Our Environment, Our Responsibility


Environmental Law

By: Freeman Chiwele Mubanga – EPD Coordinator.


Environmental degradation, climate change, and biodiversity loss continue to pose significant threats to our planet’s health and the well-being of present and future generations. Recognizing the urgent need for action, the 5th Environmental Protection Dialogue (EPD2024) is set to convene in Lusaka, Zambia, from October 9th to 11th, 2024.

With its theme, “Strengthening Environmental Law for Thriving Communities,” EPD2024 aims to address critical challenges and chart a course towards sustainable environmental management. In this article, we delve into the rationale behind EPD2024, explore potential solutions, and outline the expected outcomes of this crucial dialogue.

The Rationale

The degradation of our environment is evident in various forms, including deforestation, pollution, loss of biodiversity, and climate change impacts. These issues are exacerbated by weak environmental laws, inadequate enforcement mechanisms, and limited awareness among stakeholders. Consequently, communities, particularly vulnerable and marginalised populations, bear the brunt of environmental injustices, facing health risks, displacement, and economic hardships. Furthermore, unsustainable practices by corporations contribute to environmental degradation, exacerbating social inequalities and threatening long-term ecological sustainability. EPD2024 recognises these pressing challenges and seeks to address them through collaborative efforts and effective policy interventions.

The declaration of a national disaster and emergency by His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema in response to the severe drought plaguing Zambia signifies the gravity of the situation. Record high temperatures, soaring to around 40 degrees Celsius, coupled with record low rainfall levels, have created exceptionally dry conditions across the country.

The EPD2024 is strategically positioned to provide a crucial opportunity to address these environmental crises and develop proactive strategies to mitigate their impacts. By convening government officials, civil society organizations, private sector representatives, and other key stakeholders, EPD2024 fosters dialogue and collaboration essential for tackling climate change and promoting environmental sustainability.

What Can be Done?

EPD2024 presents a unique opportunity to catalyse action and drive meaningful change in environmental protection. To achieve its objectives, several key strategies can be employed:

1.Strengthening Environmental Laws:

EPD2024 will focus on securing key decisions and recommendations to enhance environmental monitoring, law compliance, and enforcement. This may involve revising existing legislation, establishing new regulatory frameworks, and enhancing capacity-building initiatives to empower relevant authorities.

2. Promoting Inclusive Development:

Recognizing the importance of equity and social justice, EPD2024 aims to promote inclusive and affordable living environments that prioritize the well-being of vulnerable and marginalized communities. This can be achieved through targeted interventions, such as access to clean water and sanitation, sustainable land management practices, and the provision of alternative livelihood options.

3. Forging Corporate Partnerships:

EPD2024 will emphasize the need for stronger collaboration between corporations and environmental stakeholders to promote conservation, social responsibility, and economic sustainability. By fostering partnerships and incentivizing corporate engagement in sustainable practices, EPD2024 aims to mitigate environmental impacts while fostering economic growth and prosperity.

4. Enhancing Awareness and Participation:

EPD2024 seeks to raise awareness among state and non-state actors, including the private sector, about the importance of environmental protection and the consequences of environmental injustices. Through educational campaigns, advocacy efforts, and inclusive decision-making processes, EPD2024 aims to empower communities to actively participate in environmental governance and advocacy initiatives.

Expected Results

EPD2024 envisions several outcomes that will contribute to advancing environmental protection and sustainable development:

1.Concrete Action Plans and Recommendations:

By the end of EPD2024, stakeholders are expected to develop actionable plans and recommendations to strengthen environmental laws, promote inclusive development, forge corporate partnerships, and enhance awareness and participation. These measures will provide a roadmap for effective environmental management and sustainable development at local, national, and global levels.

2. Economic Viability and Environmental Sustainability:

EPD2024 aims to facilitate the transition towards economically viable communities that prioritize environmental sustainability. By promoting sustainable practices and responsible corporate behaviour, EPD2024 seeks to minimize environmental impacts on economic livelihoods while fostering long-term resilience and prosperity.

3. Improved Corporate Collaboration:

EPD2024 aims to foster stronger collaboration between corporations and environmental stakeholders, leading to improved conservation efforts, social responsibility initiatives, and economic sustainability practices. By engaging with corporations as partners in environmental protection, EPD2024 seeks to harness their resources and expertise to drive positive change.

4. Increased Awareness and Empowerment:

Through EPD2024, stakeholders will gain a deeper understanding of environmental issues and their impacts on social and economic sustainability. By raising awareness and empowering communities to participate in decision-making processes, EPD2024 aims to build a more inclusive and responsive environmental governance framework.


EPD2024 represents a critical opportunity to address the pressing challenges facing our environment and communities. By fostering collaboration, promoting inclusive development, and enhancing awareness, EPD2024 aims to accelerate progress towards environmental protection and sustainable development. As stakeholders come together to chart a course for the future, EPD2024 offers hope for a more resilient and prosperous planet for generations to come.

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