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  • The Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, 1966

Article 11 (u) of Zambia's Constitution1 of 1996 states that "the State shall take means to preserve, protect and conserve the environment." Article 30 (k) provides for the citizens' responsability to "protect the environment and conserve natural resources".

Article 71 of the same Constitution states that "every person has the right :

a- to an environment that is safe for life and health;
b- to free access to information about the environment;
c- to compensation for damage arising from the violation of the rights recognized under this Article; and
d- to the protection of the environment for present and future generations."

Part XX of the current Constitution is all about Environment and Natural Resources :

"361. The management and development of Zambia's natural resources shall -

a- respect the integrity of natural resources processes and ecological communitiesm including conservation of habitats and species;
b- ensure sustainable exploitation, utilization, management and conservation of the environment and natural resources for the present and future generations;
c- ensure equitable sharing of benefitsm among the local communitiesm accruing rom exploitation, utilization and management of the environment and natural resources;
d- ensure equitable access to all natural resources;
e- recognise that natural resources have an economic and social value and this should be reflected in their use;
f- not bestow private ownership of any natural resource or authorise its use in perpetuity;
g- ensure gender mainstreaming by promoting equity between women and men and involving women in deision making processes relating to the use of natural resources and efforts to reduce poverty are reflected in all decisions
h- ensure that social and cultural values and methods traditionally applied by local communities for the sustainable management of the environment and natural resources are observed;
i- ensure that planning and utilization of the environment takes account of disadvantaged areas and their inhabitants;
j- promote energy saving and the use of solar energy and other renewable energy sources;
k- prevent pollution and ecological degradation; and
l- allocate adequate resources to reclaim and rehabilitate degraded areas and those prone to disasters to make them habitable and productive."

Article 362 is about Protection of Environment, the 363rd about Conservation of environment, 364th about Enforcement of environmental rights, the 365th provides for Utilization and Development of natural resources and Article 366 concerns the Agreements relating to natural resources.

The Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act of 1990 establishes Zambia's Environmental Council with a mandate to protect the environment, control pollution, and provide for the welfare of humans through the health of the natural environment. Sections of the Act are dedicated to water, air, waste, noise, natural resource conservation and other environmental aspects. Additional information on the Environmental Council of Zambia can be found here.

The Environmental Management Act of 2011 renames Zambia's Environmental Council into the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and states its composition and functions. Part III is dedicated to integrated environmental management and includes a section on environmental impact assessments. Part IV details various aspects of environmental protection and pollution control. Part VI addresses environmental information, education and awareness, and environmental research. In these functions, it collaborates with the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, established in 1992.The Agency is also responsible for reporting on the state of the national environment. Details can be found here.

Additional information on environmental management in Zambia can be found here.

Additional information on legislation and other environmental matters can be accessed through the websites of the Environmental Council of Zambia and the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, and Natural Resources.

1. The current Constitution of Zambia can be accessed through http://www.zambia.co.zm/downloads/draft_constitution.pdf.