Promotion and protection of Civil Society human rights Voices in the Implementation of the SDG 2030
The Centre for Environment Justice(CEJ) is implementing a 1 year pilot project in Lusaka Province. The interventions will be in line with the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association of the United Nations General Assembly – Seventy-third session Item 74 (b) of the provisional agenda “Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms” with focus on number IV. Challenges faced by civil society actors in contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals section D. Sustainable management of the environment and natural resources.
The interventions will also be in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDGs7, 13 and 15, which put sustainable development of natural resources at the forefront of the agenda for revitalising the economy while protecting the environment and promoting peace, justice, social stability and harmony among people. In order to achieve this, multi-stakeholders (government, mining company, community, CSOs, FBO, Traditional leaders) will be engaged through consultation and training.
To create a multi-stakeholder platform that include civil society and other relevant actors, to contribute to the planning, implementation and monitoring of the Goals and their targets.
1. Contribute to the creation of a safe and enabling environment for civil society participation in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
2. Ensure that national action plans to implement the Goals recognize the need to protect the rights to freedom of peaceful association and of assembly to enable the participation and mobilization of all stakeholders in the 2030 Agenda.
3. To mentor and inspire young people and leaders to participate and engage in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
CEJ launched the project with official launch Statement by CEJ Executive Director. CEJ came up with this project, convinced that a safe environment is a basic fundamental human right and our children, youths, women, men and the general population in Zambia, who include Civil Society Actors, have the right to protect the environment. We share the common concerns of stakeholders, government, and citizens that the country is no longer exempt from the dangers of floods, drought and desertification which other countries on islands, countries with low-lying coasts, and countries in arid and semi-arid areas faced. It is no doubt that the increase in both frequency and intensity of droughts throughout Zambia has become a reality due to adverse effects of climate change. And based on records from 1960 to 2003, CEJ has noted that the situation is not any better as recent climate trends indicate mean rainfall over Zambia has decreased by an average rate of 1.9 mm/month representing 2.3% per decade since 1960.
CEJ - Parliamentarian Dialogue in Promoting Civil Society's Human Rights in the Implementation of SDGs 2030
The Centre for Environment Justice had a parliamentary dialogue with Honorable Members of Parliament at Parliament Building in Lusaka. The Parliamentary dialogue included Hon.MPs representing namely; Governance, Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The meeting was Chaired by Honourable MP Mr. M. Jamba. The CEJ Team was led by Executive Director Ms. Maggie M. Mwape. Our discussion was focused on promoting and protecting CSOs Human Rights in the implementation of SDGs and the Role of Parliamentarians in creating enabling environment for participation and implementation of SDGs, and CSO Human Rights.
The rationale of the intervention is in response to the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association of the United Nations General Assembly – Seventy-third session Item 74 (b) of the provisional agenda “Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms” with focus on number IV. Challenges faced by civil society actors in contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals Section D. Sustainable management of the environment and natural resources. The interventions was also envisaged in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDGs7, 13 and 15, which put sustainable development of natural resources at the forefront of the agenda for revitalizing the economy while protecting the environment and promoting peace, justice, social stability and harmony among people.
CEJ informed the Members of Parliament that, it has observed that some projects involving the exploitation of natural resources have an impact on local communities and civil society, and sometimes conflict ensued because of the unsustainable practices, and the dangers CSOs realized such would occasion to the current generations and the future. CEJ noted that it was important that the availability of civic space in the context of natural resource governance took into account the global economy of raw materials, as well as legislation on natural resource exploitation and the procedures that affect approval and the sustainable use of land. The presentation highlighted the project goal and objectives particularly, as linked to the creation of a multi-stakeholder platform that include civil society and other relevant actors, to contribute to the planning, implementation and monitoring of the Goals and their targets, and that the creation of a safe and enabling environment for civil society participation in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, would make it easy for Zambia to realize its plans.
The parliamentarians were informed that CEJ was also undertaking the project as a way of lobbying and advocating for a situation where national action plans to implement the Goals recognized the need to protect the rights to freedom of peaceful association and of assembly to enable the participation and mobilization of all stakeholders in the 2030 Agenda. The importance of mentoring and inspiring young people and leaders to participate and engage in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, was another objective the meeting learnt of.
Media Engagement on SDGs and the Environment
CEJ engaged at least seven (7) community and national radio stations between January, 27 and 13th February, 2020. As part of the project, this was in order to prompt an increase in awareness on Civil Society Human rights participating and implementation of SDG2030, protection of CSO’s in environmental protection and conservation among members of the public, the media, and stakeholders. The radio stations included Radio Phoenix, Radio Hot FM, Pan African Radio, Millennium Radio, Live Radio, University of Zambia (Unza) Radio and Parliament Radio.
CEJ successfully managed to feature on three (3) radio stations namely Millennium Radio on 3rd February, 2020, Unza Radio on 12th February, 2020, and Parliament Radio on 13th February, 2020. Prior, CEJ had prepared and shared with the stations a detailed radio and television transcript in order to guide the discussions and focus on the project objectives and goals, as attached. Prior to the programme, CEJ shared and discussed a detailed guide and transcript which guided the discussions at all the radio stations. The discussions were tailored to bring out CEJ’s overall goal and objectives of the project including the partnership with ICNL, and SIDA. The transcript pays particular attention to one important aspect such as the creation of multi-stakeholder platforms where CSOs like CEJ and other relevant actors contribute to the planning, implementation, and monitoring of the SDGs and their targets. The listeners were informed that another important objective of the project and radio programmes was the creation of a safe and enabling environment for civil society participation in the implementation of the SDGs. The transcript highlighted the fact that despite mining being critical to Zambia’s development, CSOs played a key role in advocating for sustainable management of natural resources whereby mining activities are supposed to be sustainable and in some cases protected areas such as national parks, water bodies, among others being spare from destruction. The transcript drew listeners and viewers that CEJ was hoping to mentor and inspire young people and leaders to participate and engage in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030, through the project.
Millennium Radio discussion links
Hot FM discussion
Ms. Christine Banda, CEJ Assistant Programmes
During the implementation period, CEJ managed to undertake two (2) television programmes on Muvi Television, and Africa Agribusiness Network (ABN) television in Lusaka, respectively.
CEJ took part in two (2) discussion television programmes that were hosted by Muvi Television in Lusaka, on the 7th February, 2020, and the 14th February, 2020. The programme that was held on the 7th February, 2020 was organized using the Muvi TV morning live programme called the ‘Breakfast Show,” from 0700 to 08:00hrs. The second programme was held on the Muvi TV current affairs programme called “From a Governance Perspective,” which is tailored to address and cover different national topical issues on governance and development in the country, targeting the stations clientele of more than 1.9 million viewers that are linked to its satellite and decoders. The main outcomes of the programme especially the demonstration of an open door policy by Parliament to work with CSOs in Zambia’s attainment of the CSOs was earmarked for coverage during the station’s prime time News, on 15th February, 2020
Civil Society Organisation Symposium on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
On the 4th June, 2020 CEJ hosted Civil Society Organisation Symposia. The agenda, included three major presentations that were preceded by welcoming remarks from The CEJ Executive Director Ms. Maggie Mapalo Mwape. The project and organizational background were explained to the participants by the Board Chairperson of the Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) Mr Vincent Ziba.
The Executive Director welcomed all participants and recognized the commitment shown to the cause. The Director further alluded to the Corona Virus Pandemic and appealed to the audience to observe all laid down standards by Ministry of Health and the local authority in order to contribute to the countries efforts to stay safe during and after the symposium.
Mr Vincent Ziba, the CEJ Board Chairperson, opened the symposium by stating that in CEJ’s Ten(10) years of experience in ensuring that dissemination of accurate information, the CSO symposium was an invitation to Civil society to collectively become the force behind greater achievements through the active mobilisation of public support through information collection and dissemination, policy development and consultation, policy implementation, assessments and monitoring as well as lobby and advocacy. In that way, Mr Ziba noted that, the promotion and protection of Civil Society Human Rights Voices in the implementation of the SDGs, and retaining the gains made on SDGs, particular 7, 13, and 15, amidst Covid 19 will have significant impact on Community Voices in the Promotion and Protection of Civil Society human rights and in the Implementation of the SDGs 2030 with International Centre for Non-profit Law (ICNL) & Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) as partners.
Finally, the board chairperson highlighted the necessity of CSOs working together in the achievement of the project core summarized in the goal and objective as follows: to create a multi-stakeholder platform, that will contribute to the creation of a safe and enabling environment for civil society participation, that will ensure that national action plans to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize the need to protect the rights to freedom of peaceful association and of assembly and support mentorship of young people and leaders to participate and engage in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Presentation from the Centre for Environment Justice(CEJ)
Dr Ndandalika Stanslas Phiri, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer made the presentation on CSOs the SDGs 2030, and Covid 19 Management, The CSO Symposium focused more on the objective which was namely; promotion and protection of civil Society Human Rights Voice in the implementation of the SDGs 2030, and had the objective to create a multi-stakeholder platform that include civil society and other relevant actors, to contribute to the planning, implementation and monitoring of the Goals and their targets. During the presentation, CEJ related the availability of Constitutional Rights for CSOs, and Citizens to participate in national development, and utilization of natural resources sustainably, as a starting point for promoting and protecting participation civic spaces and voices in the wake of the SDGs, in line with the Special Rapporteur’s Report, and specific targets 7, 13, and 15 on management of natural resources and addressing challenges CSOs faced. The organization pointed out that Zambia was part to the United Nation’s Convention Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Paris Agreement, and signed the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) Agreement 2015, which showed recognition of the adverse effects climate change had on the country, and hence the need for consented efforts among civil Society Organizations (CSOs), government and other stake holders.
The presentation highlighted that CSOs played critical roles in monitoring policy implementation, educating of communities, and identifying areas of need which supplemented government efforts. The CSO Platform would among others: 1. Contribute to the creation of a safe and enabling environment for civil society participation in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals; and 2. Ensure that national action plans to implement the Goals recognize the need to protect the rights to freedom of peaceful association and of assembly to enable the participation and mobilization of all stakeholders in the 2030 Agenda. The other objective was namely; 3) to mentor and inspire young people and leaders to participate and engage in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer recognized the presence of the CEJ board Chairperson, Executive Director of CEJ, and the participants. The guest speakers and all participants. He further acknowledged the contribution Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Center for International Non-Profit law (INCL) in implementing the project, that responded to the SDGs 2030, with the aim of promoting and protecting the voice of CSOs and human rights in line with the United Nations 73rd session which prioritized the challenges that CSOs faced, peace harmony, and sustainable Management of natural resources to revitalize national economies.
Dr. Ndandalika, mentioned the CEJ’s mandate and how it is linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Environment. He further stated CEJ’s belief that a safe environment was a basic fundamental human right and that individual children, youths, women, men and the general population have the right to access quality and accurate information on Extractive Industries, Energy, Environmental Conservation, Climate Change and Agriculture, was closely linked to the priorities of the UNGA 73rd Session’s Special Rapporteurs report. The Monitoring and Evaluation officer continued, and informed the Symposium that the role of CEJ as a Civil Society Organisation was to become a driving force behind greater achievements. This would be through the active mobilisation of public support through information collection and dissemination, policy development and consultation, policy implementation, assessments and monitoring; and lobby and advocacy.
In his conclusion, Dr. Ndandalika re-emphasized that CEJ had hoped that through the project, the creation of a multi-stakeholder platform that include civil society and other relevant actors, to contribute to the planning, implementation and monitoring of the Goals and their targets, and that the creation of a safe and enabling environment for civil society participation in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, was the determining factor for the effectiveness of Zambia’s National plans to implement SDGs.
Presentation from World Wide Fund for Nature Zambia Country Office (WWF)
Mr. Mweene Chaambwa spoke on behalf of the Wide World Fund (formally World Wildlife Fund Zambia). Mr Mweene alluded to his experience in policy engagement and the organizational role in networking as areas in which the Symposium had directly related to the mission and objectives of WWF. He further outlined that the Symposium’s purpose related to WWF’s Mission to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. To achieve this mission, WWF Zambia focuses on two broad areas: Biodiversity and Footprint. He explained that WWF sought to ensure that biodiversity in Zambia which was part of the earth’s web of life stayed healthy and was sustained for current and future generations as this was also one of the goals of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Policy Expert for WWF emphasized on the importance of Civil Society in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and further, mentioned that WWF ZCO is very much interested in working together with the Center for Environment Justice and other Organizations in realizing this cause. Mr Mweene singled out the relationship between human rights and sustainable development goals (SDGs) that necessitated the formation of a reliable CSO Platform to engage through regional and global offices hosted in Zambia. He further stated that the symposium was an ideal method of gathering and disseminating expert information on how to protect Civil Society and Human Rights voices in the implementation of the SDGs 2030.
Proposed Common Action Areas
The concept of engagement through a CSO Symposium was commendable, effective and helpful.
The CEJ program should be rolled out to all parts of the country.
The Country Strategies and Plans towards achieving SDGs must include young people’s interests, and a mechanism that engaged and enshrined the civic rights of Civil Society at the core of SDGs 2030 management.
The use of local languages in the dissemination of accurate information about sustainable development goals would be effective in adequately reaching all stakeholders and communities
The project activities should have prioritize the rural areas in order to maximize participation.
Monitoring of the SDGs implementation through a platform was vital for accountability and transparency.
7. The inclusion of civil society in the implementation of SDGs, through the human rights based (HRB) approach had a higher chance of the SDGs succeeding than the MDGs had
Youth Symposium on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) organized a youth symposium on 5th June, 2020 in Lusaka The theme of the symposium was: Youth Symposium- the role of youth in implementing of SDGs and impact of Covid-19. The main speakers were representatives from, Alliance for Accountability Advocacy Zambia (AAAZ), Zambia Entrepreneurship Hub for Entrepreneurs and Skills Training (ZEHEST), and Center for Environment Justice (CEJ).
Meeting Proceedings and emerging issues
The meeting started at 09: hours. The Executive Director Ms Maggie Mapalo Mwape welcomed all participants and proceeded to facilitate the preliminary sessions during the Youth Symposium. In her opening remarks, the Executive Director presented the background of CEJ and the project, the partners of the project, the activities. She there after invited the first presenter to take the floor.
Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) Background
The background on CEJ was presented by the Executive Director Maggie Mapalo Mwape who begun by mentioning to the symposium that CEJ was celebrating a decade after 10 years in existence upon being found in the year 2010, and with a mandate to ensure that women, youths, children, men among others had access to accurate and quality information. Ms Mwape added that it was CEJ’s desire as a Civil Society Organisation to become a driving force behind greater achievements through the active mobilisation of public support through information collection and dissemination, policy development and consultation, policy implementation, assessments and monitoring; and lobby and advocacy. Ms Mwape drew the symposium to some of the activities that CEJ had conducted in line. She mentioned that the organisation conducted project activities such as Environment Community Engagement Programmes 2012 to 2013 focusing on Voices of Communities, Promotion and Protection of Civil Society human rights Voices in the Implementation of the SDG 2030 with International Centre for Non-profit Law (ICNL) & SIDA, and the Mining Community Voices and Alternative Livelihood Planning and Preparedness (ALPP) project.
The presentation by Ms Mwape highlighted that CEJ’s Vision was to become a Centre and action for sustainable development at Community, District and National level, whilst it’s Mission was to empower, enhance and strengthen environmentally challenged communities, youth, children, women and men by involving them in promoting environmental justice and sustainable management of natural resources. The participants heard that Y in terms of focus and in relation to the partnership with ICNL and SIDA and the project, the organization looked at the Promotion and protection of the human rights and voices of Civil Society, who included youths and their CSO organizations, in the implementation of the SDGs 2030. At that point, efforts were being made to mainstream the Covid 19 pandemic, in relation to CEJ’s work focus such as in Environmental protection, Extractive Industries, Climate Change policy, Sustainable Energy, Water security and Agriculture.
Presentation by Center for Environment Justice
The Programs Assistant Officer, Miss Christine Banda, firstly defined what sustainable development goals were, the need for a platform that included young people, and how young people would actively participate in the Implementation of SDGs inspite of the Covid 19. Miss Banda stated that the United Nations Member States came up with the SDGs framework as a universal action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Through the United Nations Framework on the Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC), Young People were part of the Civil Society that should form the multi stakeholder requirements Zambia needed to safeguard her gains in agriculture, climate change management efforts, sustainable energy, and environmental responsive mining among others, despite the implications of the Covid 19. In order to domesticate this UN call, Miss Banda drew the attention of the audience to the fact that CEJ realized that youths are the majority in the country, and that at any given time, youths have demonstrated to be critical thinkers, agents of change, leaders and negotiators in processes of sustainable development, and they would be handy in managing development during and beyond the Covid 19 challenges.
Finally, Miss Banda implored the Youths to show leadership in innovative ways that will be agreed upon during the symposium on how to implement the SDGs and Covid-19 related activities. She invited participants to join CEJ on the radio and television programs on SDGs 2030 in relation to Covid 19, Young People and CSOs. She further, added that the Convening of the Youth and CSO Symposia to share and explore experience and agree on the role of young people was another approach CEJ had taken to continue with information dissemination, that focus on Young People, CSOs, Human Rights, the SDGs 2030 and Covid 2019 and its socio-economic impacts.
In conclusion, The presenter, Ms. Banda, heighten the role of youths to become part of the multi-stakeholder platform required if Zambian is to safeguards her gains in agriculture, climate change management efforts, sustainable energy, and environmental responsive mining among others amidst Covid 19.
Presentation by Alliance for Accountability Advocates Zambia (AAAZ)
The Alliance for Accountability Advocates Zambia (AAAZ) was represented by the Program Officer Mr. Mark Besa Ngoma. AAAZ Organization is a National Youth led membership non-governmental organization. The aim of AAAZ was to promote, youth, community and citizenry led accountability and participation in monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Developments Goals as well as the National Development Policies. The organization focuses on capacity building, interactive engagement, and advocacy. He further mentioned that AAA Zambia believes in the transformative power of investing in the youth to champion the attainment of SDGs by 2030 without leaving anyone behind. The organisation proposes that radical change in the mind – set is required to ensure sustainability of the gains made beyond 2030. The organisation also invests in young people as the torch bearers, future bureaucrats, technocrats and leaders. He further argued that Youths are the bridge between successive generations and therefore, their role cannot be over-emphasized in achieving sustainable development as envisioned in the 2030 Agenda. Thus, in the view of the Covid-19 that has disrupted work plans and activities that aim to accelerate SDGs mainstreaming, the presenter proposed that more initiatives that mainstream SDGs and Covid 19 in schools be inculcated through various initiatives.
In conclusion, the Mr. Mark Besa Ngoma emphasized the role of united approaches to education as the core strategy in the attainment of all the SDGs. He further outlined that despite the impacts of Covid 19 that threaten community engagement initiatives and the Regional Southern Africa Youth Conference on SDGs regional networking activities, the purpose of the symposium to share ideas needed to be supported in order to form a platform of CSOs to consolidate Zambia’s gains in the attainment of SDGs.
Presentation by Zambia Empowerment for Entrepreneurship Hub and Skills Training (ZEHEST)
The Director of ZEHEST Mr Clarence Muzyamba started his presentation by mentioning that ZEHEST was a youth led Organization, and that he was honored to address fellow youth networks that attended the Youth symposium. Further, the presenter acknowledged the role of CEJ and partners (SIDA and ICNL) in inspiring and empowering young people with survival skills in order to reduce poverty. The presenter linked ZEHEST organization’s mandate to CEJ in the area of youth empowerment and encouraged the Youth to work together and not in isolation. He further called for support towards implementing a Sensitization program that was currently taking place in Chawama Compound in Lusaka, as part of their contribution to the attainment of the SDGs. Finally, the director for ZEHEST emphasized the role of networking in achieving each organizational mandate. Further, he stated that a network would be the only effective tool in engaging government on the on the inclusion of young people in ensuring that national action plans deliver the intended goals.
Proposed Common Action Areas
Media Houses should be identified, included as implementing partners, as well as develop capacity for journalists to accurately report on Youth driven development. This would encourage joint programming in common actin points among organizations.
The Symposium as method of engaging young people under the umbrella of civil society should be the key to building a platform of organizations advocating for youth inclusion in the implementation of national action plans that to achieve the SDGs
Sensitization Programmes that conform to the Community Engagement model should be the basis for encouraging meaningful youth involvement in sustainable development.
4. Competition among the young people should be replaced with network building and the formation of platforms that foster unity of purpose
Media Engagement on SDGs and the Environment
The objectives of the project and radio programmes was the creation of a safe and enabling environment for civil society participation in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. CEJ hoped that it could mentor and inspire young people and leaders to participate and engage in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030, through the project. The discussant stated that CEJ was therefore carrying out the programme first of all in partnership with the International Centre for Nonprofit Law (ICNL), and Swedish Agency for International Development (SIDA) and that the project and the radio programmes where meant to disseminate public information on the SDGs and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in line with the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association of the United Nations General Assembly.- Seventy-third session Item 74 (b) of the provisional agenda, and that its agenda focused on “Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions and included alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms” with focus on number IV.
CEJ engaged at least five (5) community and national radio stations between January, 1st and 8th June, 2020. As part of the project, this was in order to prompt an increase in awareness on Civil Society Human rights participating and implementation of SDG2030, protection of CSO’s in environmental protection and conservation among members of the public, the media, and stakeholders. CEJ successfully managed to feature on three (3) radio stations namely Millennium Radio on 1st, 5th, and 8th June, 2020, Unza Radio on 2nd June, 2020, and Hot FM, on the 1st June, 2020.
CEJ’s radio discussion programme was led by Ms Silvia Phiri & Ms Christine Banda both CEJ Program Assistant; and Mr. Stanslaus Phiri, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. The focus of these interviews were to engage and discuss Youth, and Civil Society symposiums on SDGs. The discussant explained that CEJ’s work revolved around information dissemination, campaigns, research, advocating for policy development and implementation, research, capacity building, lobby and advocacy, community engagement and participation; and community mobilization and awareness. The symposium was entitled: the role of Youth in implementing of SDGs and Impact of Covid-19 and CSO Role in SDGs. The discussants firstly, shared CEJ’s Vision namely to become a Centre of Action for sustainable development at Community, District and National level, whilst it’s Mission was to empower, enhance and strengthen environmentally challenged communities, youth, children, women and men by involving them in promoting environmental justice and sustainable management of natural resources.
During the radio programmes, callers from Lusaka, Copperbelt, Southern Province and Northern Province were able to call in and give feedback. The callers expressed concern over the widening knowledge gap between rural and urban areas in Zambia on environmental issues. Further, the engagement of young people in environmental issues was recognized as key in both the Covid 19 interventions as well as sustainability of project achievements. Further, other callers expressed interest in mitigating the impacts of Covid 19 on young people. Lastly, concerns over economic benefit as compared to environmental protection were raised. The major argument being that rural population require income generating activities in order to effectively participate.
During the implementation period, CEJ approached (3) Television Programmes on Muvi Television, and Africa Agribusiness Network (ABN) television in Lusaka, and Kenmark Broadcasting Network (KBN)). Television, whilst CBC television covered CEJ on the Symposia. Kenmark Broadcasting Network (KBN) hosted Ms Christine Banda and Ms Silvia Phiri, both Programs Assistants at CEJ, on the 2nd June, 2020. The 1hour 30 minutes television programme, presided over by Mr Nsama, discussed both the Youth Symposium as well as the CSO Symposium that was to be held on the 4th and 5th of June, 2020 the same week. The Discussants related the achievement of Sustainable development goals SDGs to Youth Participation and the role of Youth in mitigating the impact of Covid 19 towards the gains made in implementing the national action plans in attaining the SDGs so far. Further, Ms Banda and Ms Phiri respectively looked at the importance of networking on one platform, in order to effectively engage government provision of civil society rights in the implementation of the SDGs. The two meanwhile pondered on the nature of the Project, the Partners, activities, goals and objectives in accordance with the radio the television transcript attached hereto. The CBC television featured the Youth Symposium highlights as a news item on the 5th of June, 2020. The Television Station was invited to witness the commitments made and the presentations from Youth Network Organizations that gathered.
Ms. Christine Banda, CEJ Assistant Programmes
Ms. Silvia Phiri, CEJ Assistant Programmes
Traditional Leaders Engagements on their role in Sustainable Development Goals and Environmental Protection
CEJ team paid a courtesy call on Two Chiefs of Chifunabuli District in Luapula Province of Zambia.The Chiefs engaged included Chief Mwansakombe and Chief Chitembo. CEJ Executive Director Ms Maggie M. Mwape was accompanied by Programs Officer Mr. Nsama Chileshe , Administration Manager Mr. Paul Nkumbula and Head of Transport Mr. Patrick Kashanga. CEJ’s meeting with Chief Mwansakombe took place at His Palace, in the company of the District Administrative Officer Mr Arnold Muonga of Chifunabuli district. Thereafter, the District Commissioner for Chifunabuli district, Mr Kendrick Chanda Mwaba accompanied the CEJ team to facilitate the meeting with Chief Chitembo. Both courtesy visits with the two Chiefs involved a round of customary greetings to the traditional leaders, and a round of introductions thereafter. CEJ’s main rationale for the courtesy visits was generally to introduce its work focus, and intentions to extend activities of the ICNL and SIDA project initiative and objectives to Luapula province, and in particular communities of Chifunabuli district. Furthermore, share their role in Sustainable Development Goals and Environmental Protection.
Ms Maggie Mapalo Mwape, the Executive Director of CEJ took time during the meetings with the Chiefs to explain that the organization was earmarking to undertake a number of community focused activities that were aimed at among other things the Promotion and protection of Civil Society human rights Voices in the Implementation of the SDG 2030. She stated to them that CEJ was collaborating with the International Centre for Non-profit Law (ICNL), with the overall goal being to create multi-stakeholder platforms that include civil society and other relevant actors contributing to the planning, implementation and monitoring of the Goals and their targets. On that basis, the Chiefs were informed that CEJ was looking forward to working with the Chiefs and their communities as they were part of the multi-stakeholder envisaged in the sustainable management of natural resources, monitoring, and implementation of the SDGs 2030. They were told that CEJ was keen and motivated to ensure that communities and their leaders of Luapula provinces and the districts were brought on board considering their rights and responsibilities to benefit and manage the vast resources including massive fresh water bodies, fish, potential virgin farming lands, and minerals like manganese that the region was endowed with.
Chifunabuli Community Mult-stakeholder Engagement on Land Rights and Natural Resources
The Centre for Environment Justice(CEJ) held a meeting Lubwe Mission Hospital Hall, in Chifunabuli District, on July 7th, 2020 in Luapula District. The activity was implemented under the ICNL project, promotion and protection of Civil Society human rights Voices in the Implementation of the SDG 2030, with emphasis on community land rights, Environmental Human Rights, SDG implementation and monitoring and the role of traditional leaders in environmental protection. The major activities being covered include 1) Consultations with Parliamentarians, (Traditional leaders and District Commissioners), and 2) Community Engagement Meeting on Land Rights and Natural Resources. Under the stated project, CEJ is collaborating with the International Centre for Non-profit Law (ICNL), with the overall goal being to create multi-stakeholder platforms that include civil society and other relevant actors contributing to the planning, implementation and monitoring of the Goals and their targets.
During the implementation of the activities, CEJ instituted and announced effective Covid 19 preventive measures to stakeholders and participants. This was in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, effected by way of temperature screening, hand sanitizing, face mask, and social distancing.
Ms Maggie Mwape, the Executive Director of CEJ, called the meeting to order and welcomed the participants to the meeting. She briefly informed the participants that the Community Engagement meeting was organized to create an opportunity for traditional leaders, communities, and stakeholders in Chifunabuli district to interact and find out how best communities can enjoy land rights, and natural resources that were abundant in Chifunabuli district and Luapula province generally. Ms Mwape informed the house that CEJ was happy that the organization had been welcomed by stakeholders and the Chiefs in the district, and was looking forward to an engaging meeting. Thereafter, the Executive Director, called upon the Chifunabuli District Commissioner, Mr Kendrick Chanda Mwamba. The District Commissioner, Mr Chanda Mwaba, begun his official remarks by noting that CEJ programme was important to government, and the people of Chifunabuli, the province of Luapula, and Zambia generally as the county pursued the benefits of the SDG2030. Mr Mwamba observed that for many reasons, government was happy to be associated to those innovations Civil Society institutions like CEJ were promoting, in line with the mandates for which they were found. He expressed gratitude on behalf of government that the organization was embarking on this project in line with its work focus and mandate, and the project goal to promote a multi stakeholder involvement in the implementation of the SDGs 2030. This was relating to its belief, namely that children, youths, women, men and the general population had the right to access quality and accurate information on Extractive Industries, Environmental Conservation and Protection, Sustainable Energy, Climate Change, and Agriculture.The Guest of Honour stated that he realized that the Government of Zambia similarly attached great importance to ensuring that the country and its people were well prepared and capacitated with all the information and skills to manage their environments and natural resources. This also included their ability to respond to Climate Change, and its adverse effects especially on livelihoods, and the National Economy. Mr Mwaba explained that the Government had to that effect come up with several programmes and strategies aimed at safeguarding both the gains towards realizing the SDGs 2030, and at the same time securing national long term desires inspite of the Covid 19 challenges.
He said, some of the strategies and programmes included the Vision 2030, the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP), and the Republican Constitution which outlined national values regarding land rights, managing of natural resources where the aspirations of Zambians was a priority, the DC emphasized in his speech. Mr Mwaba continued and outlined a number of policies such as the National Policy on Environment (NPE), the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS), as well as the National Forestry Policy (NFP). Others included the National Adaptation Plan of Action on Climate Change (NAPA), the National Strategy for Reducing Emanation from Deforestration and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The DC was glad to point out that those policies, strategies, and programmes were all aligned with the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP), Vision 2030, and frameworks tailored to promoting a prosperous middle income Zambia by 2030 both of which supported development of a low carbon and climate resilient pathway. In his remarks, Mr Mwaba further explained to the meeting that Zambia was a signatory to a number of important conventions and treaties on mining and sustainable environment management such as the Kyoto protocol of 2006 among others to facilitate the implementation of a clean development mechanism. He emphasized that on the basis of those measures, it was the more reason government invested in several sectors including sustainable natural resource management, the role of peace, harmony, and human rights of the people, that are mostly recognized by the United Nations specific targets under the SDGs 2030, which Zambia was pursuing. The DC hinted that these targets were key in uplifting the economies of developing countries like Zambia. Mr Mwaba observed that going by the initiative CEJ, ICNL, and SIDA, government could not doubt that people of Chifunabuli, and Luapula had a huge opportunity to take advantage of the vast natural resources such as water bodies, wild animals, and minerals like manganese, copper, and others to work together and fight poverty.
Overview of Project, objectives, and Rights of local communities
The session was led by the CEJ Program’s officer Mr Chileshe Nsama. The major rationale was to give an overview of the project, and acquaint participants, stakeholders and traditional leaders on important aspects such as the objective of the project, and the rights of communities and interest groups such as women, and youths in land rights and natural resources management. In his presentation, Mr Nsama shared the following with the meeting,
- That CEJ was collaborating with the International Centre for Non-profit Law (ICNL) and SIDA to embark on the project aimed at the Promotion and protection of Civil Society human rights Voices in the Implementation of the SDG 2030. This had motivated the organization to convene the Community Engagement meeting on natural resources management and land rights, in response to the quest for the sustainable management of natural resources in the country, and the province essentially as envisaged by the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, where the Special Rapporteur’s report emphasized this requirement to uplift the economies of many countries, promote peace, harmony, and respect for human rights.
- That often, local communities and households were often victimized when it came to issues of land tenure, and extraction of local mineral resources by investments, which required that policies and laws were stiffened enough to secure benefits and livelihoods of local people.
- The project overall goal was to create multi-stakeholder platforms that included civil society and other relevant actors, to contribute to the planning, implementation and monitoring of the Goals and their targets. The invitation of institutions and departments of Local Government, Fisheries and Livestock, Women organizations, Traditional leaders, the Church, among others was in unison with the idea of bringing together as many stakeholders as possible to address the identified issues of land rights, and natural resources management .
- That the project had three objectives namely, 1) Contribute to the creation of a safe and enabling environment for civil society participation in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, 2) Ensure that national action plans to implement the Goals recognize the need to protect the rights to freedom of peaceful association and of assembly to enable the participation and mobilization of all stakeholders in the 2030 Agenda, and 3) To mentor and inspire young people and leaders to participate and engage in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
- The rights to managing natural resources and land were endowed in the republican Constitution and recognized in international treaties were adequate compensation to communities and households were recognized in case of displacements or loss of customary livelihoods.
Presentations from Chifunabuli District Government Heads of Department
- Agriculture and food security
This presentation was delivered by the Department of Agriculture in Chifunabuli district, replacing the Forestry Department who were unable to attend. From the presentation the following was noted;
- Chifunabuli district was a new district with potential investment opportunities in land which was mostly unused and idle, and abundant water bodies and swamps.
- Rice, which was a high cash value crops including potatoes, and tomatoes which were mostly imported could be grown as the land was still valuable for cultivation.
- The area had good weather to grow high cash crops such as rice.
- The district had some 9000 small scale farmers with maize production at 80% via FISP, ground nuts, beans, rice
- Most farmers depended on the use of hoes and tractors.
- In terms of challenges and gaps, the meeting heard that;
- Importation of most agricultural produces.
- Value addition was missing for most traditionally grown crops.
- Infrastructures such as roads, and irrigation facilities were absent.
- Credit schemes and capacity building were limited and inaccessible.
- Farming was not yet treated as a business by the local people.
- The following recommendations were made;
- Infrastructure development to enhance service delivery and access to markets.
- Storage facilities and markets.
- Tracking of farmers, production and productivity.
- Making farmer inputs affordable and available.
- Support to farmer groups and cooperatives.
- Efforts towards Mainstreaming Gender, Reducing poverty, Climate Change, and Landscape Resilience, Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, and Livelihoods.
The above session was conducted via group sessions. Participants were divided to work in four groups that comprised 1) Chief Chitembo’s Chiefdom, 2) Chief Mwansakombe Chiefdom, and 3 ) Senior Chief Mwewa’s Chiefdom. The fourth (4) group was made up of CSOs, Church, and Government Department. The following deliberations were made by the different groups.
2.1. Chief Mwewa-Group presentation and recommendations included;
- Applying to implement programmes in fish farming.
- Undertaking community village banking.
- Trust inspections to ensure each household had a 2 lima for farming.
- Ensuring that eligible children went to school.
- On climate change, chiefdom was discouraging charcoal burning.
- Visited Ministry of Mines to avert illegal mining in the area.
- On key recommendations and resolutions,
- Training of women and youth groups by agriculture officers.
- Formation of women and youth groups by local NGOs.
- Sensitization seminars and meetings by local authorities.
- Order needed in mining activities. Invite Ministry of Mines officials to the district by CEJ.
- The Chiefdom was promoting adult education in enhancing gender equality.
2.2. Chief Chitembo Chiefdom-Group presentation and recommendations included;
- Support women counterparts in development.
- Support women candidates in political fraternity.
- Forming women groups and sending the girl child to school.
- Improve farming from small scale to large scale to reduce poverty.
- Grant people loans to procure tractors, ploughs, cars.
- On climate change, reduce on chitemene farming, and improve on tree planting.
- Mining companies follow regulations so that communities are not left in dumps and pits.
2.3. Chief Mwansakombe-Group presentation and recommendations included;
- Provide adult education for women.
- Involve more women in acquaculture.
- Provide women with loans and empowerment schemes.
- Support communities in artisanal mining.
- On climate change, engage in new crops and farming activities to avert fishing problems.
- Sensitize communities on dangers of tree cutting and poor farming methods.
- Sensitization of communities on the importance of education.
- Ensure equal participation in decision making.
- Form cooperatives to carter for all.
- Encourage planting of more trees and discourage charcoal burning.
- Government to reduce on load shading and promote solar energy.
- Encourage the use of organic manure by involving the communities.
- Put in place efforts in raising goats, and cows.
- Sensitize people on the effects of chitemene system.
Next Steps and Action Areas: Meeting Closing
Prior to the closure of the meeting, participants were led by the facilitator to propose a number of action areas, and part of the next steps. They proposed in terms of among others,
- Calling of a District mining indaba to resolve issues including the uncoordinated nature of mining activities in chifunabuli.
- Conducting an environmental impact assessment to determine the extent of damage and preventive measures.
- Harmonization of mining policies to address identified issues in manganese investment in the area.
- Formulate a district strategic plan through the District council.
- Repairing of existing pumps and infrastructure to improve water and sanitation.
- Use different methods of water pumping to improve access to water problems.
- Conduct sensitization programmes to facilitate behavioural changes.
- Water supply interventions and distribution.
- Empowerment of women through cooperatives on livestock.
- Develop a Youth skills centre.
- Develop a livestock development and training centre.
- Conduct fish restocking to mitigate depletion.
- Promote alternative fish farming methods.
- Support enforcement of fish ban.
- Formalize the formulation of the Ngumbo Development Association.
Official closing remarks by Chief Chitembo
The meeting was closed by His Royal Highness Chief Chitembo. The Chief thanked CEJ for choosing Chifunabuli as a destination of some of its activities in Luapula province. He noted that moving forward, all the agreed action areas be attended to without fail, as that would benefit the people in the chiefdoms. Chief Chitembo further thanked all the participants for their time to attend the Community Engagement meeting, observing that Luapula had a lot of water resources and land, which should help to uplift people’s lives. The Chief thanked the CEJ Executive Director and her team, and wished them well and God’s protection on their way back to Lusaka.