It seems that a bright semblance of sanity has appeared over the once-murky Zambian horizon.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a charged story about the absurdity of a proposed open cast copper mine in the Lower Zambezi National Park. Few of the due processes were being followed, the Australian mining company (Zambezi Resources) was not being clear enough about the fact that they were going to mine within a major National Park and it seemed that Zambia was letting the entire project fly under the radar. A low cloud was hanging over this defenseless patch of paradise.
And so it comes with a sigh of relief that Zambia’s Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has rejected the proposal to mine copper in the National Park.
ZEMA public relations officer Irene Chipili said in an interview that the Environmental Impact Statement submitted failed to address some of the key issues including the copper leach process that would inevitably filter into the Zambezi River itself.
[quote]“The proposed site is not suitable for the nature of the project because it is located in the middle of a national park and thus intends to compromise the ecological value of the park as well as the ecosystem,” [/quote]
Zambezi Resourses’ CEO Frank Vanspeybroeck has made it clear in a statement to shareholders that he cannot understand why the their EIS was rejected, and is seeking a review of the ZEMA decision by the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Wilbur Simuusa.
I.P.A Manning has sent a letter to the minister imploring him to uphold the rejected EIS, which you can read on the Change.org petition page.
It’s clear that the storm has not yet cleared completely, so it is imperative that we continue our support and pressure to uphold this important decision.
Please keep sharing the story, stay updated and involved.