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.
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.
[Your Name Here]