The Copperbelt Environmental Project (CEP) is a very critical project to Zambia which arose in the wake of the privatisation of the mines and the need for a strong well-informed negotiations skill on the part of ECZ and authorising agencies. The CEP consists of two components: the environmental management facility (EMF) and the strengthening of the environmental regulatory framework named Component 1 and Component 2 respectively. Component 1 is implemented by ZCCM Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) based in Kitwe, and Component 2 is implemented by the Environmental Council of Zambia. This website is folcusing on Component 2 activities which manily comprise activities that were carried over from the Environmental Support Program (ESP) and Industrial Prevention Program (IPPP)’s activities in the area of environmental and social safeguards compliance.
The specific activities (sub components) of this component include:
Environmental Legislation Review
Environmental Management and Compliance Monitoring;
ECZ Capacity Building;
Environmental Emergency Response System
Coordination and Capacity Building with Strategic Partners
Environmental Awareness and Public Participation
A preliminary environmental assessment of the project’s institutional capacity and environmental compliance component indicated several areas of focus for the project. These include enhanced coordination, clear definition of responsibilities and, and support for technical capacity and operational resources. The EA recommends that the emphasis of this component should be to develop ECZ’s capacity to fulfil its own obligations under the EPPCA (1990) and to effectively coordinate activities of other regulatory bodies. In addition, an effective participation programme for the civil society was found very critical in the administration of the legal framework.
Component 1: The Environment Management Facility (EMF)
The EMF will help GRZ and ZCCM-IH address the environmental and social problems resulting from ZCCM’s operations prior to privatisation ,as well as the permanent obligations of GRZ and ZCCM-IH under existing Zambian environmental laws and regulations following privatisation. It does so by helping to define the environmental problems and by financing the costs of their mitigation. Since EMF funding is limited, the highest priority will be given to measures that address widespread public health problems or damage to ecological functions.
One of the first activities funded under the EMF will be the preparation of a consolidated Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), which will identify issues to be financed through the EMF and provide a criteria for the selection of sub-projects funded through the EMF. The CEMP will be a living document, developed in consultation with investors, to be reviewed and updated after two years. More broadly, it will provide a blueprint for handling environmental issues related to mining for the Copperbelt and for Kabwe over the next 25 years, within the broader context of environmental and social sustainability.
Component 2: Strengthening of the Environmental Regulatory Framework
This component will assist the GRZ to ensure that historical and future environmental liabilities arising from mining activities are handled in compliance with national environmental and social safeguards. This will be achieved mainly by strengthening the capacity of ECZ and delegated authorising agencies such as MSD, to review EIAs, negotiate EMPs with investors and with ZCCM-IH, issues of pollution permits, monitor compliance, collect fees and fines. The project will also strengthen NGOs and relevant training institutions, such as the Copperbelt University, to increase national capacity to address environmental issues associated with the mining sector.
This will be done through a strong backed coordination mechanism with key authorising agencies.
The ECZ has over the years developed limited capacities in different fields including Environmental Assessments (EAs); Water Pollution assessment (both surface and ground water), sound management of toxic substances including PCBs, Environmental Emergency Response System, air pollution assessment (point source measurements) and a relatively effective education awareness programme. Recently, the ECZ has embarked on building environmental auditing skills which are essential for effective compliance monitoring of Environmental Management Plans (EMPs).
Although impressive and in some cases effective capacity has been built in ECZ, the weaknesses are also apparent especially in negotiating compliance tools such as the mining EMPs. This weakness will be targeted under this Component not only in the ECZ but also in the MSD.
Both ECZ and MSD received Technical Assistance from ESP and NORAD on one hand and CIDA respectively and this project was designed to compliment and in most cases supplement the efforts of ESP, NORAD and CIDA without duplication.