The Utility of Environmental Rights to Sustainable Development in Zimbabwe: A Contribution to the Constitutional Reform Debate
African Human Rights Law Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 1, pp. 120-146, 2011
Posted: 6 Jun 2011 Last revised: 4 Feb 2016
Date Written: June 6, 2011
The economic situation in Zimbabwe was caused by a number of factors including legitimate attempts to redress historical imbalances in the ownership of land. Land is part of natural resources of a country and without sustainable management and use of natural resources a country may not be able to promote and fulfill other human rights. Zimbabwe could by now be almost out of the economic whirlpool if only it can sustainably manage its natural resources, in the spirit of the state’s trusteeship over natural resources. The constitutional reform process in Zimbabwe presents a timely opportunity to lobby for the inclusion of environmental rights in the new constitution. It is crucial to understand why such rights should be included and what benefit they can bring to the people of Zimbabwe Environmental rights are crucial to sustainable development, and the fulfillment of other human rights especially socio-economic rights that depend on the availability of resources. All human rights are therefore interdependent and complementary. Nevertheless environmental rights will only thrive in an environment where the rule of law and good governance are respected. By incorporating environmental rights in the new constitution Zimbabwe will be following, not only developments in South Africa but also, trends in international environmental law and regional protection of human rights especially in Africa.
Keywords: Zimbabwe, human rights, environmental rights, sustainable development, environmental law, natural resources
JEL Classification: K23, K32, K40, N50, N57
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation