No legislation to preserve GeoHeritage in Zimbabwe

**Mining Activities Threatening GeoHeritage in Zimbabwe** Due to a lack…


**Mining Activities Threatening GeoHeritage in Zimbabwe**

Due to a lack of legislation that specifically outlines GeoHeritage in Zimbabwe, mining activities have been identified as one of the clear risks to preserving heritage in the country.

Rudairo Mapuranga

Geoheritage encompasses global, national, statewide, and local geology features at all scales that are intrinsically important sites or culturally significant, offering information or insights into the Earth’s evolution or the history of science. These sites can be used for research, teaching, or reference.

Addressing members of the Geological Society of Zimbabwe (GSZ) at their annual general meeting held at the Country Club in Newlands, National Museum and Monuments of Zimbabwe Acting Executive Director Darlington Munyikwa said mining activities pose a significant danger to the preservation of GeoHeritage sites.

“The GeoHeritage faces the risk of destruction due to, in addition to climate change, human activities, and encroachment, such as mining and industrialization. Unfortunately, this heritage is not well protected, as no legislation safeguards it. Therefore, our starting point is to document this Geoheritage so that we understand its values and can prescribe measures for its protection.

“Mining and heritage are incompatible. There must be training on how to conduct Environmental Impact Assessments, the assessment process itself, the documents produced, and the authorizing and regulatory authorities, including the National Minerals of Zimbabwe and National Parks and Water. They should thoroughly examine those assessment documents to ensure they address the protection of existing heritage values within the area,” he said.

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Speaking to Mining Zimbabwe on the sidelines of the AGMG, GSZ outgoing Chairperson Tenyears Gumede stated that the government, through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, should collaborate closely with the National Museum and Monuments of Zimbabwe to identify sites, preventing mining activities from interfering with the GeoHeritage.

“We need to work hand in hand with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. If somebody applies for a mining license, the Ministry can then intervene to halt the process. Other factors, such as the resources of the area, will also be considered, but the first step is to identify the GeoHeritage sites,” Gumede said.

About the Geological Society of Zimbabwe

Aims:

– Promote geological research, teaching, exploration and mining in Zimbabwe

– Act as a forum for geological talks and field trips

The Society started as a branch of the Geological Society of South Africa in 1962. In 1981 the Zimbabwean branch split from the Geological Society of South Africa and formed the independent Geological Society of Zimbabwe.

The Society has hosted several international Scientific Conferences, including Gold 82, the ICGP Magmatic Sulphide Conference in 1997 and the Centenary of the Zimbabwe Geological Survey Conference in 2010.

 



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