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National Forest Policy Launched at ZITF

Story by Yolanda Moyo

THE Government has reiterated its commitment towards sustainable management of wildlife and forests saying they are key to national development.

This was revealed by Vice President General Rtd Dr Constantino Chiwenga during the human wildlife conflict Indaba and launch of the National Forest Policy, held on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo.

The Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife held a human wildlife conflict management Indaba on the sidelines of the ZITF in Bulawayo this Thursday.

Guest of honour at the event, Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga reiterated Zimbabwe’s commitment to managing human and wildlife conflict, calling for the revisit of the international polices under the auspices of the International Trade in Endangered Species.

“As we engage regionally and internationally, Zimbabwe will continue to lobby for its position and philosophy in managing its wildlife populations. The upcoming International engagements such as the Convention on International trade in endangered species, parties should continue to provide a platform in which we defend our policy and ethos as we seek to mitigate the effects of human wildlife conflicts.”

The Vice President also launched the National Forest Policy which marked another significant milestone in Zimbabwe’s environmental stewardship.

The policy, a culmination of years of collaborative efforts between government agencies, civil society and local communities, provides a comprehensive framework for the sustainable management, conservation and development of Zimbabwe’s forest resources.

“Zimbabwe has come up with a comprehensive forest policy to address challenges in this sector. It is therefore important that as part of the Indaba. Zimbabwe will be launching its first National forest policy.

This policy provides a roadmap for the sustainable management of our forest resources. Some of its key focus areas include Mai forestry integrity, devolution and benefit sharing, strengthening forest and ecosystems, as well as enhancing forest research innovation and training,” he said.

The launch of the National Forest Policy will see the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife Management conducting awareness campaigns at community level.

“From here we are going into the communities because they play an integral part in the conservation of forests and its biodiversity. We have chiefs here because they are the one that are leading the communities and they play an integral role in raising awareness on this policy,” said the Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Wildlife Management, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni.

Zimbabwe’s National Forest Policy seeks to promote sustainable management of forests as a national heritage, through provision of an enabling environment conducive for all the stakeholders involved in forest resources management.

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