By Tendai Mukaro
Environment Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said the country has made great strides in championing the Green Belt Movement.
The movement was started by Wangari Mathaai, who initiated the planting of 30 million trees across Kenya in a bid to curb the rampant effects of deforestation.
“My Ministry, through the Forestry Commission, has managed to plant more than 100 million trees over the past decade from 2010 to 2020, an initiative that will go a long way in maintaining and restoring forest cover, and enhance community livelihoods,” Ndlovu said.
“Agro-forestry, tree planting and sustainable forest management are key ingredients in reducing climate change impacts such as droughts that is becoming a common feature in our country.”
“This is largely because of the ability of trees to absorb and store considerable amounts of carbon during their lifetime.”
“May it be noted at this stage that while over the last few years Zimbabwe has been planting slightly over 10 million trees annually, we have noted that the rate of re-afforestation was lower than the rate of depletion.”
“In this regard, we have now targeted to plant not less than 40 million trees while at the same time tightening measures to curb tree felling.”
“This is well within our scope and through the Forestry Commission and the active participation of the civil society and other partners, we will be able to make a meaningful impact in this regard”.
Commenting on wetlands, the Minister said government is working towards a permanent solution to the recurring, serious environmental problem which are not only facing Zimbabwe but Africa at large.
“A case in point is our wetlands which are diminishing very fast under heavy pressure from anthropogenic activities,” Minister Ndlovu said.
“In this pursuit my ministry has finalised a draft National Wetlands Management policy, soon to be tabled before cabinet approval, further government has initiated measures to ensure that sustainable wetland manage is achieved in the country.”
“In this regard, government has put in place an array of strategies to promote sustainable management of wetland which includes gazetting a map of wetland across the country as well as providing guidelines on appropriate land use in the areas.”