Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Supreme Court decision pending injunction given Nawalya community partners in a hunting lease...

Two weeks ago the Supreme Court heard the case in which the Zambia Wildlife Authority had appealed against the decision of the High Court in awarding an injunction to the Nawalya Community Resource Board (representing the villagers of Chief Nwalya) stopping ZAWA from removing the concession held by Leopard Ridge Safaris Ltd in their area. This decision is extremely important given that CRBs form partnerships with ZAWA and safari operators and do have the right -by way of the Hunting Concession Agreement, to choose or fire their operating partners. Of interest here will be the Supreme Court decision affecting 7 hunting companies, found in favour of the respondents. The matter must now go back to the High Court (see http://zambiasafarihunting.blogspot.com)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Corruption is real in Zambia - Saudubray

Corruption is real in Zambia - Saudubray
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Monday July 16, 2007 [04:00]

CORRUPTION is real in Zambia and the country should not relent in fighting it, outgoing French ambassador to Zambia Francis Saudubray has said. And ambassador Saudubray said his dream is for Zambia to implement the decentralisation policy.

During the French National Day which fell on Saturday, ambassador Saudubray said like in most countries in the world, corruption was real in Zambia. He said Zambians should be courageous, ambitious and have independent legal systems to fight corruption. He hoped that the country would not relent in fighting the scourge.

“It is not because a former president has been condemned, in a civil case by a British court, that everything has been solved. Corruption is real in Zambia, like in most countries in the world. It eats up public funds, ruins investment opportunities and compromises development,” he said.

Ambassador Saudubray said he dreamt of a decentralised Zambia.
“Who in Lusaka can claim to know what is good in Isoka, Sesheke or Zambezi districts? Only local citizens and their elected counsellors must decide on the construction of a school, a clinic, a bridge or a borehole,” he said.

He said he dreamt of a Zambia that would finally have respect for its environment.
Ambassador Saudubray said there was nothing more saddening than seeing forests decimated through charcoal burning or empty national parks because the wildlife had been ruined through poaching.

“There is nothing more saddening than seeing both the old and young throwing rubbish on the road through the windows of their cars or bus,” he said.

He said there was need to encourage the use of new domestic fuels and ban charcoal.
Ambassador Saudubray said there was need to fight poaching by offering real alternatives to the poor who go through the wilderness in search of preys by meting out stiffer punishment to those who earn a living by or promote the trafficking, those who trade in game meat, ivory or poached trophies.

He hoped those making considerate profits especially in the mining sector would be brought to pay tax.

“It is not fair to take advantage of a past agreement made with the Zambian government several years ago when the conditions for the mining development no longer have anything to do with what they were then. For instance, when copper is being sold at US $7,000 a metric tonne whereas it was worth US $2,000 five years ago,” he said.
And Ambassador Saudubray said he and his wife Virginie had criss-crossed the country and didn’t feel like they lost time in Zambia.

“I have criss-crossed your country from north to the south and from the east to the west. I have admired the Zambezi plains in Mongu or Lukulu, I have gone through the ‘black forest’ or national parks such as Kafue, Lower Zambezi or North Luangwa National Parks, I have taken water from the great Zambezi River at its very spring, north of Mwinilunga, I have refreshed my face with the mist from the Kabwelume or Kundaila Falls,” he said.

“I have swum in the crystal waters of Lake Tanganyika or marveled in front of those of Lake Bangweulu, I have admired the rock paintings in Kasama or Tonga potteries in Sinazongwe. I have exchanged views with government officials and poor fishermen at Lake Mweru. I have visited the mines on the Copperbelt and Sugarcane plantations in Mazabuka. I have participated in Likumbi Lyamize, Kuomboka, Kazanga, Ncwala exceptional ceremonies,” he said.

Ambassador Saudubray said he had kept a feeling of a harmonious country with a lot of potential that deserved more than what it had at the moment.
He hoped Zambia, through dialogue and negotiations, would reach a system of government convenient for her.

He said it was not for him to say whether it was by law or through the reform of the Constitution that would solve the issue.
Ambassador Saudubray said Zambia shoud be proud of its culture and traditions and model of government.

“How many African countries can claim to have never been at war, to be in harmony inside and outside of their borders, to play a role in promoting peace and stability? Zambian diplomacy has to capitalise on these benefits on these values, on these assets. The beneficial and peaceful role that your country plays on Africa scene must be more known, heard and recognised,” said ambassador Saudubray.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Last of the Livingstone white rhino....

Some weeks ago an AK47 bunch of Angolan plunderers, working with some Livingstone Wildlife Police Officers killed one of the two remaining white rhino, source of daily joy and tourism income, an adult female, cut off her horn, and disappeared. Further reports from Livingstone say, "...is missing its buddy and was searching in vain. Leg iseither still with bullet, or at the gate they say "shattered'. Havent seen it as is keeping low. His name is fwanya and he was always the tamest,gentlest and friendliest of them. poor thing, he should probably be sent

Apparently the Zambia Wildlife Authority have made some arrests.

These rhino were first brought to Zambia in 1961 by Barry Shenton and Johnny Uys of the Game and Fisheries Department of Northern Rhodesia, a gift of the Natal Parks Board. The picture shows Johnny and Barry delivering two rhino to Kafue in 1961, later - after the death of one of them, transferred to Livingstone's Mosi oa Tunya National Park.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Auditing natural resource revenues...

From http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2007/07/auditing-natura.html

When my editor and I were exchanging drafts of this piece, my spam blocker wouldn't let them through. There is too much talk of Nigeria and diamonds! Here is one excerpt:

Paul Collier, an economics professor at Oxford University, has a new and potentially powerful idea. In his recently published book, “The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It” (Oxford University Press), Professor Collier favors an international charter — some widely publicized guidelines that countries can voluntarily adopt — to give transparency in spending wealth from natural resources. A country would pledge to have formal audits of its revenues and their disposition. Imagine PricewaterhouseCoopers auditing the copper revenues of Zambia and issuing a public report.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Zambia's National Policy on Environment of 1995 yet to be ratified?...

Zambia has an area of 752,614 km2 located at an altitude between 2,164
and 350m with a most equable climate, largely on the Central African
Plateau, with four major biomes consisting of forest, woodland, grassland
and aquatic systems. These encompass large parts of the Zambezi and
Congo drainage systems and it is thus probably the best watered country
in Africa. It is endowed with a wealth of natural resources within 16
ecosystems with landscapes that include extensive forests, grassy plains,
hills and steep escarpments; huge lakes and rivers, deep valleys and
ecologically rich wetlands together with areas of anthropic origin such as
cropland, plantation forests and urban settlements.

All development programmes are undertaken against this environmental
background and depend to some extent upon natural resources. Above
all, the country is mainly a primary commodity producer of non-renewable
resources that require special care, management and application. It is
within this context that, with planned economic growth, the ensuing
increase in resource utilisation can only be sustained through application
of a national policy to protect and manage the environment. The country
at present faces daunting challenges of de-forestation at the rate of 250-
300 thousand ha per year; land degradation in many places verging on
desertification; wildlife depletion especially in the protected areas and all
accompanied by soil erosion, loss of productivity, inadequate sanitation
and air and water pollution.

The relationship between widespread poverty, with a national mean of
around 73% of the population living below the poverty line determined by
the Central Statistical Office, 1997 and environmental degradation, is
clear since 62% of the population lives within the rural areas where
dependence upon natural resources for livelihood is on the increase.
For example, some 60% of the total land area is covered by forest. Most
of it is degraded through deforestation, encroachment and uncontrolled
bush fires2. This situation has developed mainly as a result of long-
established inappropriate policies that tend to discourage forest
management and appear to favour other forms of land use, very often at
the expense of forests.

The population is growing at the rate of about 2.9% per annum which,
without sufficient public awareness and control, contributes further to a
vicious circle of increasing poverty and increasing depletion of resources.
This central issue is compounded by limited understanding of
environmental problems, a weak administrative and legal framework and
breakdown of traditional values and practices which previously ensured a
high degree of social responsibility and equitable sharing of resources
within a natural equilibrium.

There are 11 government ministries involved in environmental affairs (9 of
these have policies that include concern for environmental matters, some
of which is extremely scanty). There are over 33 sets of legislation
affecting the environment, much of which is inadequate. Zambia has a
dualistic legal framework and is signatory to 21 international conventions
on environment. Yet it is without a single over-arching institutional
arrangement, institution or policy mandated for integration and
collaboration over these issues of national importance.

Deficiencies reflect a historical sector approach to legislation that includes
inadequate incorporation of international standards within national
legislation; that apart from forestry, water and wildlife sectors, there is little
provision for involvement of local communities in the implementation and
enforcement of related legislation; lack of intra and inter-sectoral
institutional arrangements and few coordination mechanisms for effective
integration of legislation. The Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ),
created in 1992 through the Environmental Protection and Pollution
Control Act No. 12 of 1990, has not been able to bring into being the
necessary nationwide collaboration in environmental and natural
resources management largely through lack of resources.

Environment has an estimated budget allocation within the Transitional
National Development Plan of less than 1% of the total. There is thus a
clear requirement to appropriate additional financial resources for
environmental purposes and in particular to strengthen the ECZ.
Current shortfalls include ineffectual mechanisms for community-based
natural resources management. This makes prospects for maintaining
environmental integrity bleak and efforts for poverty reduction and
sustainable development seriously impaired. Lack of formal inter-sectoral
links and limited up-to-date baseline data further hinder the process. In
addition, at a higher level, there are limited national guidelines for
effective integration of international environmental conventions into the
country’s environment and natural resources management efforts.
Management of trans-boundary conservation of natural resources, whilst
being accepted as a key pillar in ecosystem management is not well
supported. There is insufficient provision in development programmes for
environmental education and promotion of gender equity through
inclusion of gender-related activities in project activities and national
agendas and work plans. Enhancement of private sector participation in
environmental and natural resources management, also receives
insufficient support.
Preamble to the draft National Policy on Environment (May, 1995)