STATEMENT BY HON LLOYD MULENGA KAZIYA MP., MINISTER OF WATER DEVELOPMENT, SANITATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, ZAMBIA
READ DURING THE HIGH LEVEL SEGMENT OF THE THIRD UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSEMBLY (UNEA 3) ON 5TH DECEMBER, 2017
THEMATIC FOCUS: “TOWARDS A POLLUTION-FREE PLANET”.
The Executive Director of UNEP,
Honourable Ministers from Members States and Governments
Distinguished invited participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honour for me to address you on behalf of the people and Government of the Republic of Zambia. My delegation is proud to be in Nairobi at this third meeting of the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA 3). We are grateful to UNEP Secretariat for the excellent facilitation. We also thank the Government of the Republic of Kenya for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to us.
It is a great honour to share my country’s views on this important thematic area – Towards a Pollution-Free Planet. Allow me to highlight Zambia’s actions and voluntary commitments to pollution reduction.
It is a scientific fact that when pollution, in whatever degree, goes unchecked, it results in a gradual degradation of the environment. Consequently, there are intolerable risks to human, plant and animal life, which at the very extreme end, become irreversible. The advent of industrialisation and other related human activities has resulted in pollution that has ultimately upset the ecological systems. Globally, inadequately controlled technology has compounded the depletion of the natural resources as well as the Ozone layer, whose total depletion may lead to the extinction of all forms of life. This is a global concern and in contribution to the solution, Zambia is on a path to implement measures that will help reduce the rate of the Ozone Layer depletion.
Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen
Here is a brief breakdown of Zambia’s approach to pollution control:
- Policy interventions – The Zambian Government has put in place a comprehensive National Policy on the Environment that has domesticated a number of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, including UNEA. In contribution to eradicating poverty and improving the quality of life of the Zambian people, the Policy provides for safety nets for developmental priorities. In this connection, some of the objectives of the policy are to:
- Develop a system and guidelines for environmental assessment, audits, monitoring and evaluation so that adverse environmental impacts can be eliminated or mitigated and environmental benefits enhanced.
- minimize the adverse impact of climate change and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
- manage and use water resources efficiently and effectively;
- involve stakeholders, including civil society, private and local communities in environmental management and planning.
Under the Climate Change Policy, Zambia has submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement.
- Legislation – The Environmental Management Act Number 12 of 2011 is the principal legislation on environment and it provides for among others, Extended Producer Responsibility, integrated environmental management, Strategic Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and sustainable utilization of natural resources.
In our context, “extended producer responsibility” means actions that extend a person’s financial or physical responsibility for a product to the post-consumer stage of the product, and includes—
- waste minimisation programmes;
- financial contributions to any fund established to promote the minimisation, recovery, reuse or recycling of waste;
- awareness programmes to inform the public of the impacts of waste emanating from the product on human health and the environment; and
- any other measures to reduce the potential impacts of the product on human health and the environment.
With this understanding, Zambia is in the process of elaborating by statutory instruments measures to limit and control the production, transportation and utilization of certain plastics. We are cautious not to comprehensively ban plastics.
You may wish to know that the Zambia environmental law recognizes other laws supporting sustainable development.
3 National Development Planning – The 7th National Development Plan has outlined specific programs aimed at controlling pollution in the country. In all Development Plans, Zambia has focused on sustainable programming. Notable programmes done under National Development Plans so far include the following:
- The Copperbelt Environmental Project (CEP) which was aimed at addressing historical mining liabilities in Zambia;
- Integrated Land Use Assessment (ILUA) II and
- The United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD) aimed at addressing forest and climate change issues.
Let me high light some specific prominent interventions that have addressed Pollution Control in Zambia.
- Lead pollution – Kabwe clean up
A long history of mining has left a legacy of environmental liabilities in a number of mining towns in Zambia, amongst them Kabwe town. Studies have revealed unacceptably high levels of lead in the soil as a result of lead mining in the area. Government is dealing with the identified dominant exposure pathway for lead, that is air, direct ingestion of soil and dust and through surface and ground water and irrigated crops.
- Mercury Pollution from Small Scale Gold Mining Activities
Zambia is participating in a regional project on the development of national action plans for the artisanal and small scale gold mining. This project is aimed at assisting participating countries to develop National Action Plans for reducing use of mercury and mercury compounds in accordance with Annex C of the Stockholm Convention.
As I conclude I wish to state that Zambia stands ready to collaborate with political, scientific, private sector, and civil society leaders in moving towards a pollution free planet. I therefore encourage you partners to continue supporting UNEA and environmental programmes.
Asante sana!! I Thank you.
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