ENVIRONMENT, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira has told delegates at the 4th Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA4) that government has placed wildlife and forest conservation as part of it’s a priority.
Zimbabwe is endowed with a variety of wildlife and natural habitats which has seen it attracting tourists and filmmakers from across the world and has even been awarded for effective management.
Minister Mupfumira said Zimbabwe is doing a lot of things in terms of protecting the environment adding that conservation is among them.
“…Wildlife and forest conservation and protection are also a priority for the government of Zimbabwe. We believe the sustainable management of these inseparable natural resources must benefit and improve the livelihoods of local communities.
“In this regard, Zimbabwe has recently reviewed its national Forest Policy and the world-renowned Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) program with the triple objectives of increasing community participation, conservation of these resources and ultimately enhancing benefits that accrue to communities.
“As a result of sound wildlife and forest management practices, Zimbabwe has enhanced its tourism attractiveness, leading to significant growth in tourist arrivals in the country in recent years,” she said.
Minister Mupfumira added that there is a need for sustainable use of the environment and that everyone has a role to play.
“As I conclude, let me reiterate Zimbabwe’s support for the generation and up-scaling of innovative solutions to environmental challenges.
“However, for us to create the “future we want”, without leaving others behind, there must be a balance between innovative solutions to environmental challenges, and sustainable consumption and production as captured in the main theme of UNEA 4 and resolutions thereof,” the minister said.
The Zimbabwean said there is no doubt that the world is facing a wide range of environmental challenges since the turn of the century adding that there was a need for a paradigm shift.
“As Zimbabwe, we recognise that these challenges require a paradigm shift in the way we do business. As we may all be aware, the world’s poor depend on natural resources for their livelihoods, leading to over-exploitation and hence unsustainable utilization of the same.
“In order to lessen over-exploitation, it is imperative to intensify agricultural productivity through the use of improved and appropriate technologies at every stage of the agricultural value chain.
“I, therefore, call upon development partners and other relevant stakeholders to partner Zimbabwe in enhancing sustainable agricultural productivity and food security in order to manage the delicate and complex poverty-environment nexus,” she said.