On 10th August 2006 Andrew Conolly, founder and Chairman of ALERT flew to Livingstone to sign that lease agreement giving 15,000 acres of the Forest to ALERT. Our intention is to build three release sites; two stage 2 sites (500 & 1500 acres) and a stage 3 (10,000 acres). We understand that the 18 months between application and approval is the fastest confirmation of a conservation program in Zambia’s history. A Forest Concession Agreement was subsequently approved.
On 17 May 2007 a scoping meeting was held with stakeholders in advance of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to ascertain concerns about the project that should be considered within the assessment.
The EIA was completed and submitted to the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) on 25th February 2008. As part of their considerations a second public hearing was held by ECZ on 12th April 2008.
ECZ made their decision regarding the proposed ALERT program in the Dambwa Forest on 30th May 2008, and here is what they said….
“The ECZ has since reviewed the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and based on the information provided by yourselves and from written and verbal statements by interested and affected parties and our site verification inspection findings, we have approved your project proposal.”
Our road map for how we proceed from this point will be reviewed and we will keep you updated as our plans to develop our release sites in Zambia are implemented over the coming months.
Thank you to all who have supported our aims and we look forward to working with you as our plans are realized.