Environmental Rights as a Substantive Area of the Zimbabwean Constitutional Debate: Implications for Policy and Action


This article seeks to provide a historical narrative on the issue of environmental rights in Zimbabwe and their ultimate inclusion in the current New Constitution of 2013. By way of a historical analysis, based on writings of various scholars, it examines the interplay of factors that have influenced this inclusion. It is noted that the environmental rights clause was first included in the 2002 Environmental Management Act of Zimbabwe before it became a constitutional clause. The paper argues that the historical imbalances in natural resources as well as outside pressure (persuasive and sanction-based) plus a general need for promoting a healthy environment have stirred the environmental rights debate. And pointing out that including environmental rights in the constitution is not enough, it argues that effort must be made to create legal, economic and social instruments that clearly mandate the state, civil society and individual citizens to be informed and responsible stewards of the environment.


Context of the Debate
Theoretical and Analytical Framework
History and Context of Environmental Rights and Constitutionalism in
Actors and their Role in Environmental Rights Advocacy
Conclusion and Policy Implications

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