Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

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Formed in 2000 and legally constituted as a Trust in November 2001, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) is a premier public interest environmental law group  in Zimbabwe. As a public interest non-governmental organisation, ZELA seeks to promote environmental justice, sustainable and equitable use of natural resources and democracy and good governance in the natural resources and environment sector.

ZELA accomplishes this mission through legal and policy research, advocacy, impact litigation, conflict resolution and civic education. ZELA also seeks to ensure that environmental and natural resources management policies, strategies and legal frameworks respond positively to the needs of marginalised women, men and youths living in urban and rural communities.

ZELA projects cut across  environmental sectors such as mining, forest management, wildlife management, water management and provision of adequate social and environmental services in urban areas (i.e. safe and adequate drinking water, shelter, energy, waste management services and land for urban agriculture, among others). Direct and indirect beneficiaries of ZELA’s public interest legal services include rural and urban communities, community-based organisations, local authorities, parliamentarians, government departments, industry and civil society organisations.

ZELA firmly believes that government and private sector operators have a duty to uphold democratic values, human rights and be transparent and accountable to the people in the extraction and exploitation of natural resources as well as the management of revenues and payments for the benefit of affected communities and the whole nation.

ZELA currently has four operational programme areas:

  • Extractive Industries (Mining) Programme
  • Urban Environment Programme
  • Rural Communities Programme
  • Transboundary Natural Resources Management Programme