Environmental Advocacy

Environmental Advocacy

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Our environment is a precious, threatened resource that does not belong to us. We are merely the current custodians who must pass it on to our children and future generations.

Since 2004 we have been involved in various environmental projects. Some of these were personal actions arising from concerns about litter, tree-felling, and water pollution. Others were co-ordinated campaigns and field assessments compiled together with a team of experts. Some of this work is now historical, the reins taken on by others, but we invariably retain interest in what is happening.

Over the last ten years we have been involved in numerous impact assessments.

Programmes aimed at the:

  • Reduction of waste and enhanced recycling
  • Sustainable forestry initiatives
  • Community development
  • the formulation and implementation of land use management plans

We have also assisted in several community environmental projects, providing primary environmental recommendations, and in some cases putting together pamphlets to guide visitors and managers alike.

These recommendations and publications are invariably a combination of social and natural history, highlighting the important links between them – the environment is a wholistic unit.

We have assisted with the development of:

  • Acacia Park (Harare)
  • Greystone Nature Reserve (Harare)
  • Gosho Park (Marondera)
  • Haenertsburg Commonage (South Africa)
  • Hillside Dams (Bulawayo)
  • Mabukuwene (Bulawayo)
  • World’s View (Nyanga)

Impact Assessments

Battlefields

Cemeteries

Zimbabwe, like most countries, has a binding legislation which requires environmental and social impact assessments to be undertaken in the instance of a specified list of developmental activities. In our country this process is overseen by the Zimbabwe Environmental Management Agency [EMA]. 

The work requires that an independent team of assessors compile a comprehensive document based on field assessment and stakeholder discussion. The resulting document is then considered by EMA who may make their own recommendations in addition to those made by the assessors.

It is important to remember that this work is not intended to stifle development, but to ensure that it is sustainable with negative impacts reduced and positive impacts enhanced.

It is our experience that a professional team of assessors often assist the developer over and beyond the EMA report. 

On many occasions thitherto unseen challenges may be identified before development commences. Plans can then be amended so preventing unnecessary wastage of investment.

All too often we have been able to point out potential fatal errors which don’t take into account on the ground conditions, for example:

  • The location slimes dams in water courses
  • Siting boreholes and septic tanks on the same ground fractures
  • The presence of cemeteries, isolated burials and sacred sites

Over the last decade we have worked with several registered Zimbabwean and South African Impact Assessment companies as a sub-consultant on ecological and heritage matters.

Our work has taken us throughout the region looking at a variety of projects:

  • Mines
  • Irrigation schemes
  • Hydro-electricity schemes
  • Factory sites
  • Power transmission lines
  • Water pipelines
  • Housing projects
  • Dams
  • Tourist facilities

For more details on the impact assessment process and details of those local firms with which we work please contact us.

Policy Compliance

Experience shows that it is not simply the formulation of management plans that ensures sustainable development and conservation, but it is the subsequent checking on implementation that is all important. Too many times we have witnessed detailed paper documents failing in their aims and objectives because of limited checking on subsequent compliance.

Developers and authorities who deviate from agree plans should be called to account. To achieve this one needs to be aware of what the planner intended, why it was agreed and the diverse range of legislation that applies to any project.

We see this aspect of our environmental advocacy becoming increasingly important as we go forward.

Already we have agreed to assist several regional NGOs in seeking to achieve this, as well as offering to collaborate with the Victoria Falls Enviro Watch [VFEW] in their formulation of a regional management plan and overseeing its implementation and matters of compliance or breach.

Let us know if we can assist.

Community Development

The role of sustainable resource use as a tool for community development is becoming increasing important.

We have been involved in several programmes involving the production of:

  • Essential oil
  • Alcohol fermented from indigenous fruits
  • Indigenous forestry
  • Various tourism initiatives

Local communities need to take advantage of what they have, benefitting to the full. This is often best achieved through joint partnerships with NGOs and private sector companies and individuals, but the process must be even and negotiated.

Recently we were invited to join the board of a newly registered Private Voluntary Organisation with this in mind. Building Resilient Communities in Zimbabwe, comprises of a team of young, dynamic of Zimbabweans, many of who have cut their teeth working with global NGOs and United Nations organisations. We hope to bring their experience and connections back to this, the land of their birth.

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Contact Us

Please contact us for any enquiries.

  • Chapman Road
    Burnside
    Bulawayo
    Zimbabwe
  • +263-772 126 963
  • rburrett@gmail.com

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