Environmental Law Enforcement in Zimbabwe. Farai Michael Nyahwa

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1 Environmental Law Enforcement in Zimbabwe By Farai Michael Nyahwa

2 Presentation Breakdown Institutional Arrangement for Environmental Law Enforcement in Zimbabwe Major Environmental Issues of Concern In Zimbabwe Challenges Experienced in Enforcement of Environmental Law Efforts and Proposals by the Zimbabwe government in improving Environmental Law Enforcement

3 Institutional Arrangement Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate Environmental Management Agency Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority Zimbabwe National Water Authority Forestry Commission

4 Legal Framework

5 Law Enforcement Mechanisms Presence at both provincial and district levels and also at ports of entry. Division of departments in accordance with focus areas for environmental management: Hazardous Substances Department(hazardous substances and wastes management) Environmental Impact Assessment and Ecosystems Protection Department Solid Waste and Effluent Control Atmospheric Pollution Monitoring and Control Also community involvement through Community based Organizations (CBO s) and environmental monitors within the population.

6 Law Enforcement Mechanisms For all the thematic areas in environmental management, legislation provides for a licensing and permit system. EIA certification before implementation of projects, Licensing of Solid Waste disposal sites. For Air Pollution, Hazardous Substance and Waste, Effluent Management control has a color based licensing system which ranges from: Blue Class License- Safe Green Class Licence- Low Hazard Yellow Class License- Medium Hazard Red Class License- High Hazard

7 Law Enforcement Mechanisms Enforcement of MEA s The Constitution of Zimbabwe gives power to the legislature to ratify international treaties and conventions into locally applicable laws. The Environmental Management Act, gives EMA the role of advising the Minister of Environment on any International treaties to which in their opinion are crucial in improving enforcement of environmental law.

8 Major Environmental Concerns in Zimbabwe Water pollution, Land Pollution, illegal mineral extraction and processing Unsustainable wetland utilisation and Implementation of Projects without carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Unsustainable sand and clay abstraction Air Pollution Veld fires, Deforestation,

9 Water Pollution from Effluent Discharge Causes: Raw Industrial effluent discharge Alluvial mining Sewage discharges and sewage bursts. Local authorities and industries are failing to invest in better wastewater treatment technologies.

10 Direct discharge of untreated mining effluent into a river system 10

11 Law Enforcement Mechanisms Application and issuance of Effluent discharge permits in accordance with color coding system. Requirement in legislation and also license conditions to compile and submit to the Environmental Management Agency quarterly reports for all licensed discharge points. Officers then carry out random inspections and sampling of these discharge points to ensure compliance with license conditions. No compliance good cause for cancellation of a license, however in cancellation the perpetrator must first be given a chance to be heard and make submissions before cancellation can be effected.

12 Legal Framework with regards to Management of such discharge. Offence Discharging effluent into water systems as to cause damage to the environment Discharging hazardous substances, chemicals, oils or any mixture containing oil into any parts of the environment. Sanction Fine of up to USD 5000 or imprisonment for up to a year or both fine and imprisonment Pay the cost of cleaning up and cost of restoring the damaged environment Compensate third parties Same as above State may then seize and take control of either the vessel or plant which is the source of the discharge until such time the discharge is stopped, clean up conducted and plans are in place for restoration of environment.(eg Foreign

13 Land Pollution Major causes: Illegal solid waste dumps Littering Hazardous Substance Spillages Improper management of solid waste by local authorities.

14 Enforcement Mechanisms For hazardous substances and waste management, provision is made for licensing: Transportation, Storage, Manufacture, Sale. Before licensing, inspection is carried out to find out whether applicant has the capacity to handle and manage the hazardous substance or waste. As part of license conditions, quarterly reports are to be submitted giving information as to the quantities handled within the quarter and a traceable record of how each substance was handled or distributed. As above, inspections against these reports are carried. Same procedure for licensing solid waste disposal prospective licensees.

15 Legal Framework for control of Land Pollution Offence Sanction Littering Spot fine of up to USD 20 Not having bins in (i) Public transport conveyance As above (ii) Area of responsibility Discharging or disposing of any wastes in such a manner so as to cause pollution to the Environment or ill health to any person Discharging hazardous substances, chemicals, oils or any mixture containing oil into any parts of the A fine of up to max USD 5000 or imprisonment for up to max 5 years or both such fine and imprisonment Ref to previous slide

16 Illegal Mineral Extraction and Processing Artisanal small scale mining along river channels has become a major environmental concern since the year The decline in agricultural production, frequent natural disasters and rapid economic decline have resulted in individuals turning to mining to alleviate poverty. In addition, a recent spate of mechanised alluvial mining caused wide spread degradation of river systems. Of concern is the widespread use of mercury and in some cases cyanide in the mineral processing, posing a serious threat to the health of communities that live downstream of these activities.

17 River bed mining James Table is placed in the river bed to wash gold ore. Long history of cultivation by communities making it difficult to enforce new regulations poor low enforcement by community structures e.g Village heads 17

18 Unsustainable wetland utilisation and Implementation of Projects without carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Major Threats to Wetland Management Infrastructure development(housing crises) Cultivation of wetlands Pollution

19 Unsustainable Clay and Sand Abstraction This has increased in recent years near and within urban areas. Main cause of this influx is the growing population in urban areas that require housing and thus use for the resource has ballooned. This has resulted in vast tracts of land being left scarred and with no efforts made towards rehabilitation.

20 Enforcement Mechanisms in Place Environmental Impact Assessment and Compliance Audits All projects, as prescribed in a schedule to the Act, must undergo EIA before implementation. Compilation of the EIA report must be done by an independent consultant at the expense of the proponent and the basic contents of the document are guided by regulation. As part of the EIA report, a EMP(Environmental Management Plan) must be submitted to guide monitoring of implementation and operation of the project. The document is then assessed by EMA officers, with site visits conducted to verify suitability of proposed site and also stakeholder consultation(affected communities, businesses etc) carried out. After certification, bi-annual audits for compliance are carried out.

21 Extraction of sand or clay deposits Fine and confiscation of equipment used in Legal Framework With regards to Ensuring Sustainable Development and Utilization of Resources Offence Implementation of a Prescribed project without an EIA Reclaim or drain, drill, tunnel, dig or break up the soil in a protected ecosystem without a license ( wetlands, rivers, streams, bank or bed etc ) Sanction Fine of up to USD or imprisonment up to max 5 yrs or both fine and imprisonment An order to take such measures necessary to prevent further damage to the environment, If damage cannot be prevented, an order to destroy and remove any works so far implemented or constructed. Fine of up to USD 1000 or imprisonment for up to 6 mnths or both

22 Air Pollution Major causes: Industrial emissions Open burning of waste (Tyres, oils and solid waste) Emissions from vehicles increase of vehicles on roads due to importation of more affordable second hand options from developed countries. Failure by industry to adopt cleaner production

23 Atmospheric pollution from opening burning of waste at a Landfill 23

24 Legal Framework for Air Pollution Causing emission of pollutant into the atmosphere in excess of prescribed standards Fine of up to USD or imprisonment Render to any affected third parties compensation, reparation, restoration or restitution as may be determined by the court convicting. Vehicle emitting excess pollutants Fine on an increasing scale for a first and then a second offence. Third offence seizure of vehicle until repairs are effected to the satisfaction of the Environmental Management Agency

25 Veld Fires The frequent occurrence of veldfires throughout the country now stands out as one of the major threats to biodiversity. A total of 2575 fire incidences were recorded in 2014 resulting in 1,653,822 hectares being destroyed with 12 lives being lost.

26 Deforestation Increased deforestation estimated loss of100, ,000 ha per year of forest cover. Deforestation is mainly due to wood collection for sale, clearance for cultivation, curing of tobacco, establishment of human settlements, wood carving etc.

27 Challenges in Environmental Law Enforcement 1. Lack of support and understanding from other law enforcement arms. 2. Debate between development or environmental protection. 3. Statutory Limitations in enforcement of prescribed penalties for environmental crimes. 4. Lack of adequate resources to ensure effective enforcement. 5. Lack of comprehensive laws on management of solid waste.

28 Efforts by Zimbabwe to ensure effective Environmental Law enforcement Enshrining environmental protection rights as part of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Establishment of a Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Environment to oversee and bring to book serial offenders through parliamentary intervention. Education and Involvement of Communities and Community Groups(CBO S) in efforts towards environmental protection through various programs. Amendments to legislation in line with the ever changing requirements of environmental law enforcement. Periodic Stakeholder workshops between law enforcement agencies so as to share information, create better understanding of mandates and create working relationships for future operations. Enforcement of the EIA process before undertaking any development.

29 Thank You Contact Details: - or EMA WEBSITE:

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