Stephanie Booker of Natural Justice attended the 2nd Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI) in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 10th -11th September 2013.
Hosted by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), the Environmental Justice Network (EJN), the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) and the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust (CCDT), the theme of the ZAMI was "Community Rights, the key to Empowerment". Held parallel to the annual Zimbabwe Mining Indaba, the ZAMI was attended by over 100 participants of civil society organisations, non-government organisations, community-based organisations including the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Women in Law Southern Africa, as well as and chiefs and members of communities affected by mining from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia.
Participants discussed key issues such as:
- Ongoing and envisaged reforms in the mining sector;
- The impacts of mining on women;
- The impacts of mining on communities and strategies being used to advance community interests;
- The Kimberly Certification Scheme;
- Opportunities and challenges under the new Constitution;
- The African Mining Vision;
- Mining taxation and illicit financial flows.
Participants were also privileged to hear direct experiences from community members themselves, including the impacts of mining on families, general health, the health of pregnant women and water sources.
The Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba featured in Zimbabwean Daily News here. In it, ZELA Programme Officer, Shamiso Mtisi notes that whilst the extractives sector is one of the most important sources of a nation’s income with great potential to contribute to economic development, the costs of extractive industries have been socialised, with a huge impact on communities.
The Declaration formulated by the Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba 2013 can be found here.
For more information and for regular updates on mining issues in Zimbabwe, like ZELA’s facebook page.