Wednesday, July 26, 2006



In Zambia, we have yet to see issued regulations accompanying the Wildlife Act of 1998 on game ranching and captive breeding – in the first draft, studied at the Natural Resources Consultative Forum (NRCF) meeting, being hopelessly muddled. This regulation, with some stakeholders hurried inputs – others more considered inputs not being included, were taken off by legal consultants who clearly knew nothing of the issues they had been asked to deal with, and by the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), a statutory body now without any credible scientific capability where financial budgetary considerations outweigh those of biodiversity conservation – a necessity foisted on them by the misguided decision to replace the Department of National Parks and Wildlife with a statutory body, one required to ‘pay its way’.

The imperatives of good sense and personal and biodiversity community ethical judgement, supported by the draft National Policy on Environment (NPE), require that we study new proposals and developments carefully so as to adjudge whether they impact negatively, or positively, on our biodiversity. It may be that after careful consideration – working through our cross-sectoral forum, the NRCF, that the Walking With Lions Park in Livingstone will not be in conflict with the NPE; but this we must decide in open forum. At the moment, as with the continuation of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park land-grab - a national and global disgrace, ZAWA acts as a runaway horse, without the jockey (ZAWA Board) required to avoid the strolling prams. THE PRICE OF ALL THIS IS ETERNAL VIGILANCE!