Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Appeal to save prestigious "Presidential Herd" of elephants from new mining activities in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Dear Minister Nhema, I’m writing to you on behalf of the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe, the flagship clan of elephants that President Mugabe re-pledged to protect in May of 2011. There is now constant talk of mining interference in the key home-range of the Presidential Elephants; not just coal mining now, but diamond mining too. It is known that some areas, right here where the Presidential Elephants roam daily, have already been ‘pegged’ for mining. On behalf of the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe, I formally request your Ministry to act now, pro-actively, rather than wait for a situation that has already occurred in the Gwaai. I request – for the good of the environment and tourism too, as well as for the Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe – that you indicate now to the Mines Ministry that no environmental impact studies will be approved for mining in the key areas between Gwaai and Hwange town. In addition, on behalf of the Presidential Elephants, I ask that you obtain the support of the President’s Office (since the situation in the Gwaai appears to suggest that the Mines Ministry holds environmental impact studies in low or no regard) – reminding the President’s Office of the Reaffirmation of the Presidential Decree signed just last year - to ensure that no mining activities be allowed to even be considered, within a sensible radius of this key photographic tourism / wildlife area, bordering Hwange National Park, where the Presidential Elephants roam. It is nothing but common sense to pro-actively ensure that these areas are not unnecessarily interfered with for mining greed, to the detriment of this country’s key wildlife and tourism areas, and its internationally renowned and protected flagship herd of elephants. The Presidential Elephants of Zimbabwe request the full support of your Ministry, and that of The President's Office, to put a stop, now, to any plans for mining this area. Copied here is Wildlife Environment Zimbabwe (WEZ), and just a few photographic tourism lodges that share an interest in the preservation of the Presidential Elephants. With grateful thanks, Sharon Pincott, Presidential Elephant Conservation Project, Hwange Sourced from contacts in Minister Francis Nhema's Office

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