decision, complimenting the Zambian Government in allowing the Kangaluwi Copper Project to proceed within the National Park as part of its revised Mineral Resources Development Policy which seeks to strike a fair balance between the benefits of mining and the protection of the environment and wildlife conservation, provided its policies and laws are respected and adhered to and such investments will create employment opportunities for ordinary Zambians.
However in 2008, Chieftainess Chiawa (Chiawa/Kafue) Chiefs Chipepo, Simamba, Sinadambwe (of Siavonga district), and Chiefs Mupuka and Mburuma (Luangwa) had met and issued an historic statement against mining for 17 chiefdoms covering the whole Zambezi system.