Ban Copper Mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park

Target: Zambia Minister for tourism, environment and natural resources Given Lubinda

Goal: To prevent the destruction of the Lower Zambezi National Park by copper mining.

Due to an agreement by the Zambian National government not to allow mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park, UNESCO has initiated the process for declaring it a World Heritage Site. Unfortunately since then Zambia has allowed the Australian company Zambezi Resources to tender an environmental impact statement.

This environmental impact statement is to determine what the effects of a massive open pit mining operation would be upon this supposedly protected area. This is an unacceptable reversal by the Zambian government which puts one of the few pristine wilderness areas left in Africa at risk.

This park, a former private game reserve of Zambia’s president, was declared a national park in 1983 but has largely been unaffected by the ravages of mass tourism. This is in part because of the park itself is ringed by a much larger game management area (generally referred to as the GMA) and its remote location has no tarred roads.

It is this isolation that has protected the Lower Zambezi National Park and left it in a far more natural state then other African parks. It is also why every effort must be made to keep this region as pristine and untainted as possible.

To mar this landscape with a massive open-pit mine is completely unacceptable. Landscape destroyed by open pit mining is permanently scarred. Beyond this, environmental pollution from working machinery and toxic heavy metals can impact a much larger radius than just the open pit itself.

The array of threatened or endangered animals that live within the confines of this National Park must be guarded. The planned UNESCO World Heritage Site declaration is operating under the good-faith assumption that the Zambian government intends to do everything it can to protect this ecological treasure.

If the government itself fails to show any regard for protecting the park, then any United Nations support will quickly dry up–which may pave the way for even more harmful activities within the Lower Zambezi in the future. Please lend your voice in trying to prevent copper mining in the Lower Zambezi.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Lubinda,

The Lower Zambezi National Park is an ecological treasure to not only Zambia, but the entire world. Due in large part to both its remoteness (lacking any tarred roads in or out of the park) and the surrounding game management area, this park remains one of the most pristine examples of African wilderness still in existence.

It is the very nature of this untouched wilderness that has lead to UNESCO’s impending declaration of the park as a World Heritage Site. The importance of United Nations protective support cannot be underscored enough as it contributes not only awareness on a global scale but also international support against any harm such as poaching that may intrude upon the park.

This status, however, is reliant upon the Zambian government’s pledge to do all it can to protect the Lower Zambezi. To allow the Australian company Zambezi Resources to tender an environmental impact statement runs entirely counter to that pledge.

The impact statement is to examine the effects that a large open pit copper mine would have upon the region. Without any need of a study the answer is clear—the impact would be devastating.

Open pit mining is perhaps the most environmentally intrusive form of extraction, carving large gashes out of the earth that will never again return to their natural state. This immediate area is not the only portion that would suffer the impact of an open pit mine however. The pollution and toxic heavy metals that can leech out from a mining operation put the environment of the Lower Zambezi, including the region’s vast array of threatened and endangered wildlife, at risk.

This is unacceptable and I strongly urge you to cancel any plans to alloy an open-pit copper mine, or any other form of mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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3 Comments

  1. Ian Manning says:

    An excellent petition letter. Given Lubinda is Foreign Affairs, I believe. Address rather Minister Wilbur Simuusa in the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources & Environmental Protection. You can fax the Minister on +260-211-253522 or phone him on cell +260-977-779171 or land phone +260-211-250186.

  2. Please save the innocent animals that can become homeless and poached because of a bad decision made by the locals of Lower Zambezi.Zambia has copper in other non animal areas,destroying Lower Zambezi NP will give money to the locals yes but destroy animals forever,copper a waste asset,wildlife forever renewable

  3. Hakuna Matata says:

    Developed nations why do you continue to rape third world countries instead of assisting them or letting them deal with their own issues? Everything always has a price and comes with a hefty price. You know your GDP does well and your populations are not as bad as the ones in third world countries. You know you are offering Zambia the short end of the stick. You are the ones to benefit from this and after a few years when you get what you want, you will leave Zambia more poor than it is. Leave the beautiful ecosystem alone as it is soon to be declared by UNESCO as a heritage site. What about the local people who depend on agriculture in that area, what are they going to do? The animals do we just displace them? You know elephants will always return to a place they know which will cause conflict. Animals will start moving into human territory which can lead lions to start killing cattle for survival and even local people. We love our very own water source the Zambezi river and wish for it to not be polluted with toxic waste from dumping which is illegal. What do you plan to do in terms of compensation should this happen which will cause death and illness to both humans and animals. Maybe ZAWA (Zambia Wildlife Authority), Harry Kalaba Lands Minister of Environment and Protection and Minister of Tourism of Arts Sylvia Masebo and the Zambia Tourism Board don’t see anything wrong or what’s coming ahead. But we see the consequences and will fight tooth and nail to conserve and preserve instead of another developed nation coming to destroy what is rightfully ours. Please leave Zambia alone and let us rebuild our tourism economy. Because in a few years to come it will be flourishing and we will create jobs in this sector and encourage investors from around the would to join us. This is a huge mistake and the world is watching. Australia will be the downfall of not only Zambia but the other nations who share the Zambezi river should there be any kind of water contamination.

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