Critical Time for Zambia’s GMO policy

August 3, 2022

CRITICAL TIME for Zambia’s GMO policy

Please note: 

Latest information according to the MoGEE: 

Consultations on the draft GMO policy have been undertaken in all provinces, including Lusaka. Stakeholders concerns and comments have been reviewed and addressed in the Final draft (the version we now have).
The final draft, is now scheduled for national validation in a small invite only meeting this Thursday 16th June in Lusaka. It is invite only because 1) government has a small budget for this, 2), stakeholders have already all been consulted and concerns addressed in the revised draft, therefore the validation meeting is just for formality sake, to ‘agree’ that concerns have been incorporated into the latest draft, and the meeting will approve the policy.
IF ZAAB knows of stakeholders that have not been consulted, and who’s views are not adequately considered in the policy, then we are invited to send the list of these names to the ministry, with phone numbers, for the Ministry to consult and address concerns.
ZAAB is invited to present these names and concerns in Monday’s meeting with the PS.

ZAAB response, preparation and action steps: 

ZAAB is scheduled to meet with the PS MoGEEE and Directors, on Monday at 11am.
It is critical that strategic voices are present at this meeting, and for us to communicate the long history of our engagement, our KEY issues which have NOT been addressed, and the LONG list of stakeholders who are concerned, and who have NOT been consulted nor agree to the current draft.
ZAAB will compile history of comments, the latest policy brief and in-text comments to present to PS on Monday.

Therefore action steps in Preparation for Mondays meeting: 

1. Contact your constituencies and send us the list of all those who have not been consulted 

The Ministry said that if there are stakeholders who have not been consulted then they will address this before the validation. THEREFORE, we need to collate a long list of everyone we know who is concerned, and who has not in fact been consulted, NOR who’s views are addressed in the current draft.
This means EVERYONE sending a message to ALL of your groups (every district farm camp – KATC, every provincial office – ZLA, NUSCFZ, every association/cooperative group – RWA, ESAFF, CTDT, SCOPE ETC, every diocese – CARITAS, etc), and ask them if they received invite to provincial consultations, and if not, ask them for their name for submission.
Spared this word on WhatsApp, and get all names. Drop these into a word document and send to us for collating into one list. It does not have to be complicated, just send a WhatsApp message, or list the areas and groups you work with and already know, so that we can collate the info.
This will enable us to go to Ministry on Monday with a long list of concerns actors who have not been consulted, and therefore they cannot go through with the validation on Thursday.
2. Make your name known 
Draft a letter from your own institution, stating that you have not been consulted, or that your concerns are not adequately dealt with, and therefore your institution cannot approve this policy.
You can use comments from the policy brief / petition to develop your letter or draft your own. It can be short and sweet. Send the signed version to us for delivery, or send it to the Ministry! – and
3. Familiarize yourself with the key issues, present this strong voice on Monday / speak out everywhere you can. 
Please read the ZAAB documents, latest policy brief, update your own concerns, and speak out. #GMOFreeZambia.
-> E.G: We do not agree with this draft policy, I have not been consulted, this policy does not represent my or my constituencies views and interests, therefore this policy cannot be approved
“The main issues, demands and many more.
  • Precautionary Principle removed
  • Liability and Redress weakened
  • Technically unsound, lumping all sectors, issues, technologies, under one policy that will be impossible to implement and definitely impossible to regulate. The Ministry and NBA does not have enough money to hold a full validation meeting, they do not have the money to regulate new, unknown, unpredictable, high risk and HIGH impact technologies.
  • Removing current law that prohibits GE on Strategic Crops, which will open Zambia to import, consumption, release etc of staple crops – like maize, and indigenous varieties

We have objected for years, and concerns have not been addressed.This policy does not represent my views or my interest!

  • Economically disastrous for Zambia, benefiting elite and enabling corporate capture
  • The organic sector is growing and promises huge economic potential for Zambia – this will destroy the sector
  • Demand that all GMOs remains contained, that no environmental release of living modified organisms is permitted what so ever insist that the precautionary approach, prior informed consent, regulatory measures, risk assessment, identification and detection, socioeconomic considerations, liability, access to information, and public participation remain as the core policy guiding principles in Zambia Etc. ” – ZAAB Secretariat

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