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CEJ dissects ‘environmental protection fund’ gaps in research paper, policy brief

THE Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) has hosted a validation meeting for a research paper and a subsequent policy brief on the gap analysis of the Government’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). 

This came following reports on the poor performance of the EPF from the Office of the Auditor General last year and deliberations by stakeholders during the 2021 Environmental Protection Dialogue – EPD on understanding the gaps in the administration and management of the EPF. 

CEJ Board Chairperson Vincent Ziba has re-echoed the Audit Reports from the Office of the Auditor General specifically on the management of environmental degradation caused by mining. Mr. Ziba highlighted that most mining companies are not complying with the environmental rules, laws, regulations, and environmental licensing conditions set by the Government.  The CEJ Board Chairperson said measures that the Government has put in place to ensure that the environmental degradation caused by mining activities is adequately managed, are not working effectively. He said the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) is one of the measures set by the Government to protect the Government against the risk of having the obligation to rehabilitate mining areas where the mining licence holder fails to do so. The CEJ Board Chairperson, however, observed that with the current environmental liabilities standing at over USD 50 Million, Government stands the risk of having the obligation to undertake the rehabilitation of mining areas. Mr. Ziba said with the coming in of the energy transition agenda, mineral extraction is expected to expand in all mineral-rich countries and Zambia is among the countries with rich deposits of transition minerals.  He said with the anticipated expansion in mineral resource extraction, it is obvious that we shall encounter even more environmental risks if we fail to strengthen environmental protection.

This came to light in a speech by CEJ Board Member Boniface Mumba, delivered on his behalf at the Environmental Protection Fund – EPF Validation Meeting in Lusaka.

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