Monday, December 25, 2006

Magna Carta

No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or deprived or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go or send against him, except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Those supposed to protect...

Zambia’s Luangwa Valley elephant poaching war continues…by I.P.A. Manning

I recently reported the killing of three elephant and the wounding of another on 12 November 2006 near my safari camp, Malone - now closed for the rainy season. On 30 November, close to Malone, a fusillade of shots were fired at 7.00 am, some two hours later, my terrified workers watched as scores of vultures moved in. In the camp, having arrived late the previous day was my employee, David, who had been in Malone during the previous incident.

On 29 November, four armed scouts, two from the nearby town of Nyimba, two from the nearby Ndevu game camp – one going by the name of Siliya, came to Malone at 10.00 am. Here they washed, rested and cooked a meal, leaving camp at 2.00 pm. The following morning war broke out. Later in the day, David went down to the river and was told by fishermen that they had seen some men running away from the shooting. David then left for Lusaka and when passing through Nyimba, saw Mr Chibeka of the Zambia Wildlife Authority who said he would be going to Ndevu camp on 5 December to collect his scouts – and doubtless the meat. He complained of missing meat from the previous incident.
The Nyimba police have refused to investigate our complaints, saying it is a matter for ZAWA.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

West Mvuvye National Forest No. 54 Illegal Alienation

The Chairman of the Luembe Community Resource Board reports that Messrs Tom Younger and Andrew Baldry visited Snr Chief Luembe again recently in order to obtain more land, and were unsuccessful. It appears that the pair have obtained a renewable 99 year statutory lease on that portion of the National Forest which formerly was Luembe customary land. In order for National Forest to be sold, it needs to be de-gazetted with Parliament's approval. This has not been done. Apparently the local community have received a 20% share in the scheme - through an Association. This illegal alienation, as well as the illegal alienation of that part of the National Forest formerly part of the Chief Mwape customary area has been reported to the Commission for Investigations, to the National Movement Against Corruption (NAMAC) and shortly as a petition to Parliament by the Chairman of the CRB and by the Headman's Association of Luembe. The Luembe Conservancy Trust, which applied for a Joint Forest Management Agreement with the Forestry Department in order to develop a participatory conservationa and development scheme two years ago, has to date received no reply to its application, clearly now having been overtaken by current events. Despite numerous contacts with Foresty - particularly its regional representative, Bwalya Chendaoke, they appear to be taking no action.

Senior Chief Luembe is now the subject of an application for an Interim Injunction in the High Court for Zambia under the Chiefs Act (Cap 287 of the Laws of Zambia) restraining the respondent Francis Kalunga Njobvu from acting as Chief Luembe. the plaintiff is Devallias Phiri Besa. Recently the head of the Yendwa clan, Senior Chief Mboroma visited Luembe and travelled to Mwape for a meeting of the Nyendwa chiefs to discuss the issue.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I. P. A. Manning
21 November 2006

Elephant continue to be poached for their ivory and meat in Zambia: last week in the West Petauke Game Management Area of the Luangwa Valley, close to my camp on the Luangwa river, a cow herd was all but obliterated by a poaching gang.

The meat from these elephant, from hippo and our now decimated herds of buffalo, is carried to the villages of Rufunsa and Lukwipa on the Great East Road, which links Malawi with the capital, Lusaka, and sold openly to motorists; the ivory, we now know, follows the traditional route through Malawi and on to Singapore or to Manila, Hong Kong, Taiwan and eventually, Japan and China.

In 2002, a consignment of 5.9 metric tons of ivory was intercepted in Singapore and traced to a shipper in Lilongwe, Malawi. Shortly before this seizure, at the CITES meeting in Santiago, Zambia had requested that elephant be downgraded to Appendix one, and that they be allowed to sell their ivory stockpile, both requests denied as a result of a fact finding mission which found that in excess of 800 elephant a year were being killed illegally – an unsustainable offtake; Zambia later burnt the ivory on payment of $200,000 from elephant protectionist organizations.

In April 2005, the Environmental Investigation Agency (UK) held an International Ivory Enforcement Training Workshop in Lusaka funded by DFID. A presentation on the Singapore ivory seizure was made, which included details of the DNA investigations of the ivory and soil isotope analysis suggesting that the elephant came from two savannah populations. But they needed to be matched with samples from Luangwa and elsewhere. This has now been done.

As reported in a National Geographic newsletter, Sam Wasser and his team at the University of Washington sequenced DNA recovered from nearly 500 samples of dung collected from elephant in 23 African countries and then matched it with DNA from the seized ivory. When Wasser's team compared 75 samples from the illegal shipment to their genetic map, they found that all of the ivory came from Zambia. And as the bulk of Zambia’s remaining elephant are to be found in the Luangwa and its associated rift valley systems this does suggest the ivory’s source.

And what of the prosecution of those responsible? Apparently a Malawian national was being held some months ago, a Chinese national skipped the country and the Singaporean transshipment agent received a fine of $3 000.

However, at this same presentation, an astounding comment was made by one of the participants, Samuel Ngosi, of the Malawian Anti-Corruption Bureau, who revealed, possibly for the first time, that his investigations had uncovered the fact that a total of 19 shipments had been made between 1994 and 2002 by the same people in Lilongwe, using the same methods and freight carriers – a total of 123.5 tons of ivory being shipped (which I had mis-reported elsewhere as 23.5 tons!), much of it small worked pieces. The value of this is in the order of US $185 million.

Extrapolating from the CITES report on Zambia, which found that the average ivory in the strong room was 4.23 kg; this would mean that 14, 598 elephant were poached in the Luangwa over a nine year period, equivalent to what is considered to be the approximate current population of between 10, 000 and 14, 000 animals – a conclusion reached from aerial census work carried out in 1998, 1999 and 2002. No count has since been conducted. Thus if the population estimates are correct, some 11% of the population would have been taken off illegally each year over a nine year period, which when added to natural mortality, is clearly unsustainable, suggesting that the population census work either undercounted or that our elephant numbers are now very low.

And what is the position of the Zambia Wildlife Authority, a statutory body responsible for wildlife conservation and our 19 National Parks?

In April 2004 ZAWA announced that they were applying to CITES to downgrade elephant from Appendix 1 to Appendix 2 in order to ‘control 20 animals’ considered to be crop raiders. In May 2005, ZAWA applied for a voluntary elephant quota of 40 tusks at a CITES Standing Committee meeting and then went ahead and issued elephant hunting licenses for the 2005 hunting season. On 10 January, 2006, the Natural Resources Consultative Forum (NRCF), a cross-sectoral forum for environment, whose membership includes the hunting industry, resolved that no elephant sport hunting should be conducted in Zambia in 2006 until such time as the necessary scientific information was to hand. The minutes were widely circulated. An advisory note and the minutes of the meeting were sent by the NRCF to the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, followed by a meeting between the NRCF Chairman and the Minister. No reply to the advisory note has to this day been received. On 11 April 2006 at the Zambia Wildlife Authority offices, an auction for 20 elephant for sport hunting was held and the licenses purchased by one bidder. These 20 elephant, according to the then Director-General of ZAWA, one Habinga Kabeta – former Managing Director of the Kapiri Mposhi Glass Factory, in a statement to the Office of the Vice-President’s Disaster Management Unit, were elephant which had been identified as crop raiding bulls. A number of icon bulls, of inestimable value to the tourist industry, have since been shot, and the poaching of elephant continues without let or hindrance for in January, 2006, Philippine Customs Officials seized six tons of ivory in Manila, believed to have come from Zambia. In June, ZAWA officials set off for Manila, only to find on arrival that the consignment had been stolen.

At the 54th Standing Committee meeting of CITES in Geneva in October of 2006, it was decided that Japan will be the designated buyer – pending certain conditions, of the proposed one-off sale of ivory stocks from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. A decision on designating China as well has been put off to a later date. Thus it appears, that despite Japan being a major buyer of illegal ivory, legal ivory will now find its way there. And how will we now tell the difference?

Monday, November 20, 2006


The Manager Inspectorate
Environmental Council of Zambia
P. O. Box 35131, Lusaka
Tel: 01 254094/254130
Fax: 01 254164

P.0 Box 60498

ECZ Submission for the EIA for the LEGACY HOLDINGS ZAMBIA LIMITED proposed “Mosi-Oa-Tunya Hotel and Country Club Estate Project” in Livingstone, Zambia

“Our national parks are as good, only as good, as the intensity with which we treasure them”
John G Mitchel, National Geographic, August 2006.

1) Introduction
2) International Agreements, Conventions and Jurisdiction
3) Golf Course in a National Park
4) Eco Tourism
5) Environmental Impacts
5.1) Birdlife
5.2) Habitat destruction and wildlife
6) Methodology and Baseline Information
7) The Impact on Present Infrastructure
8) Conclusion

1) Introduction
The Wildlife and Environmental Society of Zambia, WECSZ has raised major concerns over the impacts of the Legacy Holdings Zambia LTD proposed Hotel and Golf Estate Project. . This submission outlines the WECSZ objections and the basis for those objections. WECSZ is in agreement with the Legacy EIA statement that the project site will have all its natural vegetation removed and that the result will be “irreversible ecological damage”

The Legacy EIA is actually a project document detailing what is to be done but it does not detail the strategic environmental impacts of such a development to the region as a whole. Many of the facts used in the EIA document are out of date, irrelevant to the site and to the region and are not factual (agricultural statistics, rainfall stastics, employment figures and birdlife). For a multi million dollar investment in an internationally sensitive and crucial conservation area, The EIA for Legacy is seriously lacking in serious data and assessment.

The claim in the EIA that “ The Mosi-Oa-Tunya Hotel and Country Club Estate will be an environmentally sensitive tourism development along the banks of the Zambezi River as well as the Maramba River” is incomprehensible. No amount of mitigation will change the fact that the 220 ha area will be irreversibly changed, the natural environment destroyed and the damage to the park as a whole, and to regional conservation development, devastating. The proposed development would cut the Mosi – oa – Tunya Park and the World Heritage site into two separate parts which has serious implications for the planned improved bio-diversity of the park by the SEED PROJECT including the projected increase in length of stay at Livingstone and the sustainability of Tourism in Livingstone. The danger of the Victoria falls being delisted from its World Heritage Status has major implications for the tourism industry and Zambias standing in the International arena.

The essence of the EIA should be to ask, and then answer, the following question:
Are the economic benefits of the proposed project justifiable against
• completely destroying a World Heritage Site, National Park and protected area, a wildlife corridor, wildlife breeding and feeding grounds
• loss of biodiversity
• permanent alteration of indigenous vegetation
• destruction of Stone Age/Iron Age archaeological sites
• loss of public access to two rivers?
• massive damage to present Transfrontier Conservation Initiatives
• the delisting of Victoria Falls World Heritage Site status
• the massive loss to the economy from tourists who decide not to visit a country which is prepared to sacrifice its heritage for short term gain

WECSZ submits that the irreversible damage to the natural environment at the site of the proposed development far outweighs any potential economic benefits to the local area.
Below is a point-by-point examination of selected issues that arise from the EIA. Each point begins with an issue, in bold, followed by a critique of that issue.

2) International Agreements, Conventions and Jurisdiction
On Friday 10th November 2006 the Times of Zambia reported that the Government has ratified 25 global environmental conventions which play an important role in influencing polices and laws in the sector. Mr. Mutembo, the Copperbelt Deputy Permanent Secretary announced the government “had embarked on a series of initiatives aimed at attaining sustainable socio economic development through sound environmental protection and natural resources management”. How does the proposed development support these ratifications?

• The EIA lists some of the conventions and agreements to which Zambia is a signatory, such as the Convention on Biodiversity, The Ramsar project, IUCN, UNESCO, etc.
• The Victoria Falls and its surrounds - both in Zimbabwe and Zambia - is a World Heritage Site and is therefore protected by international convention. UNESCO declared a 30km radius of Zimbabwean and Zambian territory around the Victoria Falls a World Heritage Site in 1989. At a July meeting of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee in Lithuania's capital, Vilnius, the committee cited concerns that "the integrity of the property [Mosi-O-Tunya National Park] remained threatened by uncontrolled urban development, pollution and unplanned tourism development." In her presentation to the meeting at the Fairmount Hotel, Livingstone on the 6th November, UNESCO commissioner, Mulenga Kapwepwe, said the Victoria Falls, which had put Zambia on the tourism world map, risked losing its world heritage status because of the laxity to consider the protocols seriously.
• The World Conservation Union (IUCN) management plan for the area (The Strategic Environmental Assessment of Developments around Victoria Falls, June 1996) states categorically that no developments should be allowed within the boundaries of the site, and that the wilderness value and the biodiversity of the area are prime resources, which have to be maintained.
• Since then Zambia has ratified a number of international treaties, including :
Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, and the
African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The proposed Legacy site is also a designated Important Bird Area (IBA) as declared by Birdlife International and it forms part of the Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFC).

The Post, Thursday November 16th quotes The Minister for Tourism Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Kabinga Pande, “It must be remembered that laws are in place to safeguard the interests of citizens. I have further directed the Environmental Council of Zambia to ensure that existing law on environmental protection is enforced and complied with fully.”

The proposed Legacy site falls under the joint jurisdiction of ZAWA, the NHCC and the City Council:
1) The Livingstone Development Plan, which was approved by Council in 2006, includes the Vision of the Council to guide future development:

• “Livingstone, as the main tourism destination in Zambia, must strive to become the preferred tourism destination in Southern Africa, through provision of a quality tourism experience, by resolutely protecting the World Heritage Site and its surrounds, and actively promoting this unique environment, thereby improving the economic situation and quality of life of the residents.”
• “The mission of the Livingstone City Council is to provide minimum level of services that are affordable and to ensure that the costs of such services are recovered in order to protect the environment of this World Heritage Site and promote sustainable development.”

2) This is further endorsed by ZAWA’s Mosi oa Tunya General Management Plan (GMP) of May 1999, which inter alia states:

• A national park, by definition, must possess nationally significant natural or cultural resources and retain a high degree of integrity as a true, accurate, and relatively unspoiled example of a resource;

• Section 3 (Planning Guidelines) states clearly:
“Management emphasis in national parks will be to minimize all undesirable human impacts on wildlife populations”;

• Section 3.5.1 (Natural Resources) states that the priorities for the management of the national park will include: Protecting and conserving the Zambezi River and its riverine vegetation. Any development – local, national, international – which threatens the integrity of the riverine ecosystem should be opposed in the strongest terms.

• Figure 7 in the GMP illustrates the distribution of management zones within the national park.
A narrow riverside path route is provided between the Maramba River and the present Sun Hotel site for pedestrian access. The rest of that sector is designated for general tourism activity where permanent structures cannot be erected without full justification. Permitted activities in the Tourism Zone include only: game drives; escorted walks; and picnics.

The narrow, riverside development zone north of the Maramba River will be restricted to existing developments and to jetties, information centres, car parks, toilets and picnic sites. In this area “…no new leases will be considered…These limitations are imposed to keep development to a minimum and safeguard the corridor used by wildlife in this narrow and restricted part of the park.”

The road that runs from the cultural centre along the Maramba River to the confluence is a public road and any change in its status requires that it be de-gazetted by an act of Parliament. Zambian Law on land tenure vests all national parks and gazetted sites in the hands of the state, and any lease of such land is subject to normal tender procedures. As former Minister, Sonny Mulenga said the land had not been advertised or subjected to any tender procedures. "We are setting a very bad precedence for the future generation – land which is gazetted, as a World Heritage Site should never be given out for a song. No records have been given on who evaluated that land, and the amount in question is a mockery."

The concession was expanded from 2 ha. to 220 ha. for a reported period of 75 years without going to tender and is therefore procedurally incorrect and subject to cancellation by the Commission for Investigations
ii) The boundaries of the Park would have to be changed by statute to make the concession possible.
iii) The proposed development places ZAWA in default of its statutory mandate as laid down in the Wildlife Act of 1998: section 5(1) (a) and (c)
iv) The concession reduces the area of the National Park, contrary to Section 12 of the Act.

3) Golf Course in a National Park
The Legacy EIA justification for building and destroying a natural, protected area within a National Park is by reference to golf courses in other National Parks, namely Kruger, Pilansberg, Sabi River, Mt Kenya, Aberdares, and Mweya in Uganda.
What is not considered or pointed out is that these other National Parks are far larger than Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park (MOTNP). The golf courses in these parks do not take up the entire neck of a Park as Legacy would do in MOT NP. The other golf courses do not completely block a wildlife corridor, whereas the Legacy Development would effectively cut the MOT NP into two distinct halves. In Zimbabwe, the Falls are surrounded by the 2 340 ha Victoria Falls National Park and the 57 000 ha Zambezi National Park. The golf course at Elephant Hills on the Zimbabwean side does not, therefore, impact on the free movement of wildlife as there is adequate space for animals to move around the developed area. This is not the case in the much smaller MOTNP where the Legacy Development would take up 3% of the entire park, and block the crucial wildlife corridor of the park.
4) Eco Tourism
The EIA states that “It is the intention of the developers to follow the "eco-tourism" guidelines produced by the Livingstone Tourism Association”. Ideally, true ecotourism should satisfy several criteria, such as
• conservation (and justification for conservation) of biological diversity and cultural diversity, through ecosystems protection
• promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity, by providing jobs to local populations
• sharing of socio-economic benefits with local communities and indigenous people by having their informed consent and participation in the management of ecotourism enterprises.
• increase of environmental & cultural knowledge
• minimisation of tourism's own environmental impact
• affordability and lack of waste in the form of luxury
So, why is ZAWA allowing Legacy to turn a huge area of our National Park into luminous green carpet of landscaped fairway? Is ZAWA under a deluded notion that, because golf courses are green in colour, they are somehow 'green' in the environmentally friendly sense, too? The truth is, golf courses take up too much space, too much water and disrupt the balance of wildlife. Why has ZAWA allowed this when they are tasked with the protection of our natural environment?
5) Environmental Impacts
• The Legacy EIA states that the development would remove all natural vegetation from the site and that it would cause ‘irreversible ecological destruction’ and cause “disruption to Elephant/Animal Corridors”, despite this it insists that the socio-economic considerations outweigh environmental impacts.
• Despite being offered alternative sites on the river Legacy has stated that if refused, Legacy will pull out of Zambia. Why has Legacy Holdings refused to consider an alternative site, despite this being required by Law under the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act (EPPCA). How can Legacy Holdings Zambia embrace irreversible environmental damage and the loss of World Heritage Status without considering an alternative site?
• The EIA report states “The main objective of this EIA is to examine impacts on ecological units and ecological processes of the project area including impacts on physical, biological, socio-economic and cultural environment and to provide mitigation measures for identified impacts”. The resorts are being built on that specifically identified narrow part of the national park where elephants cross the river and move through to the gorges - an area of major conservation importance for water birds and other wildlife, and also the only part of the river near the Victoria Falls accessible to the people of Livingstone. So how do you mitigate the effects of permanent environmental damage, the blocking of a wildlife corridor, fencing hippo out of their grazing grounds, the pollutants from chemicals and pesticides and fertilizers, the loss of biodiversity and the closure of access of locals to the river? The mitigating measures put forward by the EIA, i.e. by planting exotic grass, an elephant corridor of 200 meters, allowing a few tame impala to run around, sparing some trees for weavers to nest in, or planting Acacia nigrescens, which take years to mature, are paltry and trivial. Having seen the plans for proposed project, which include a swimming pool built on the Zambezi riverbank, (despite recommendations for building 50 meters from the river), it is obvious that the recommendations in the EIA and mitigating factors would also be ignored.

5.1) Birdlife
The riverine vegetation is a crucial breeding and feeding ground for many species of waterbirds, and woodland species prefer the shrubs, scrub, grasses and trees of the drier mopane areas. At the Lower Maramba to Zambezi Confluence, at the proposed site for Legacy, on the 14th June 2006, R Stjernstedt, S. P. Norman and M. Kalaluka , carried out a brief study of the birds in the area , covering a distance of 1.3 km. This is a walk frequently used by bird-watchers and naturalists in Livingstone, because it is a stretch of undisturbed riverine vegetation on the banks of the Zambezi River, looking directly across to a nesting colony of Egrets and Cormorants. This is also a site, almost the only point left to the general public, to see such Zambezi specialities as Rock Pratincoles, White backed Night Heron, Osprey, and Finfoot.

The survey reported 49 species of bird. Notable among birds special to this habitat were
Purple Heron African Goshawk
Gymnogene Red billed Wood Hoopoe
Orange breasted and Grey headed Bush Shrikes African Golden Oriole
Yellow-bellied Greenbul Brown headed Kingfisher
Trumpeter Hornbill Lesser Honeyguide
Collared Palm Thrush Eastern Bearded Scrub Robin
Yellow breasted Apalis Spectacled Weaver.

A longer study, conducted over a ten-year period by the Livingstone Museum Department of Natural History has identified 53 species of waterbirds in the area. Renowned ornithologist and local resident, Robert Stjernstedt, reports that 420 bird species are known to occur in the Victoria Falls Area. The survival of these birds depends on the biodiversity of the area.

For this reason, the area within and around the proposed site for Legacy Holdings’ development of a golf course and resort was declared an IBA (Important Bird Area) declared by Birdlife International. The aim of Birdlife International’s Important Bird Area Programme is to identify and protect a global network of sites that are critical for the long-term survival of all bird species and their habitats. Birds are prone to endemism (found in a restricted distribution area) and are an excellent indication of biodiversity in general. If an area holds rare or endemic birds or a particularly diverse range of birds, it is likely to hold a comparable array of other organisms. When water levels drop, rocky islands and sand bars are exposed along the river above the falls. Rock Pratincoles breed in large numbers on the rocks, and sandbars attract species such as White-fronted Sand Plover and African Skimmer. The riparian forest is home to species such as White-backed Night Heron, Western Banded Snake Eagle, African Finfoot and Brown-necked Parrot. A number of interesting species has been recorded on the boundary of the National Park at the Livingstone Sewerage Ponds including several rare waders and a variety of crakes. Slaty Egret has occurred on a few occasions. The general area also holds large numbers of indigobirds, amongst which can be found odd individuals imitating Brown Firefinch” From Important Birds of Zambia, Peter Leonard. Published by ZOS 2005

Threats to the biodiversity of the area identified by Birdlife International are the general level of disturbance and the effects of the ever-expanding tourist industry, which include light aircraft and helicopters, tourist activities and the immediate disturbance caused by new roads and infrastructure.

5.2) Habitat destruction
The expected Civil Works and construction phase of the Mosi oa tunya Hotel and Country Club as laid out in the EIA would be expected to last twenty-four months.

“This phase would involve the following activities, which would adversely affect the environment:
i) Clearance of the existing natural vegetation and trees;
ii) Removal of the top-soil around the foundation area;
iii) Construction of access road and internal roads within the project area;
iv) Installation of surface water drains;
v) Construction of buildings.
The activities would be undertaken using front-end loaders, graders, wheelbarrows, shovels and picks. The soil removed from the foundation area would be stockpiled in designated areas for future re-planting”.
The IUCN report states that “no mature trees or riparian vegetation should be cut down”. The natural vegetation provides crucial habitats for a wide variety of species of wildlife: large mammals (elephant, hippo, waterbuck, bushbuck and occasionally buffalo), smaller mammals (baboons, vervet monkeys, cane rats, genets, scrub hares, civet, duiker, mongoose, night apes, etc.) as well as birds, insects and reptiles.

In a study by WECSZ, 54 species of woody plants were recorded on the right bank of the river. It was found to be heavily infested in places with exotic Lantana, Melia and gums (Eucalyptus); apart from these the indigenous vegetation appears intact, with Kigelia africana, Combretum, Acacia, Diospyros, Terminalia, and Bauhina specimens of good size, being undisturbed by human encroachment. Of special interest is tree wistaria, Bolusanthus speciosus, a marginal species for Zambia but an endemic monobasic genus of the Zambezian phytochorological region. This species by itself is enough to recommend the site for preservation, as it is of frequent occurrence here and the trees are of good form and height, thus offering Zambians a unique opportunity to see this beautiful tree within their own country.

The IUCN management plan states “there should be access to the riverbank and animal crossing points”. The Legacy development ignores this stricture. The importance of elephants in overall conservation is as a keystone species, i.e. they encourage biodiversity through dispersal of seeds through dung, through their large ranges and by opening up overgrown, dense thickets giving other plant species a chance to grow. Elephants frequent the area between Sun Hotels and the Maramba river, their passage hindered by increasing tourist activity and the developments built to support tourism. The area in question is the last remaining intact area of good vegetation outside of the Park where elephants are free from human pressure. It is crucial that this area remains undeveloped and conserved as a route for animals from the Park and for those crossing the river to travel to the gorge and the Mukuni area. MOT is already damaged by overgrazing and deforestation. The competition for feeding is very high, and so the elephant destruction to trees within the park area is devastating. Over 100 elephants have been seen to use the Legacy area, in various-sized herds, primarily for feeding on fruiting trees , grasses and shrubs. There is very little evidence of trees having been pushed over in the Legacy site area, probably because of the lack of competition from other game. This alleviates much pressure from the fenced Zoological Park. If the Legacy Development went ahead, the increase in destruction to the fenced Zoological Park would be disastrous and could permanently alter the vegetation and carrying capacity of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. There is also likely to be an increase in elephnant /human conflict upriver past the Sinde if the elephant access to the gorges is blocked off.

One of the “major negative environmental impacts of the Legacy Holdings Development have been identified in the EIA as : Disruption to Elephant/Animal Corridors”.
At the World Summit on Sustainable Development, one of the key resolutions was to foster Transfrontier Conservation Area. ZAWA has signed an agreement with the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFC) to establish a Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) with the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) in agreement with the Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF). The underlying philosophy of TFCA’s is that cooperation in the management of natural resources that occur along international boundaries will spur increased collaboration between neighbouring states, which will benefit conservation through the wise use of these shared resources by
• Enhancing biodiversity conservation across borders
• Socio-economic development based on sustainable management of natural resources
• Enhancement of cooperation between states, government agencies and communities across political borders.

In practical terms the combining of protected areas across borders allows for improved management and increased ranges for migratory animals such as elephant. It also allows for the marketing of a larger and more diverse tourism destination.

At a meeting held in Angola in April 2003, the Ministers responsible for tourism in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, agreed to establish a major transfrontier conservation and tourism development area in the Kavango and Upper Zambezi River basins.The proposed Kavango Zambezi TFCA falls within the Okavango-Upper Zambezi TFCA Zone, where the international borders of five countries converge. It includes a major part of the Upper Zambezi basin, the Okavango Basin and Delta. The most significant feature of the Kavango Zambezi TFCA is the large drainage system running though it (the Zambezi, Kavango/Okavango, Kwando and Chobe rivers). The core area is a series of wetlands (Okavango, Chobe/Zambezi) and saline lakes (the Makgadikgadi Pans). The other major feature is the presence of significant populations of the African Elephant. The area is estimated to have nearly 200 000 elephant which is around 30% of the world’s estimated population. Elephants are recognised as the flagship of conservation. The TFCA is designed to conserve landscape-scale ecological function, and elephants being such important herbivores need large landscapes to move around naturally and cannot be conserved inside traditional game reserves and national parks, which are too small and do not necessarily cover international boundaries.

The Kaza TFCA boasts renowned natural features such as the Okavango Delta (the largest Ramsar Site in the World), the Victoria Falls, and the Kafue wetlands as well as considerable tracts of riverine and floodplain habitats along the Okavango and Zambezi Rivers and their tributaries, namely the Kwando, Chobe and Quito Rivers. The TFCA covers many areas formally gazetted as national parks, game reserves, forests or wildlife management areas as follows:

• The Mamili, Mudumo and Bwabwata National Parks
• State Forests

• National Parks: Liuwa Plains, Kafue Park, Mosi oa Tunya and Sioma Ngwezi National Parks
• Game Management Areas: West Zambezi, Mulobezi, Sichifulo, Bilili, Namwala, Mumbwa, Lunga-Luswishi, Busanga and Kasonso
• State forests

• National Parks: The Chobe, Makgadikgadi, Nxai Pan National Parks and Moremi Game Reserve
• Wildlife Management Areas: Okavango, Kwando, Nunga, Ngamiland, Boteti and Nata State Lands
• State forests: Kazuma and Chobe
• National Parks: Hwange, Kazuma Pan, Zambezi and Victoria Falls National Parks (and the Matetsi Safari Area)
• State forests: Kazuma, Panda Masuie and Fuller forests
• National Parks: Luiana and Mavinga Game Reserves
• State hunting areas: Longa-Mavinga, Luengue and Mucusso Coutadas

KAZA TFC is currently working with ZAWA and WECSZ in creating the links between the protected areas in Zambia and those in the neighbouring countries. The Open Areas that occur between the Game Management Areas and the Zambezi River will create the links between the Kafue Park and the protected areas in the neighbouring countries, with the vision of creating wildlife corridors and linkages to re-establish the old elephant migratory routes between the Zambezi River and parks such as the Kafue Park and the Sioma Ngwezi Park.

Current studies for the KAZA TFC include seeking land features between conservation areas (parks/forests) that meet the habitat needs of elephants, mapping the landscapes that effectively allow fragmented elephant populations to interact, and evaluating the suitability of these wildlife habitats with the emphasis on the habitat requirements of elephants. Recent satellite data received from Elephants without Borders, an NGO working to track elephant movements to establish elephant corridors using satellite imagery have shown that elephants use the entire area of the proposed Legacy Holdings site, not just a corridor along the Maramba river. The Legacy proposed “elephant corridor” along the Maramba River is simply not viable: elephants do not walk in straight lines and the area is not a walkway but a feeding ground. Preserving a corridor will not preserve the functioning of the crossing point as the entire area needs to be preserved. As has been shown in Botswana, elephant corridors need to be not less than two kilometers wide to be sustainable.

6) Methodology and Baseline Information

Baseline data was collected through field appraisal, discussion with relevant agencies and institutions in the concerned areas and consultation with local communities and individuals in the project area.

The foundation stone was laid prior to any consultation with local stakeholders, including the Livingstone City Council. The recommendations and concerns put forward at the Scoping Meeting held by Legacy at the Fairmount Hotel have been noted but ignored. The ECZ public meeting held at Maramba River Lodge was more of a political rally with cadres bussed in to disrupt environmental concerns, than an assessment of environmental impacts. Threats and racism were used to intimidate the public. ECZ was not on the panel, questions were directed to the Legacy Board of Directors. ZAWA was not present to discuss environmental concerns. NHCC was not present. Few of 300 or so participants had heard of the EIA document, fewer had even read it. Was this an public hearing for Environmental Impact Assessment?
7) The Impact on Livingstone Infrastructure
The increase in traffic and burden on already disintegrating road networks, water and sanitation and electricity in Livingstone would be enormous. Legacy expects a maximum of 3330 guests, 1850 permanent employees and 1250 visitors on a daily basis. The conference center provides for 1000 delegates. There would also be a craft production site which would require more people transported to and fro, as well as fresh produce, i.e. fish and vegetables and other guest supplies produced on site. The traffic increase and congestion, not to mention road accidents and increased pressure on our roads, would be devastating. An estimated increase of 60 more vehicles a day would be used in the construction phase and would be active at peak hours and, once operational, an additional 200 vehicles a day, of which 50 would be bulk supply vehicles. The repercussions for the already-congested road network in Livingstone are alarming.
8) Conclusion
The EIA states that: ”the socio-economic benefits of the project to the communities in the project area of influence outweigh the “no-development” scenario. The project is therefore being recommended for implementation assuming the incorporation of the recommended mitigating measures and implementation of the Impact Mitigation Plan and Environmental Monitoring Plan”.
WECSZ is very aware of the need for employment in Livingstone. We have high unemployment and poverty which requires urgent addressing. The Livingstone community desperately needs more income, more development and improvement to its infrastructure. We do not have a proper or adequate refuse disposal system, we do not have sufficient water, our roads are in a shocking state of disrepair and our economy is limited to seasonal tourism . So Livingstone residents are certainly not against development. They need and want development.
However, we have to embrace responsible tourism for long term sustainability. By destroying the World Heritage Site and a National Park, the negative effects of this development will outweigh the positive impacts of jobs.

Tourists are attracted to Zambia primarily for its vast and relatively intact wilderness areas. Most lodges are eco-friendly, small-scale structures with minimum impact on the environment; but the potential damage to the tourism industry, by over-development and the complete commercialisation of the Victoria Falls area could have serious repercussions for Livingstone. Tourists come to Livingstone, and for that matter, Zambia, primarily for a wilderness experience. They do not come to Livingstone to find something like Florida or the coast of Majorca. The construction of Legacy resorts on a World Heritage Site, permanently altering the aesthetic beauty of a natural environment and blocking a wildlife corridor, is likely to alienate those attracted to “the real Africa”.
The main attractions for visitors (and hence the thousands of visitors every year) is the Victoria Falls, the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park and the wildlife in our area. IUCN stresses that one of the principal attractions of the area is its perceived “wilderness” value and “the juxtaposition of natural wild area with modern visitor amenities. If this wilderness is lost due to over-development, then the visitors will not come and the economy and social structures will suffer.” IUCN Victoria Falls – Skeleton Management Plan Part Quite simply, if the Park is destroyed through over-development, many of the visitors will stay away. And, as a World Heritage Site it is incumbent on us to protect it for all mankind.
As George Schaller says in an interview with John. G Mitchell in National Geographic, October 2006, “It’s essential that each country keep part of its natural heritage untouched, as a record for the future, a baseline to measure change, so people can see the splendor of their past, before the land was degraded. And if we ever want to rehabilate habitat, we need to see how things used to be. These parks and reserves, these untouched places are also genetic resevoirs, where plants and animals that don’t exist elsewhere still survive. They can be invaluable to the human species as a source of food or medicine. If we destroy the parks, they’re gone forever, and we may be losing something invaluable to us”.
“There are certain natural treasures in each country that should be treated as treasures, and it’s up to conservation organizations to fight on behalf of the special places. Too many of these organizations have lost sight of their purpose. Their purpose is not to alleviate poverty or help sustainable development. Their purpose is to save natural treasures”
Tourism is one of the world's largest and fastest growing industries as more people are exploring other countries, destinations and cultures. “Ecologically sensitive areas, those where natural resources are critically endangered by physical changes and which contain a great diversity and interdependence of living habitats”, are experiencing an increase in visitation. Sensitive areas hold the main assets on which the tourism industry depends, so conservation is a must. Any changes in the component of an ecosystem will have unpredictable effects on the entire system”. These sites may be national parks, world heritage sites, wilderness area or cultural sites. As UNESCO’S Gina Doubleday says, “Tourism is great; there’s more discovery and more awareness about the sites, but it does mean we have to work hard to protect them”. Selling off a park, or degazetting it, serves short term appetites while compromising long term ideals. “Parks exist in the dimension of economics as well as geography, biology, symbolism as well as politics and time.”
We also cannot afford to lose our World Heritage Status. We have much pride in boasting such an internationally recognised status. The Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World (CNN). This deserves all the protection it can get. The response to the proposed Legacy development in our national park has been met with unbridled passion, respect and love for our wildlife and our natural and historical heritage. The publicity that this project has received, both locally and internationally, and the response from all walks of the community have shown that, the value of our wildlife and our environment and its protection outweigh the economic effects of this development.
Ali Shenton, Vice-Chairman of the Livingstone Branch.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I. P. A. Manning
19 November, 2006.

The present imbroglio concerning the issue by the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) of a 75 year Tourism Concession Agreement on 220 ha. in the Mosi oa Tunya National Park – part of the Victoria Falls World Heritage Site, to a vigorously assertive black empowerment company, Legacy Holdings Limited, and its plans to build a golf estate in the middle of it, stirs the nation.

It is now clear that the lease is without legal foundation, and that the proposed development would, in Legacy’s own words in its 360 page Environmental Impact Statement, remove all the natural vegetation and result in irreversible ecological damage. It is, in short, an impending natural and national disaster as it would destroy the Park, destroy the Victoria Falls World Heritage Site, drive away tourists and investors, and destroy the credibility of ZAWA, the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) and the Government itself.

Zambia, as never before, has suddenly become aware of the environment; not just the natural resources: the wildlife, the forests, lakes and rivers, but the state of the environment. The recent closure of the Konkola Copper Mining Company’s operations due to its continuing pollution of its surrounds, the news that Kabwe is one of the ten most polluted places on earth, the sufferings of the poisoned poor, ensures that the ECZ and the myriad Government ministries, departments and statutory bodies responsible for the environment now have to place its well-being at the forefront of all they do. Therefore they need, as a matter of extreme urgency, to ratify the draft National Policy on the Environment (NPE), and build the ECZ into a formidable institution able to implement it – fully supported by the Natural Resources Consultative Forum (NRCF) and the National Movement Against Corruption (NAMAC).

There is growing impatience within civil society, among donors, rural communities and Government for the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals through sound environmental and natural resource use. The clarion call by the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (MTENR) for funding for an Institutional Framework and Action Plan for inter-sectoral implementation under the auspices of the MTENR, and in line with the National Decentralisation PoliPolicy, 2003, underlines the crucial importance of the NPE, buttressed by the appropriate legislation and regulations. This will help attain and ultimately secure the goal of development.


I. P. A. Manning
19 November, 2006.

The present imbroglio concerning the issue by the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) of a 75 year Tourism Concession Agreement on 220 ha. in the Mosi oa Tunya National Park – part of the Victoria Falls World Heritage Site, to a vigorously assertive black empowerment company, Legacy Holdings Limited, and its plans to build a golf estate in the middle of it, stirs the nation.

It is now clear that the lease is without legal foundation, and that the proposed development would, in Legacy’s own words in its 360 page Environmental Impact Statement, remove all the natural vegetation and result in irreversible ecological damage. It is, in short, an impending natural and national disaster as it would destroy the Park, destroy the Victoria Falls World Heritage Site, drive away tourists and investors, and destroy the credibility of ZAWA, the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) and the Government itself.

Zambia, as never before, has suddenly become aware of the environment; not just the natural resources: the wildlife, the forests, lakes and rivers, but the state of the environment. The recent closure of the Konkola Copper Mining Company’s operations due to its continuing pollution of its surrounds, the news that Kabwe is one of the ten most polluted places on earth, the sufferings of the poisoned poor, ensures that the ECZ and the myriad Government ministries, departments and statutory bodies responsible for the environment now have to place its well-being at the forefront of all they do. Therefore they need, as a matter of extreme urgency, to ratify the draft National Policy on the Environment (NPE), and build the ECZ into a formidable institution able to implement it – fully supported by the Natural Resources Consultative Forum (NRCF) and the National Movement Against Corruption (NAMAC).

There is growing impatience within civil society, among donors, rural communities and Government for the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals through sound environmental and natural resource use. The clarion call by the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (MTENR) for funding for an Institutional Framework and Action Plan for inter-sectoral implementation under the auspices of the MTENR, and in line with the National Decentralisation Policy, 2003, underlines the crucial importance of the NPE, buttressed by the appropriate legislation and regulations. This will help attain and ultimately secure the goal of development without destruction.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Of hydros and smelly fish...

The Kalungwishi hydro project could present us all and the local fish-dependent population with another Livingstone Nat Park 'development' fait accompli........a 160MW hydro project intending to take out a 140m head of the Kalungwishi River water (including the three huge waterfalls; Chimpempe, Kabwelume & Lumangwe) and the surrounding relatively unspoilt environment is huge and of likely huge impact - this not just in ecology & environment terms, but also in terms of the survival of the (alarmingly fast-growing) populations of people along this river. All for electricity which we don't need for Zambia (which the local populations will not get and couldn't afford even if they did) but which will be nice and profitable to export.
What regard is given to just how important such natural resources are - and how profitable they could be if protected and used sustainably for Zambia and her people's long term good?
There seems to be an incredible ignorance as to just how close the rural populations are directly dependent on the fragile natural environment - their shelter; their food; their water; everything.
How many jobs will the hydro project produce? How many livelihoods will it destroy or change for the bad?

The Kafue Pollution & Dead Fish Population incident - as usual the reported ECZ response to the Kafue pollution incident(s) is to say the least weak (which is what you would call it if you're exceptionally polite). The latest from the farmers in that area is that the ECZ now reports to them that it could have been caused by a tanker that leaked acid when on a bridge.
So the ECZ's reported opinions and findings change by the week:
*First, the "initial findings" were that it was nothing to do with mining pollution;
*Then, it was mining pollution;
*Now, it was a tanker spilling acid from a bridge.

What next? - probably nothing conclusive while we let the culprits off the hook with the excuse that "we are suffering from the legacy of the past".

PS - one widespread feature of Zambia's share of the Congo Basin system of rivers in Luapula & N provinces is that the mosquito nets issued free by certain donor organisations and intended to 'save children's lives', are going straight to the rivers to end the fish populations lives, which of course in turn will end the children's lives...........
PPS - have you heard about the "tourist development" of the Zambezi Source?? It has been completely Nat Heritage Conservation "Commissioned" into a complete tourist joke.
PPPS - at 1.5MW (initially 0.75MW), the hydro scheme on the upper Zambezi at Kaleni Hill again is very many times what's needed for the mission station and for little Ikelenge town. It's also too much for the beautiful Zambezi Rapids stretch of the river, which will be a gonner very soon.


Govt shortlists 2 companies for Kalungwishi power station development
By Kabanda Chulu
Thursday August 17, 2006

GOVERNMENT has shortlisted two companies for the development of the proposed
160-mega watts Kalungwishi Hydro Electric Power station in Northern Province.

Office of the Promotion of Private Power Investments (OPPPI) director John
Wright said Olympic Milling in association with Lunzuwa Hydro Corporation
and Lunsemfwa Hydro Power Company would be invited to submit their proposals
relating to the development of the power project.

"Government has decided to concession the development of Kalungwishi power
station by inviting the private sector and two companies have been
shortlisted for the same project," Wright said.

"The Ministry has just completed designing the framework and will through
the national tender board formally invite these two firms to submit their
proposals that will be evaluated and negotiations will be commenced with the
successful bidder who will be given the concessional rights to develop the

Wright said when the Kalungwishi project is fully developed and becomes
operational, transmission lines would be constructed to link the
Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya interconnection at Kasama.

"There is potential to produce 160 mega watts at Kalungwishi and after its
completion, there will also be provision to construct power transmission
lines (250 kilometres) that will link at Kasama to join the interconnector
regional project," said Wright.

Studies for the development of hydro electric power on Kalungwishi River was
earlier carried out by Legger, Waster Meyer, Piesold and Uhlmann Consultants
in 1973.

It was envisaged then that it was feasible to provide a power station, which
would utilise the confluence of Lumangwe, Kabwelume and Chimpempe falls that
is 140 metres deep.


Kafue river indicates mine waste - ECZ
By Carol Jilombo
Saturday August 19, 2006

ENVIRONMENTAL Council of Zambia (ECZ) manager-inspectorate Patson Zulu has
revealed that samples taken from the Kafue River indicate mine water waste.

Last week, fish of various sizes were found dead or dying in the Kafue River
due to suspected chemical poisoning.

To this effect, ECZ had warned the public against consuming water or dead
fish from the Kafue River.

Zulu said the fish died from mine effluent, which had caused the pollution.

Zulu said ECZ was already on the ground sorting out the problem.
"We have already asked the mines within the vicinity to show us their
operation and production books so that we can ascertain the activities they
engaged in during the period the fish were dying," said Zulu.
And ECZ director Edward Zulu on Thursday said the mines were the major
pollutants of rivers.

Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) was earlier this year given up to December 31 by
ECZ to comply with pollution control regulations.
"KCM has a waste disposal site but the pollution control dam in Chingola is
full and that is the biggest polluting factor at the moment. It requires a
redesign of the entire system," he said.

Zulu acknowledged that the smelters on the Copperbelt were old and designed
at a time when there was no environmental concern.
"We are suffering from the legacy of the past but pollution is something we
have to manage," said Zulu.
Rolf Shenton

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Zambia: Biodiversity is Under Threat, Says Mulele

The Post (Lusaka)

August 21, 2006
Posted to the web August 21, 2006

Carol Jilombo

BIODIVERSITY in Zambia is under threat from habitat destruction and Invasive Alien Species (IAS), Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary Russell Mulele has said.

During the launch of the UNEP/GEF IAS project on removing barriers to invasive plant management in Africa in Lusaka, Mulele said it was common knowledge that invasive alien species had continued to pose threats to biodiversity, the environment and associated economic activities in Zambia.

Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are species that are foreign to the eco-system under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm.

The species can also cause harm to human health.

"Current levels and trends of encroachment by invasive species are worrying and the situation has resulted in calls for drastic and concerted efforts before the situation deteriorates," Mulele said. He said Zambia had not been spared from the invasion of plant invasive species that caused social, economic and biological problems in the national economy.

"For example, in 1998 we declared the Kafue weed (Water hyacinth) as a national disaster," Mulele said.

He said efforts put in place to manage the threats posed by the invasive plants had not yielded the desired results because the problem still persisted and the rate at which it was spreading was a source of worry to the nation.

"Despite control efforts by various stakeholders, the weeds have spread and continued to grow profusely in most rivers and Wetlands, thus highlighting the need to intensify monitoring, mitigation and management measures," he said.

Mulele said the aim of the project was to reduce or remove barriers to the management of invasive plant species through effective implementation of Article 8(h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity in the four pilot projects of Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia. Article 8(h) states that parties are required to put in place conservation measures and as far as possible and as appropriate to prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate alien species, which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species.

Mulele said the project would address issues that had hindered effective management of invasive alien species in Zambia.

"These are a weak and fragmented policy and institutional framework, lack of information, slow implementation of invasive alien species prevention and control plus lack of capacity for sustainable invasive alien species management," he said.

Mulele said the barriers were translated into four project components, the successful implementation of which would save the nation millions of kwacha in controlling the invasive species.'

The Global Environmental Facility (GEP) through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) funds the project while the government will meet the co-financing part.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Chinese and Chipata Chipper

The Chinese want hardwood for export and sleepers for a new railway line between Chipata and Malawi.They want 3000 trees in Nsefu, 3000 in Kakumbi and 21,000 in Nsefu. It's all illegal. The Chairlady of the MMD in Chipata, Mrs Mbewe is the middle person in Jumbe. She has got the local people to get the licences and cut the trees, though she is paying for them which is illegal as they are supposed to be for local use only. 150 have been cut already and most if not all ferried out on lorries.

The Forestry Officer in Mambwe (Musiwa) is in on it, as is Chief Jumbe. All further licences have been suspended while an investigation goes ahead. ZAWA are dead against it. Cutters have now been forced to apply for a pit saw licence (min 40, max 60 trees a month!). This will give everyone (Forestry, ZAWA, Environmental Council of Zambia and other stakeholders) chance to have their say and it will then be refused or curtailed.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


On 10 January, 2006, the Natural Resources Consultative Forum (NRCF) resolved that no elephant sport hunting (ESH) should be conducted in Zambia in 2006. The minutes were widely circulated; no replies were received in support – or answers to my queries, from elephant conservationists, CITES or the US Fish & Wildlife Service, though the Biodiversity Convention Secretariat replied that they had no real powers over signatories
An advisory note - and the minutes of the NRCF ESH meeting, were sent by the NRCF to the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (MTENR), followed by a meeting between the NRCF Chairman and the Minister. No reply to the advisory note was received from the Minister.

On 11 April 2006 at the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) offices, an auction took place for 10 of the 20 elephant for sport hunting (the other 10 being taken up by the concessionaries where they had been made available)
Subsequent efforts to hold meetings of the full cross-sectoral NRCF to discuss policy and legislative issues affecting natural resources and environment have not been successful since January. Matters requiring attention include: the proposed Livingstone lion park and breeding project which has been approved by ZAWA anf for which no EIA was called for; regulations on Game Management Areas (GMAs), game ranching and captive breeding and national parks; tourism leases, wildlife harvesting quotas and the rationalization of hunting concessions, the impact of wildlife on customary and statutory landowners, the implementation of the National Policy on the Environment, feedback on joint forest management, national park public private partnerships, community natural resource management empowerment; UNDP/GEF programme on protected areas – and the state of the pilot projects in Bangweulu and Lower Zambezi; the World Bank SEED programme; the Bangweulu Ramsar site, its management and need for greater protection...

A case is currently before the High Court regarding the sale of part of the West Mvuvye National Forest No. 54 by Chieftainess Mwape to a businessman. A 99 year renewable lease was issued, signed only by the Commissioner of Lands – although, for areas in excess of 250 ha, it is required that the Minister of Lands signs. The plaintiff is the brother of Chieftainess Mwape and Senior Chief Luembe. The Forestry Department appear disinclined to act. There are other similar cases where national forest has been alienated.

The proposed sale of land greater than 250 ha by Chief Nyalugwe to a businessman was refused by the Nyimba District Council and by the Lands Minister

Senior Chief Luembe, removed as chief by the community and local government, has been re-instated – although he has yet to receive the return of his official stamp. He had been removed partly due to the dissatisfaction of the Community and the CRB for selling off a large area of land to a Petauke businessman behind the backs of the Luembe Trust – a trust of which I am co-director. This sale was not approved.

The Zambian Government - through the Ministry of Lands, is reviewing the draft land Policy. The World Bank is assisting them in finalising the review process. Recently the World Bank consulted a number of stakeholders on land policy related issues and have drafted an action plan for finalising the Land Policy, this draft action plan was presented to some 12 or so participants on Wednesday 12th April 2006. I attended part of the meeting. The draft plan – to be handed in to the Ministry on 13 April, had concluded that in future all land in Zambia fall under the control of the Ministry, with chiefs acting as ‘land administrators’ – a report which clearly had concluded that customary usufruct and tenure, and the chiefs, were obstructing Zambia’s progress. On my objecting to their obviously limited consultations and on the revolution they were suggesting, the consultants said they had been constrained by the list of people and organizations supplied by the Ministry of Lands, and had therefore not consulted the NRCF, the Royal House of Chiefs, Local Communities, the private sector and civil society. The WB representative at the meeting said that they would have to now introduce this essential further step in the process. The Land Alliance needs to monitor this.

From 19 – 21 April, the Environmental Investigation Agency (UK) held an International Ivory Enforcement Training Workshop in Lusaka funded by DFID. Rolf Shenton, Dave Cummings and I, plus the Nyalugwe CRB Secretary and a Luembe community member Mbeza Safaris is funding at NIPA taking the course on legal prosecutions. A presentation on the Singapore ivory seizure was made (2002) in which the details of the shipment of 6.5 tons of ivory – suspected to come mostly from the Luangwa valley in Zambia, sent from Lilongwe, via Durban, to Singapore, was made. DNA investigations of the ivory and soil isotope analysis so far reveals that the elephant come from two savanah populations. These now need to be matched with samples from Luangwa and elsewhere. While presenting his part in the investigation, Samuel Ngosi of the Malawian Anti-Corruption Bureau revealed – possibly for the first time, that his investigations had uncovered the fact that a total of 19 shipments had been made by the same people, using the same methods and carriers, between 1994 and 2002 – a total of 123.5 tons of ivory being shipped, much of it small worked pieces. No arrests or prosecutions have as yet been made. Some of this ivory might be hippo ivory (see TRAFFIC reports on the swing to hippo ivory), given that a recent survey I made of over 300 hippo in the lower Luangwa could find only one alpha male. In addition, in the nearby Lukushashi and Lunsemfwa rivers, most of the hippo have been poached.

Elephant continue to be poached in the Zambezi valley – one last week; and a village scout in Nyalugwe’s country in the south Luangwa, who had poached an elephant last year, is still on the run.

The recent elections held for the Luembe Community Resource Board have been nullified as a result of a boycott of the election by the residents of the Luembe section of the West Petauke Game Management Area, who – as the designated local community partners in the hunting lease agreement, felt that they should hold a majority Board representation. A new election has been held, the same chairmen re-elected, as well as a representative of all the Village Area Groups (VAGs).

Meetings have been held with the Disaster Management Unit (DMU) in the office of the Vice-President to determine why food relief has not been forthcoming for some communities in the West Petauke GMA hard hit by animal damage and flooding of villages and cropland. The investigation revealed that money had been issued to agents (ARDRA) in January, but that they had not yet delivered. Promises were made that the army would deliver food soon. In addition, promises made to communities by the DMU and ZAWA in March of 2005 (to empower specified community members and professional hunters to undertake crop protection) have not been forthcoming

Some professional hunters are currently assisting the Director of Conservation in ZAWA, Dr Lewis Saiwana, in the training of crop and human protection guards, with guidelines provided by Barry Shenton, former senior warden and veteran of the elephant control group in the Department of National Parks & Wildlife, a group established in the 1930s. In addition, the legendary control guard and hunter, Rice Time, will be called on to offer his sage advice.

In The Post newspaper of Friday 21 April, a letter marked SECRET was printed which had been copied to the Secretary General of the Patriotic Front Party by the Zambia President’s Principal Private Secretary, and which had been addressed to myself and three other people, stating that the President was in receipt of information that we were working against his MMD Party, and that – amongst other things, we had agreed to create artificial food shortages in Zambia by buying-up and destroying maize. The Post editorial of 22 April strongly condemned State House for the letter. The President was out of the country at the time. Three of the named people are safari operators. The allegations made are patently false. On 27 April, one of the accused was visited by security police. He was told that we had all been cleared and that an apology would be forthcoming. However, the rather sorry saga is further evidence of some rather sinister forces at work within the Zambian wildlife and tourism industry.



Joan Chirwa and Florence Bupe

TOUR Operators Association of Zambia (TOAZ) has advised the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources to concentrate on sustainable management of natural resources and not its business component. Association chairperson, Rolf Shenton said in countries where money was hard to find, natural resource management was always treated as a trivial concern compared to making money. Shenton said appropriate management of natural resources was being hindered by double responsibilities that the Ministry of Tourism and Environment was given. He said the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and the Department of Tourism were always in conflict, regarding issues of natural resource management and reserving money for tourism. Shenton noted that problems of wildlife conservation by ZAWA were as a result of limited funding to the authority, which ended up granting hunting licenses to individuals once it ran out of finances.

"In principle, I would like to see the whole ministry of tourism rationalised so that it deals with natural resource management and that the business issues from tourism are dealt with by the Ministry of Commerce as in any other business sector," Shenton said. ""The Natural Resources Consultative Forum is the ideal place to deal with cross-sectoral issues. Whilst we mix business and conservation we will always compromise sustainable use of resources. We will continue eating chicken instead of feeding it and sharing the eggs. Very Soon we will all be standing around in poverty with no natural resources to manage. The same argument applies with ZAWA which must become a small, muscular regulatory body that we can trust to control exploitation of wildlife resources in a sustainable manner, not one that leads the harvest because they need more money."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Customary land and signs of light!

At the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) Stakeholder's meeting in Lusaka, chiefs' representative, James Matale, said that chiefs should be allowed to retain absolute title to their land, while giving investors and non-subjects renewable lease rights under various chiefdom trusts, and that " the land leased for commercial use should attract royalites and fees which will form part of the income and resources for financing adminstration and development projects in their areas." This is the first public statement revealing that the chiefs have studied the Landsafe Trust Investment Model for customary and protected areas, which I had given to the House of Chiefs a year ago, and that they see it as a way forward for attracting investment, but without alienating the land.

However, what chiefs have to remember is that - with the exception of Barotse, it is the headmen - chaired by the chief, who are the custodians of land - all land ownership being vested in the President. Total authority over land cannot be exercised by chiefs alone as they will continue alienating it against the wishes of their headmen and subjects. And non-subjects (Zambians) should not have to make lease payments for land used in the traditional subsistence sense.

The Natural Resources Ship of Zambia

THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) recently stated that after the dissolution of the National Assembly the Vice-President, Cabinet ministers, provincial deputy ministers and deputy ministers should - in accordance with Article 45(2), 46(2) and 47(3) of the Constitution of Zambia, cease to perform their respective functions. Given that the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Board is currently dissolved, and that the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources (MTENR) is responsible for appointing its members, a new ZAWA Board may not be appointed until after the election on 28 September 2006. Thus ZAWA is left without a Board to control its actions, and without a Minister to give regulations and statutory instruments effect.

Monday, July 31, 2006


On Saturday 29 July 2006, Vice-President Lupando Mwape laid the foundation stone of the Legacy Holdings, Mosi-oa-Tunya Hotel and Golf Estate development in the World Heritage Site in Livingstone, saying “The planned provision of permanent jobs by this Legacy Holdings project is really commendable because this sector is reported to be riddled with vices of casualisation and payment of slavery wages. Government will not hesitate to deal firmly with any investor found practicing this form of abuse and exploitation of the Zambia people. Those who have been hero-worshipped somewhere else based on misdirected superiority complex will not be worshipped in Livingstone and the country in general and I therefore direct Haakayobe (PS) to submit a report on these culprits within seven days so that government puts a stop to these managers’ honeymoon”.

He said the proposed project has been allocated 200 hectares of the national park.

Sunday, July 30, 2006




At the time that F. H. Melland - a nephew of Prime Minister Asquith, arrived in 1901 on foot at Mpika in order to take up his post with the British South Africa Company as Assistant Native Collector, Chumamaboko (arms of iron) had for some time been a leading member of the elite elephant hunting, achiwinda clan. Famous in that part of the world for his hunting prowess, he soon attracted the attention of Melland who wanted to spend as much time as possible on his favourite pastime, hunting. They were to stay together until Chuma’s death shortly before Melland’s departure for England in 1924 when North-Eastern and North-Western Rhodesia were removed from BSA Company control and became Northern Rhodesia, administered by the Imperial Government.

Chuma became Melland’s professional hunter at the same time that the pioneer professional white hunters, the Hill brothers, Clifford and Harold, began conducting lion hunting parties on their ranch in the Machakos area of Kenya. Arguably therefore, Chuma was the first professional hunter in what now constitutes Zambia.

While at Mpika until about 1912, he guided Melland all around the district, venturing far into the Bangweulu swamps and the nearby Luangwa Valley. On the Luitikila river, which has its headwaters near Mpika, they shot a 116 pounder which today can be seen in the Thring Museum in England, one of the biggest elephant ever taken in Zambia, the record being a 136 pounder with one tusk.

Chuma followed Melland from Mpika to Solwezi, thence to Kasempa, Kafue and finally, to Mazabuka. And all the time they hunted together.

Melland wrote three books, one on elephant hunting, one on the anthropology of the Kaonde in Kasempa district, and one recounting his journey with Chuma and a friend from Bangweulu to Cairo, hunting elephant on the way. There are a number of fish named after Melland as a result of his Bangweulu fish collections, and he made valuable contributions in anthropology and on African development. His friends were people like Mickey Norton, perhaps the greatest of all elephant hunters, and J.E. Hughes who operated the first professionally conducted safaris in the Bangweulu and whose classic book, ‘Eighteen Years in the Bangweulu’ is still much in demand.

Chuma was remarkable in every way: Melland recounts the tale of how Chuma, a man revered by his fellow Zambians, once personally cleaned up the latrines in the labour lines at Kasempa during an outbreak of dysentery, hubris being absent from his character.

The picture of Chuma was given to me by Melland’s eldest daughter, Amicia, in 1998, a remarkable woman who worked for many years in Chile. F.H. was killed at the outbreak of war in 1939 when he fell between the train and the platform. He had just been appointed Secretary to the Royal Africa Society.

People of Luembe.....waiting!




A Landsafe investment partnership is made up of the local community and government, investors, and local and international NGOs. It is a sustainable business partnership of equals who share a common goal of integrating community development with that of biodiversity and land conservation. It is investment driven; and it does not take away customary land.

A Landsafe partnership may be registered as a trust company under the Companies Act CAP 388 of the Zambian Laws (limited by guarantee) or under the Land (Perpetual Succession ) Act (Cap. 186 of the Laws of Zambia) - non-profit, having as its trustees the chief (chairman of the headmen), the investor, a representatives of the main partner NGO, the Community Resource Board (dealing with wildlife interests) and the District Council (or a governmental organization in the case of protected areas such as ZAWA and the Forestry Department) in which the programme is being conducted, and other key stakeholders.

The chiefdoms cover more than 94% of the land in Zambia and contain a wealth of natural resources. Development has not come to these areas, and the opportunities for attaining food security and the raising of living standards are few in places where villages are scattered, lie far from Government services and from markets, and where crops are preyed upon by wildlife. The Government does not have the money or the capacity to deliver full development, and donor support merely ensures continued dependency on aid. The way forward is to encourage investment, but investment which comes in as a partner of communities, that supports the traditional structures and that does not take away the land.

Chiefs are empowered under the Lands Act No. 29 of 1995 to dispose of land for up to 99 years on leasehold tenure – provided Government agree. Driven by a need to generate income, chiefs are selling off land, removing it forever from the community. The Landsafe model ensures that land remains in the villagers’s control – except, in exceptional cases, perhaps for small areas needed for high-cost buildings. Chiefdoms also do not own the wildlife of their areas, this resource being held by Government and given out as yearly hunting quotas. In support of Government’s policy of de-centralization and devolution, the Wildlife Act of 1998 offers an opportunity for the community to obtain more powers over its own wildlife resources – one of its main opportunities for raising living standards and for wealth creation, giving as one of its main objectives ‘to facilitate the active participation of local communities in the management of the wildlife estate’. This Act, also allows for the recognition of Community Resource Boards (CRBs), which, representing the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), may obtain and make use of game quotas and are responsible for the protection of wildlife and people (from wildlife – the original function of ZAWA’s predecessor organizations). However, CRBs are only empowered under the Wildlife Act, making the formation of Trusts – with responsibility for all natural resources, essential. Landsafe makes use of these two Acts – as well as the proposed Forest Act of 1999 and the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) – and the recent National Policy on Environment (May 2006), to lay the groundwork for the future development of customary land so as to conserve the biodiversity and, at the same time, to stimulate much needed rural development.

• The Customary Authority
The Authority i.e. the chiefs and their headmen, is, along with the investor, the co-director of the Trust responsible for the development of the area, lending to it his traditional powers and those enshrined under the Lands Act, ensuring that secure access to and use of the land is possible, and that the community benefits.
• The Community Resource Board
The CRB, being only empowered under the Wildlife Act, is there to assist in the sustained use of the wildlife resources for the benefit of the community – in particular in taking ownership of game quotas and for deploying and managing village scouts, protectors of the very resource which should be sustainably utilized. It is also the vehicle to serve the community by making applications, where feasible, for wildlife harvesting rights, as allowed under Part 3(3) of the Wildlife Act – a rarely invoked right.
• The Investor/manager
The role of the investor/manager is to provide the seed money to start the project, to recruit other investors, and perhaps to manage the development. For this to happen there has to be an incentive to do so, as well as the necessary protection and security of tenure for the investors. The manager will also have the crucial role of managing a conservation area (a conservancy), one containing scattered communities, and possibly endangered species and protected areas. This is an holistic development requiring experience in wildlife management, biodiversity protection, tourism development, artisanal and commercial agriculture, forest exploitation, community development and small business development.
• The NGOs
The NGOs act as umpires between managers and investors, the customary authority, the community based organizations (CBOs) and Government. They assist the scheme to grow, and lay the groundwork for long-term sustainability. Crucially, they are empowered to carry out community development, identifying projects through participatory rapid rural appraisal, developing project proposals, drawing on money built up in a trust fund, as well as accessing donor funds for micro-level development.

• It will create a business partnership between the community, Government and investors, expressed in the form of a trust company in which the chiefdom, the investor/manager, NGOs, CBOs and the District Councils are subscribers
• It will allow ‘use and occupancy’ (usufruct) of land – from which it will derive rentals – managed by the trust in a trust fund, to benefit the community and the biodiversity on which it depends
• It will help to empower the CBOs so that they are better able to conserve the natural resources of the chiefdom for the benefit of all concerned
• It will provide for sustainable agricultural and natural resource development
• It will improve livelihoods and, in comparative terms, create wealth
• It will provide food security
• It will provide a framework for sustainable donor involvement
• It will provide a model and framework for the delivery of true rural development, particularly in resource rich areas
• It will not alienate the land

Biological diversity (biodiversity): the variations in biological organisms at ecosystem,
species and gene level
Authority over land held under customary tenure
Landsafe Investment Model
An integrated conservation and development model (symbolized by the traditional
African chair) established within areas of customary tenure and associated protected
areas, and carried out by a partnership between investors, customary authorities and
government, and non-government organizations
A conserved area (not, necessarily, a game ranch)
Customary Area
Land held under customary tenure i.e. Open Areas and Game Management Areas
Customary Authority
The custodian of land held under customary tenure (chiefs and headmen)
Customary Tenure
Land held, through long tradition, by village headmen under the chairmanship of a chief
(Appendix 4 of the Laws of Zambia)
The allocation of responsibilities for decision-making and operations to lower levels of
government, community organizations, private sector, and NGOs
The transfer of power from a central to a subordinate level of organization, particularly
from a central government to regional or local governments
A dynamic complex of plants, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-
living environment interacting as a functional unit
Commonly hunted animal species specified under the Wildlife Act
The principle which makes for the origin and progress of wholes in the
universe. It is not only creative but self-creative, and its final structures are far
more holistic than its initial structures
Holistic Management.
The management of the whole
Hunting Concession
An area where authority to hunt within a specified hunting block has been given by ZAWA and the local community, to a company for a specified period of time
Land Alienation
The conversion of land from customary tenure to leasehold tenure: provisionary – 14
years; full title – 99 years (renewable)
Land tenure
The rights of individuals or groups over arable, grazing and residential land, how such
rights are acquired, what they consist of, how they operate in the holding, transfer and
inheritance of land and how they may be extinguished
Local Community
The resident ‘owners’ of customary land - including GMAs, other than owners of tourist and camp lodges or hunting concessions – who by virtue of their rights over land, invest in and should derive benefits from the sustainable utilization of the natural resources in their area; or as defined by ZAWA in the 2003 Safari Lease Agreement as ‘The total number of villages, their residents and traditional rulers within a Game Management Area
Natural Resources
Land and its biological resources: the soils, vegetation and the fauna
Open Areas
Customary land not included in GMAs
One who shares risks, losses and profits
Private game ranches
Fenced privately owned property (leasehold) (ZAWA: Draft Policy on Private Wildlife
State Land
Land which is not situated in a customary area (Lands Act 1995)
A set of chosen actions to support the achievement of a specified development goal
Sustainable Use
Use of an organism, ecosystem or other renewable resource at a rate within its capacity
for renewal
Tenure System
Legal and institutional framework which determines the ways in which rights to natural
resources (property rights) are defined and enforced
The principle of customary tenure whereby anyone can have access to and the use of a
piece of land but cannot claim any form of ownership of it. The latter implies in English
jurisprudence – from which Zambia’s laws are derived, title to the lands and full rights of
management including the rights of alienation (ownership at law) but not necessarily
possession or enjoyment of benefits which may belong to the owner at equity.

The Luangwa River, Luembe's country.