BY STAFF REPORTER
THE Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) has urged government to establish courts that accord urgency to cases pertaining to breach of environmental laws.
Such courts will ensure the protection of the environment and address problems such as air pollution, deforestation, plastic pollution, illegal wildlife trade, climate change, and food insecurity, among others.
Last Friday on June 4, Zimbabwe joined the world in commemorating World Environment Day.
Zela said government should balance national economic development needs with sustained actions to conserve the natural environment upon which biodiversity thrives and millions rely on for their livelihoods.
“Government must restate that management of wetlands needs to involve and accommodate views and needs of a wide range of stakeholders. Stakeholders need to be engaged in a transparent and equitable manner in pursuit of negotiated solutions that encompass a fair distribution of benefits and incentives even in the ongoing discussions on development of a wetland policy,” Zela said in a statement at the weekend.
“There is urgent need to address urban environment’s worsening solid waste management problem confronting urban authorities throughout Zimbabwe. High population densities and sprouting of unplanned settlements as well as changing consumption patterns and public attitudes compound the
“This has created an environment where disease causing vectors can thrive; contributing to air, soil, and water pollution; and emitting greenhouse gases with potential for global warming.”
The lawyers also called on industry and relevant entities to comply with emission standards in order to ensure that the country works towards a low-carbon economy.
“There is need for continuation of multi-stakeholder dialogue on strengthening legal and policy frameworks on climate change to enhance monitoring compliance. All stakeholders also need to adopt a child rights-based approach to environmental management. This entails ensuring that the substantive and procedural elements of the children’s right to a healthy environment are taken into consideration,” Zela said.