Rights In Action Weekly Update – 04 June 2021

Strengthen the Role of Traditional Courts In Environmental Management – Gwanda

Gwanda residents have called on the strengthening of traditional courts (chiefs and headpersons’ courts) in environmental management issues in order to enhance the protection and promotion of environmental rights in rural areas.

During the training of Gwanda Ward 1 Village Environment Committees held on 01 and 02 June 2021, Gwanda villagers lamented the continued deforestation in rural areas due to farming, brick molding and firewood poaching. They further noted that issues of stream bank cultivation and sand poaching are continuously detrimental to the sustainability of rivers.

The villagers noted that should the local community traditional courts be strengthened, the traditional leadership may have a more active oversight role in environmental management issues.

The workshop was attended by 39 villagers and was implemented jointly with Community Youth Development Trust (CYDT) and was also attended by the Gwanda Rural District Council and the Environmental Management Agency. The workshop was funded by the Global Greengrants Fund.

Bulawayo Peri-Urban Residents Empowered to Monitor Quarry EIA Processes

Representatives of Peri-Urban Bulawayo in ward 17’s St Peters, New Mazwi, Robert Sinyoka and Methodist villages have resolved to actively defend their environmental rights in view of the anticipated impacts of increasing quarry mining to start in the area.

In 2020, Bulawayo City Council approved applications by 5 quarry mining companies and most of the sites are within the Hyde Park vicinity.

MIHR Statement on 2021 World Environment Day Commemorations

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights joins the progressive world in commemorating the year 2021 World Environment Day which runs under the theme “Ecosystem Restoration”. The organization also applauds the United Nations for declaring the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021 – 2030).

Source: Matabeleland Institute of Human Rights

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