Environmental watchdog, WWF, restates opposition to mining in protected areas

  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Zambia has advised government not to allow illegalities to happen in the mining sector in the name of creating a conducive business environment for foreign direct investments.

Organization Country Director, Nalucha Ziba, noted that many countries, especially the least developed like Zambia, are in urgent need to boost their national incomes.

In a statement issued in Lusaka on Wednesday, Ziba, cautioned that government should not allow mining to take place where it posed long lasting threats to people, nature, the environment and cultures.

She restated her organisation’s call on government to ensure that no mining was permitted in the lower Zambezi National Park as it was a protected area.

“We recognize that additional efforts are required to generate revenue for rural communities via natural capital and market mechanisms,” Ziba said.

She applauded the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development for canceling a mining license in the Lower Zambezi National Park.

“WWF Zambia does not oppose mining activities in non-protected areas but activities should be done responsibly and sustainably in order to prevent biodiversity loss and Environmental degradation,” she emphasised.

Ziba counseled that utilization of the National Park should be restricted to scientific research, tourism development, and the preservation of its natural as well as cultural conservation.

Read More: Directive to halt mining activities in Lower Zambezi National Park still in force —Nzovu

“WWF recognizes the significant benefits that mining can bring to the country; responsible mining could in fact be part of the solution to poverty as it is an engine of economic and social development.” she said.

Ziba added that mining activities in protected areas should be conducted responsibly and sustainably so as not to cause a net loss of biodiversity and environmental degradation.

“We opine that a Cumulative Impact Assessment must be undertaken before any extraction licenses are granted. In endorsing initiatives of this nature, which link sustainable rural development with biodiversity and protected areas,” Ziba said.

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