04-09 September 2022, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
“A just energy transition for sustainable mining communities in a climate crisis era”
1.1. We, the more than 100 delegates drawn from the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe convened at Holiday Inn, Bulawayo from the 4th to 9th of September 2022 for the 11th edition of Zimbabwe Alternative Mining Indaba (ZAMI). The participants consisted of representatives from Government, civil society organizations, community members, faith-based organizations (FBOs), traditional leaders; local government leaders, trade unions, media, academia, and researchers under the theme; “A just energy transition for sustainable communities in a climate crisis era.”
1.2. The 11th edition of the ZAMI came at a time when the global, continental, and even national discourse has been more centered on Climate Change and Just Energy Transition. In November this year, the 27th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The discourse on clean energy and transition in the economic configuration is now the heart and soul of global economic policy discussions. It is largely against this backdrop that the theme of the 2022 AMI, which was held from 9 to 12 May, was “A just energy transition for sustainable mining communities in a climate crisis era”. A broad range of Environmental and Social Governance issues like the impacts of mining on climate change, water use, labor rights, health, safety and corporate governance have become critical in the quest to ensure natural resource wealth delivers socio-economic justice and better outcomes for all.
A just transition for all towards an environmentally sustainable economy, needs to be well managed and contribute to the goals of decent work for all, social inclusion, and the eradication of poverty.
Now, therefore we recommend that:
- Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) should speed up the development of the regulations to guide actions that investors are supposed to comply with especially on Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) while the Government needs to develop common standards for ESG reporting.
- The Agency (ZIDA) should engage with investor firms regularly to ensure they have implemented steps for reducing and remediating hazards to people and the environment connected with their projects.
- Core to a just transition is deep democracy in which workers and communities have control over the decisions that affect their daily lives. In all this, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), women and youths must be represented across all development processes.
- There are serious gaps in the policy, legal and institutional frameworks governing the gemstone sector in Zimbabwe. The country has no overall national minerals development policy with specific reference to gemstones, the only policy that exists is the Diamond Policy, which has been heavily criticized for lack of adequate provisions for transparency and the curtailing of top-level discretionary powers, among many other shortcomings. Therefore, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development must speed up the drafting of the Gemstone Policy to guide the producers, investors, marketers, and traders in the gemstone sector.
- The Government should speed up the process of formalisation of artisanal and small-scale mining to ensure that all mining actors are held accountable for their environmental violations.
- Parliament to speed up the process of finalizing the Mines and Minerals Act and ensure the inclusion of progressive provisions.
- The ZAMI 2022 calls for an immediate access of the Beneficial Ownership (BO) register by Parliament while advocating for the amendment of the New Companies’ and other business entities Act to include public access to the BO register.
- Register of Companies must complete the automation of the Registrar of companies.
- Tax laws or policies should be improved to reduce tax evasion, tax avoidance and corruption to enhance finance for health, education and provide services to all especially marginalized groups including youth, women, and persons with disabilities.
- The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must develop a full Tax expenditure report which should be publicly disclosed and tabled before parliament as part of the budget presentation.
- ZAMI 2022 implores Church leaders as front liners in communities to utilize the Theological Reflection Toolkits on inequalities and natural resource governance.
- The current taxation system in Zimbabwe disproportionately affects women as they are likely to be living on low income or no income at all and are responsible for purchasing the daily necessities that attract Value Added Tax. In this regard, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must reduce indirect taxes like the VAT and 2% IMT.
- Parliament must set a robust framework for the extractive sector and for debt management that provides strategic direction to borrowing decisions and clearly specifies the roles and responsibilities for the institutions involved in debt management
- Through the 2023 National Budget, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must channel sufficient resources to critical sectors such as health, social protection, [water and sanitation that advance the rights of women and reduce the burden of unpaid care work.
- The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must increase spending towards climate financing, particularly social protection mechanisms and building capacities of vulnerable communities on resilience, adaptation strategies looking at the fact that climate change has had unprecedented impacts on women.
- Against growing Resource Backed Loans and the risk associated, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development must adhere to Section 298 of the National Constitution on transparency and accountability through contract disclosure of loan agreements.
- Parliament, CSOs and the Business sector must review the laws and policies promoting technological innovations, capacity building of key institutions and structural changes regarding energy consumption.
Managed well, transitions to environmentally and socially sustainable economies can become a strong driver of job creation, social justice and poverty eradication.
Signed: Date: 09 September 2022