NATIONALMuseums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) says there is need to urgently preserve the environment adding that the illegal cutting down of trees is posing a serious threat to the country’s scenic beauty.
Zimbabwe is endowed with a lot of natural habitatswhich have been preserved in their natural form over the years and it is these habitats that go a long way in attracting tourists to the country, but some ofthem are being affecting by the cutting of tress.
In a speech read on his behalf by Farai Chabata onthe sidelines of a tree planting exercise at the Chiremba Balancing Rocks, NMMZ northern region director Godie Bvocho said long back people used taboo torestrict unnecessary cutting down of certain trees but now the situation haschanged.
“It is apparent that there were traditional management practices which governed the sustainable harvest of trees through a series of taboos and restrictions.
“Today, however, one biggest threat to the scenic beauty and sacred values of our heritage places is discriminate and illegal cutting down of trees which has also caused among other things massive land degradation arising from deforestation.
“Trees add value to our sites and monuments for visitor enjoyment and satisfaction. As NMMZ we, therefore, make a clarion call to local communities, stakeholders and our partners to conserve our environment and our trees,” he said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Forestry Commission Provincial officer for Harare Province Duncan Chiwala called on people and organisationsto put more effort adding that the country is losing forests at a faster ratethan it is planting them.
“Let’s add more effort to tree planting because of the economic value that is there and Forestry Commission cannot be separated from NMMZ in terms of preserving the environment.
“The rate of deforestation is alarming and the country is fast becoming a desert so we should plant more trees to avoid global warming,” he said.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority head of corporate affairs Godfrey Koti concurred with the other speakers adding that preserving the environment is everyone’s responsibility.
“The 15 million trees target for this year we can achieve it if we work together, we have to protect our environment because in other countries there is nothing to see. “So we have the responsibility to protect everything otherwise without trees all these rocks will not be looking nice. So let be responsible enough and plant trees its everyone’s responsibility to ensure the environment is preserved.