A Zimbabwe representative for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Institute for Sustainability Africa has expressed the need for Zimbabwe to introduce an environmental tax on companies involved in environmental degradation.
The representative, Rodney Ndamba made the remark in a presentation on fiscal regimes in mining contracts and overview on mining taxes in Zimbabwe.
The presentation was made at a recent pilot civil society and community training workshop on contract review and monitoring in the mining sector in Zimbabwe.
The workshop was convened by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA).
It was meant to provide scope for addressing the limited capacity of civil society organisations and community groups to analyse and monitor mining contracts and revenue flows.
According to Mutuso Dhliwayo, ZELA Director, mining contracts are critical in that they set out the legal terms and conditions of any investment in the sector.
“These obligations may be on tax and revenue sharing, social development,environmental,occupational health and safety and operational or production requirements,” Dhliwayo said.
Ndamba outlined a number of tax regimes currently existant in the mining sector and highlighted the absence of an environment tax regime which he said could bring to significance the importance of the environment.
“If an environmental tax is introduced in the country, people and companies will begin to take serious issues to do with safeguarding the environment,” Ndamba said.
He gave the example of South Africa where he said such a tax is operational and is helping to protect the environment.