Balancing Interests Through Framework Environmental Legislation in Zimbabwe
In Michael Faure and Willemien du Plessis (eds) The Balancing of Environmental Interests in Africa, p. 557, 2012
40 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2012
Date Written: June 9, 2012
This chapter traces the development of environmental law in Zimbabwe, focusing on how recently enacted environmental legislation provides a framework for the balancing of competing interests, interests that often must coexist and reinforce each other, namely, development and the protection of the environment. The balancing of interests has been happening since time immemorial, but what has changed or evolved are the politico-legal tools that are used by regulators and states to secure the necessary balance. One may also argue that while balance is difficult to achieve, perhaps we could aim to achieve harmonisation of these interests. From the point of view of the modern, nuanced approach to natural resources management, colonial models of environmental management were heavily skewed in favour of economic development through the unmitigated extraction of wealth from nature. Colonies were thus usually run in unsustainable ways. But equally it can be argued that the postcolonial state has done little to promote sustainable development. Environmental law and policy reforms are clearly of a young lineage in Africa, having started in earnest in the late 1990s. However, many countries, including Zimbabwe, still retain several colonial environmental laws.
Keywords: Zimbabwe, environmental law, land reform, natural resources management, ZELA, sustainable development
JEL Classification: K00, K32, K11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation