ACCESS TO INFORMATION LAWS, ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE WILDLIFE SECTOR
LENIN TINASHE CHISAIRA1
The wildlife sector is strategic in Zimbabwe for its economic, social and ecological purposes and hence the right to access information on wildlife governance and conservation is critical. Zimbabwe has many municipal and international law commitments on environmental information rights, and practitioners can utilise these to facilitate public participation in wildlife governance and conservation. Environmental information rights are fundamental to the prevention of environmental threats such as wildfire conflicts, corruption and lack of transparency. This essay analyses the law on access to information and especially State obligations at municipal and international law and the extent to which State practice acts to impede or enable the rights of the public to access information critical for transparency and open governance of the wildlife sector. The essay will make a comparative analysis of the environmental information laws in force within the European Union region since they seem more advanced than other regions in the world.
Keywords: Environmental Law; Information Rights; Wildlife; Public Participation; Zimbabwe
1 LLM Cand, International Human Rights Law and Public Policy (UCC, Ireland); LLM, Economic Regulation (London); PGCert, Environmental and Natural Resources Law (London); LL.B (Hons) (Univ. of Zimbabwe). Legal and Research Officer at Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association. Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com. Grateful for comments made on the initial paper by Prof Maeve McDonagh, School of Law, University College Cork, Ireland.