Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Lower Zambezi National park was due to be declared World Heritage site


Lower Zambezi National Park
Lower Zambezi National Park

The Lower Zambezi National Park was due to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO if the Zambian Government did not allow mining there. However, Zambia has since allowed an Environmental Impact Statement to be tendered by the Austrailian company, Zambezi Resources for a massive open-pit mining operation in the park, suggesting a change of mind on the part of the Patriotic Front Government. The Government, under its own PF Manifesto, avows the Christian stewardship of nature, they are therefore solemnly bound to protect the integrity of the national parks of Zambia, powers which the Minister responsible has within his remit.

On 18 October 2008, Chieftainess Chiawa (Chiawa/Kafue) Chiefs Chipepo, Simamba, Sinadambwe – all of Siavonga district, and Chiefs Mupuka and Mburuma of Luangwa had met and issued an historic statement against mining for 17 chiefdoms of the whole Zambezi system. The Zambia Wildlife Authority is already on record as saying no mining would be allowed in national parks ( on 5 November 2008 the DG of ZAWA, Lewis Saiwana, wrote to Andy Fleming of Zambezi Resources stating that “National Parks and Game Management Areas should not be subjected to mining activities…”) .

Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Larry Kalaba formally overturned the Zambia Environmental Management Agency’s rejection of the Environmental Impact Study and has given the green light for Zambezi Resources Ltd to proceed to develop its 100% owned Kangaluwi Copper Project in Zambia.


In mid-October 2011, UNESCO issued Decision:35 COM 7B.8: The World Heritage Committee:

Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B. And, Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.7, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010), Welcomes the decision of the State Party of Zambia not to approve the proposed mining operations in Chiawa Game Management Area and Lower Zambezi National Park nor the original proposal for a tourist and conference facility in the Chiawa Game Management Area across the river from the property, which could have impacted the property’s Outstanding Universal Value;

Notes that mining exploration is on-going in other parts of the Lower Zambezi Catchment, and considers that mining exploration and exploitation in the catchment could adversely affect the property if not strictly regulated;

Encourages the State Party of Zambia to consider nominating the adjacent Lower Zambezi National Park in order to eventually constitute a joint trans-boundary inscription on the World Heritage List, in line with the World Heritage Committee’s recommendation at the time of inscription;

Requests the State Party of Zambia to: Ensure that any redesigned tourist and conference facility in the Chiawa Game Management Area across the river from the property be subject to a new Environmental Impact Assessment which should include an assessment of the impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, in accordance with Article 6 of the Convention;

Submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on progress in implementing the mission recommendations concerning mineral exploration and mining and tourism development and on the status of the mining activities and tourism developments which could affect the property.

Lower Zambia National Park is a category II protected area

In addition to the park being under consideration as a World Heritage Site, it is a category II protected area – as are all national parks, managed mainly for ecosystem protection and recreation.Defined by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas as a ’Natural area of land and/or sea, designated to
(a) protect the ecological integrity of one or more ecosystems for present and future generations,
(b) exclude exploitation or occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area
(c) provide a foundation for spiritual,scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities, all of which must be environmentally and culturally compatible.’

Any mining or large scale hotel development is therefore exploitation and occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area. This is recognised in the proposed amendment to the Wildlife Act of 1998, which would prohibit mining in the LZ National Park and in the adjoining Chiawa Community Partnership Park where Zambezi are in partnership with Glencore in the Cheowa mine..

Source:Petitioning mining in Lower Zambia by I.P.A Manning

How copper mining affects the enviroment

Air Pollution

Sad sight: Children standing near the Glencore smelter in the town of Mufulira courtesy
Sad sight: Children standing near the Glencore smelter in the town of Mufulira

Environmental hazards are present during every step of the open-pit mining process. Hardrock mining exposes rock that has lain unexposed for geological eras. When crushed, these rocks expose radioactive elements, asbestos-like minerals, and metallic dust.

The release of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere during smelting poses health risks.
As felt in Mufulira: The other face of mining in Zambia that investors never see

Water pollution

Polluted chemicals flow into the Kafue River
Polluted chemicals flow into the Kafue River

There is a greater risk of polluting the Zambezi river with mining in the Lower Zambezi national park.Mining re-configures the land and its contours. Rain and subsequent ground water is diverted. As equipment is sunk and the ground hollowed out, chemicals such as cyanide, mercury, methyl-mercury and arsenic are forced through pipes (tailings). The water that runs off goes into streams, rivers, and lakes.

Health risks

Large-scale mining process can affect the environment, including the human environment miles away from the original mining site. Exposure to chemicals poisons the human body causing everything from skin rashes to cancer. Drinking water with lead and other chemicals can affect babies and cause birth defects.

When companies break up materials during mining, the dust can release a variety of heavy metals commonly associated with health problems. As dust, these minerals (such as the asbestos-like mineral riebeckite) can be absorbed into lung tissue, causing problems like pneumoconiosis and silicosis, commonly known as “Black Lung”


Before mining can begin, the land is cleared. The first issue is deforestation. Deforestation immediately destroys wildlife habitats. As the land is cleared and low bushes and vegetation burned and destroyed, wildlife either moves on or dies.
Deforestation also affects the nesting habits and migratory patterns of birds, as well as the pollination of flowers and edible plant life. It destroys the homes of valuable insect life as well. The process of turning CO2 into oxygen cannot take place.

In any eco-system, life is dependent on the whole sum of its parts. When a tree falls in a forest, it is immaterial if someone hears it or not. What is important is that its loss can have an immediate, profound, and very visible effect on the survival of other life in, around, and near it.

Mining is an inherently invasive process that can cause damage to a landscape in an area much larger than the mining site itself. The effects of this damage can continue years after a mine has shut down, including the addition to greenhouse gasses, death of flora and fauna, and erosion of land and habitat.

Acid rain

Effects Of Acid Rain ( Salt Lake City, Utah )
Effects Of Acid Rain
( Salt Lake City, Utah )

The most serious affect of acid rain on humans is to the respiratory system. Acid rain contains sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, both of which can cause coughing, asthma and throat infections.Acid rain causes acidification of lakes and streams.Acid rain also contributes to the damage of trees and plants.


  1. Such a beautiful park ! Seriously what can we do to stop this national park from being destroyed apart from blogging about it.People in the know how please help.We can’t let PF destroy Zambia like this!


  2. So does this same mining activity outweigh the current benefits i.e. income from tourism, Eco benefits, land ownership (locals)… Come on PF, one day you will all be out of those offices we entrusted you with…Will you still stick to the decision you have made….There is a future generation remember that, imagine if Kaunda would have been that reckless??????????

    • Cycle Mata!
      Have you ever seen any tangible benefits from the Park Charges & Lodges of LZNP? Do you know that the area right now is closed off and un accessible? Tourism & Conservation are seasonal in the area. Ask them(Conservation Activists/NGO’s) to show you some pictures of the intended mining sites unlike those lodges and river frontages they are circulating on the web. Its a vast, idle and empty wild. Any way they are paid for this kind of selfish works.
      We need the area opened up for the benefit of all. They are less than 15 good but very expensive lodges with an average 15 seasonal employees mostly “COOKs & Game Guides per lodge and a few open camping sites.
      Go to ZAWA (Park Entry Fees)and you will find out that the Exploration activities paid more than Tourists. what if its…

    • Mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park should be opposed on the following considerations:

      1. The proposed site is in the middle of the park and considered very sensitive as it is used as a refuge by animals during flooding. Mining will result in loss of animal life;
      2. Construction of a power line by ZESCO and widening of the road network in the park will compromise the integrity of the park as one of the four parks earning the country the highest amounts of money; and
      3. The gains from mining will be low in comparison to the impact on the environment. The project site’s copper content is estimated at 0.3% copper deposit. This is low considering that in other parts of the country where copper is being mined, the content is as high as 3% copper deposit.

  3. I think our leadership have no consideration for the future generation.Once you destroy that eco system that is it! I’m told Zambia has the largest under ground water system possiblity in Africa.There is no technology currently to tap into that but how foolish to poison those waters and destroy the environment our grandchildren could benefit from!

    • Am starting to think there is an evil spell cast on us, the manner that we are thinking in governing the nation is so suicidal. We are bound on a death track with such attitude and carelessness in this country, we have become to consumed and engrossed by materialism that we can’t consider what really matters in life and from an African perspective, and i blame the west for giving us this mind, the mind to damage the environment which has long been in a pristine condition.. its the west’s fault and in this case these damn criminal, genocidal Australians..

  4. Small scale mining in the game parks has been going on for decades. Just like lines on a map don’t make the West of Zed mysteriously slammed between mineral rich regions with zero in the ground. Preserving our land for future generations is good but does not stop the hidden wink wink games being played on our soil by those in the know. We are wealthy in natural resource, mineral wealth, water, land but do not show the acumen to take control then plan how to preserve, conserve and secure in a manner beneficial to all. We know how to make foreigners rich. Why is that…

  5. This PF Government is like MMD part 2, but worse because they are now tempering with natural beauty, about which the world has held conference upon conference.

    Why create the hell we have seen in Mufulira all over the nation?

    Sad day!

  6. BRAVO Hon Kalaba!
    What a bold decision. Unlike a few of those selfish,disgruntled ,CONSERVATION ACTIVISTS, you looked at a broader picture for the benefit of the nation. For how long have only the few of them benefitted from their NGO’s funding at the expense of national social & economic gains? They oppose almost every development in the area.
    The animals and birds they conserve and the lodges are right along the Zambezi river valley and there are no animals almost 40km up the high dry lands and many of them have even failed to access the area.
    There is PALABORA MINE(google”palabora mining company”) just close in the KRUGER NATIONAL PARK of South Africa. Kruger has bituminous roads,International Airport,Lodges,Mine and other modern infrastructures.
    More Money! More Jobs !

    • @ ba muso you do not appreciate nature and you really do not understand who is benefiting from these mines. Get back to nature man muso.

    • Ba Observer, be objective and stop thinking like your selfish activist and conservation colleagues lest we assume you are speaking for your belly. Don’t you know that in the modern world Mining,Tourism as well as Conservation CO-EXIST and there are several examples(mines in game parks)around the globe? Do you know that “Mana pools” up the Zambezi River on the Zimbabwe side(Chirundu/Chiawa) has mining activities but one wonders how a Mine 40km up the mountainous valley and further down stream could pollute the Zambezi? Are you gona eat nature or use nature to eat? People need JOBS & Money plus DEVELOPMENT, not your conservation rhetoric.

    • Ba Muso,
      Good comments. I like it. Yes, correct mining, tourism, conservation can co-exist in the modern world but cannot practically be experienced in Zambia because of the very weak and archaic regulatory framework, where you have regulatory bodies being overruled by politicians in the name of Ministers. If we had a very strong regulatory framework like in the first world, what you suggested (co-existence) can work but not in the current legislative and regulatory setting where enforcement is non-existent. Where it exists, it is selectively applied. if you do no have cash like me ba Muso you end in Chimbokaila prison. Thanks ba Muso.

    • Ba Muzo!!! We have a lot of Mining companies in Zambia and they have been operating for some time. The question is, Do we have bituminous roads, International Airports, Lodges, and other modern infrastructure in areas were they are operating. Have they created sustainable jobs for Zambians? Have they ploughed back to local communities the huge profits they are making? The answer is a resounding NO!!!
      What makes you think Zambezi Resources, a Australian company will bring development when we have a lot of mining companies that are stealing our resources in broad day light?
      Please watch the documentary Stealing Africa at the link below.
      More Money! More Jobs !

  7. I remember , Zambezi Resources started these explorations during Levy Mwanawasa’s reign and midway through, they went quiet only to resurface now

  8. Please bloggers, how can we stop this mining activity in a National Park? Please those with practical answers help us please. We will live to great this culture of overturning decisions made by professionals. Look at open pits on the Copperbelt!!! Environmental disasters. And who has benefited from them and who is still benefiting? The foreigners. These lowly paid jobs are not the benefits we can talk about. The total economical value of leaving the Lower Zambezi National Park in its natural state far outweighs the much talked about benefits (casual jobs) from open pit mining. Come on people let’s stop the lot. Individual benefits at the expense of national interest will take us nowhere as a country. Respect ZEMA decisions you people who do not appreciate nature.

  9. we have lots of bush in Zambia. This one is not very special. WILDLIFE GUYS CAN JUST RELOCATE THE ANIMALS. We will have migration of animals and tourists can come in numbers to see elephants migrate from upper Zambezi to Lower Zambezi. Thumps up PF-Way to go as human life is more important than animal life

    • Great contribution Dontcare. We need practical and pragmatic people like you to develop our nation.
      What is going to happen to the “VERY EXPENSIVE OIL & GAS EXPLORATION CONCESSIONS” granted in mostly Game Parks and Game Reserves? Wont they proceed at such high costs just for a few individuals and NGO’s? We will need to move the animal family to other parks empty parks if necessary.

    • 10-Dontcare, I dont know what level of Education you have achieved, & this is not an insult, as I NEVER use abusive language to debate my point. I just worry that You are Not enlightened enough to have a rational debate.
      1. Your point, that “Human life is more important than Animal life” is So outdated, i would expect such a comment from someone who lived in the 12th Century. Dont care, are You aware that “The world is an eco system”, whereby all living creatures need one another to survive? One example is if we killed all the Bees, Mankind, you included would become extinct. I wont go to explain how, but give you some homework to research this, assuming you’re able to carry out in depth reading/ research.
      2. Humans are animals, just in case You were not aware.
      3. Have a Good day!

  10. Wel researched with reasons outlined in this attickle, no mine should take place in the lower zambezi let it just be a national park which was declared a world heritage site. There are a lot of things to be considered not only money in your pocket or trying to solve employment problems being faced in the country, we should also look at things in terms of polluting our rivers as can be a health hazard to human and animals. We can not let things go on like this let those in authority put their heads together and find time to address us on the many issues the country is b faced with.

    I also visited Zambian eye this morning there is a sad story affecting the Zambian citizens Kasanshi Mine now employees 38 chines after laying off 58 Zambians how sure are we that Lower Zambezi mine will…

  11. What have we really benefited from the current mines? Mines even get electricity at cheaper cost than the poor Zambian and yet copper is selling at a high price! double loss for the Zambian.

    • Had there been no mines there would have been one tarred road in Zed. Electricity has come to the Northwest because of the mines. The Copperbelt got its electricity, schools and hospitals and even football teams that you enjoy watching because of the mines. Lusaka has benefitted a lot from the mines.

  12. How much does UN pay the country were a site is named a world heritage site? Who is making money in these same sites? If we have minerals why have them and let animals be stamping on the ground. I know not all Zambians may benefit but i know someone will have a meal at the end of the day. So let UN give us the money to preserve the land and pay taxes so that wealth is evenly distributed. Otherwise its just rhetoric, Check your reasoning blogger yet everyday you are saying no employment Govt give us jobs, imagine the number of jobs that will be created believe you me over 3,000 jobs will be so get a life> Don’t just condemn these decisions

    • You mean 300 temporary jobs for causal workers…why is it that we don’t strive to create quality employment and on top of that we will not benefit from this given our tax system which is more biased towards foreign investors who DON’T contribute their fair share.

  13. Mambwe we are not that desperate for jobs bent to destroy our environment and on top of that these mines pollute us cause us sickness, the risks out weigh the benefits, remember those workers will be getting peanuts while enriching Australians, America stopped mine prospectors centuries ago, they have oil, minerals in the ground unexploited,

  14. There is a Facebook group called “No Mining in Lower Zambezi National Park” let’s voices our concerns there, more details and info on the page.

  15. ZEMA is a corrupt govt agency. they are paid to set pollution standards at high levels so the mines can produce at low cost whilst sacrificing the environement. F U C K ALL YA.

  16. We shall not allow this company to set their palnt and machinery in our famous National Park, Kalaba is asking us to decale war against this company. Be informed that we shall do all in our powers as citizens including beating govt official that will try to come and convice us on this issue. Leave our area alone. All our chiefs don’t approve this project so we shall never let it pass upon our dead bodies.

  17. Ba Muzo very correct in your analysis. I worked in the lower Zambezi for almost 5 years from 2015 to 2010. The whole 5 years i worked there, i only saw 1 landrover driven by a tourist. He got lost and came at our camp which was closer to the road to ask about the direction to the national park. The road to the lower Zambezi is rough full of stones, very hilly. No vehicle apart from landcruiser or landrovers can manage to move up there. Some hill are as high as 300m dipping at about 60 degrees. Besides. High concentration of animals is along the Zambezi river 40 km away from where the Kangaluwi Project is. People there in Luangwa cry day and night for jobs. Ba Muso you right. Animals can be relocated. Some of the bloggers passing negative have jobs. Let others enjoy the benefits of a jobs

  18. There is some thing fishy about Minister Kalaba. First he stops the selling of traditional land to foreign investors and the next thing is he is offering land to the same in a game park. Could he be benefiting from these schemes ? Zambians lets open our eyes wider. I am beginning to smell some dubious characters in this government.

  19. This will be the end of the Zambezi river and the mighty Victoria Falls and its splendid nature as we know it. How sad!

    The pollution will be staggering and any form of natural life around this area will be wiped out. All this for what? Few coins from mining that end up just benefiting few politicians. These so called miners end up externalising almost 100% of their profits. There’s poverty everywhere on the C/belt and elsewhere where mining is taking place. Mining isn’t the same as we knew it during KK regime.

    The guy above saying nature’s ecosystem can ‘co-exist’ with mining please don’t mislead people. The 2 things are an opposite of each other and please read the article to see the damage of mining on the environment.

    • End of the Victoria falls? The area we are talking about is may be 500km downstream from the Victoria falls. How will mining in the Lower Zambezi affect the Eco system in the upper Zambezi. The Kafue river passes through Kitwe, a mining town. Has mining in Kitwe affected the eco system of the Kafue river, say around Kafue town? I don’t think so.

  20. Better we are poor but have our resources intact, than sell our valuable resources and still remain poor. Our resources are making people in other countries very rich. Posterity will judge us harshly for the bad decisions we are making. No Mining in Lower Zambezi National Park Please!!!.

    Please bloggers see the documentary titled Stealing Africa at the link below.

  21. This is Worse than Terrorism – an equivalent of 9.11 on Zambia.
    Where on the African Continent have locals benefited from a mine??
    I can count on one finger, possibly Botswana, otherwise from Congo, to the oil wells of Ogoniland in Nigeria, Marikana in south Africa, the list is endless, the only benefactors have been the Western owners who’ve become RICH polluting our communities, & stripping our wealth/ natural resources, while our Citizens, wallow in poverty, or via brain- drain leave our countries to go & become second class citizens, servicing the same “Infestors” amenities.
    Zambians will Not benefit from this Genocide apart from our Corrupt leaders, & The Mine owners. Reverse this Now, before this Beautiful Site is destroyed forever

  22. This mining project can be stop through an injection by the Zambian people or an organisation, but the question is who is ready to take on the challenge against a capitalist government such as PF? Its not doomed unless Zambians allow it to just like you scared to fight for your constitution, the Gabon disaster report, the auditor general’s report on government spending and many more. Kwena bena “ZAMBIA WAKE UP” no one will fight for whats yours and your country but yourselves. The have finished chewing from privatising companies, now they are digging into our natural resources (Mind you muzungu is vide president) and before you know it we’ll be selling each other! FOR THE SAKE OF THE NEXT GENERATION, LETS NOT BE A FAILURE… The generation of politicians in Zambia Doesn’t care about…

  23. Number 11, you may be right that some of Zambian leadership have not traveled much to see how other countries destroyed their own environment. Larry Kalaba the said minister in the article worked at the Zambian embassy in DC for years as a political affairs person, as for exposure, am sure he had a chance to see how the USA government is trying to protect their parks. Sad story indeed, all this is just for more money in their pockets.

  24. If many Zambians watched NAT GEO’s documentaries on the Zambezi river and it’s nature and wild life including that in the lower Zambezi, they would have been up in arms against this coming destruction by selfish and greedy individuals.
    The Zambezi and all its wildlife is such a thing of beauty that I feel proud to be a native of a country with such natural beauty. Maybe Zambians should write to National Geographic and ask them to show these films in Zambia so people can know what they are about to lose. Maybe environmental activists should descend on Zambia and stop this project before it starts.Maybe someone should expose Kalaba’s corruption or his extramarital affairs so he can sit his butt down.Not even a school will be built by these people. Please stop Kalaba. Somebody please.

  25. The national park is ours as zambians and we need to stand up and protect it against mining activities that will benefit foreign companies

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